Commander Matthew Coates
A native of Halifax Nova Scotia, Cdr Coates joined the Canadian Forces on completion of high school, enrolling as a Maritime Engineering Officer in the summer of 1994. After completing basic training, he commenced a four year undergraduate program at the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, ON. After successfully completing his initial occupational training in the summer of 1997, Cdr Coates reclassified to Maritime Surface and Sub-Surface Officer (MARS). In May 1998 he graduated from RMC with a degree in Electrical Engineering and moved to Victoria, BC, to commence MARS training.
Following MARS training, he returned to Halifax to join the Atlantic Fleet. Enjoying memorable time as a junior naval officer in HMC Ships Preserver and Fredericton, Cdr Coates participated in multiple deployments as part of the NATO Maritime Reaction Force before completing the Fleet Navigating Officer and Deep Draught Navigating Officer courses in 2001.
As a newly minted Navigator, Cdr Coates assumed the navigating duties of HMCS Toronto. During this time he completed two deployments to the Arabian Gulf as part of OPERATION APOLLO, and later OPERATION ALTAIR with the George Washington Carrier Strike Group.
In 2005 he completed the Operations Room Officer course and was posted to the West Coast, as the Operations Officer in HMCS Regina. During Regina’s transition to high readiness, Cdr Coates was appointed as the ship’s Combat Officer, enjoying two deployments to the Asia Pacific and South America regions.
In the fall of 2007, Cdr Coates was appointed Executive Assistant to the Commander Maritime Forces Pacific/Joint Task Force Pacific. After two challenging, yet rewarding years in MARPAC, Cdr Coates moved to Newport, Rhode Island, to attend the United States Naval War College’s International Naval Staff College program. While attending Staff College, he completed a Masters in Management at Salve Regina University.
During the summer of 2010, Cdr Coates returned to Halifax with his wife Meghan, as the Executive Officer in HMCS Montreal, and shortly thereafter HMCS Charlottetown. In March 2011, HMCS Charlottetown deployed on 48 hrs notice to support NATO operations off the coast of Libya. Becoming the first RCN warship to be fired upon since the Korean War, Charlottetown’s engagement in the Battle of Misratah directly impacted the city’s ability to withstand a six month siege, and the subsequent defeat of the Gadhafi regime.
Cdr Coates was promoted to his current rank in the summer of 2012, when he assumed the duties of MARLANT Deputy Chief of Staff Surface Operations. On 18 January 2013, he was appointed as the 24th Commanding Officer of HMCS Iroquois.