Lieutenant-Commander (LCdr) Robert W. Houle was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland and raised in nearby Mount Pearl. He began his naval career at HMCS CABOT in 1989, while pursuing a Bachelors of Arts degree at Memorial University in St. John’s, NL and also holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree (B.Com) with major in Accounting from Concordia University.
LCdr Houle conducted his Maritime Surface and Sub-surface (MARS) training in HMCS PORTE QUEBEC and subsequently served in HMC Ships ANTICOSTI as Deck Officer, PORTE DE LA REINE and ANTICOSTI as Navigating Officer, MORESBY and SUMMERSIDE as Operations Officer and in SHAWINIGAN and GLACE BAY as Executive Officer. He participated in exchange and training exercises in the Royal Navy in the Minesweeper HMS RIBBLE and in the Royal Netherlands Navy Minesweeper HNLMS NAARDEN. He has served in various staff positions in three Naval Reserve Divisions – HMCS CABOT (St. John’s), DONNACONA (Montreal) and YORK (Toronto).
His military education includes the Joint Reserve Command Staff Program via distance and on-site courses at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto. As a Coastal Warfare specialist he completed his initial Mine Warfare (MW) training at the Eguermin Naval MW School in Belgium and intermediate MW training at Canadian Forces Fleet School Quebec. He attained his Navigating Officer and Coastal Operations (COPS) qualifications in 1993 and 1995, respectively.
LCdr Houle has served in numerous postings ashore including the Mine Warfare Training Officer and COPS instructor at the CFFS(Q), MARS III and IV Course Training Officer at NOTC Venture and as a recruiter at the Canadian Forces Recruiting Center Toronto. Augmenting sea assignments, LCdr Houle’s duties have included postings as Port Security Officer and as the Coastal Warfare Officer at the Fifth Maritime Operations Group in Halifax.
He was promoted to his current rank and attained his Command qualifications on December 15, 2005 and was appointed to command of HMCS KINGSTON on May 4, 2009. He then went on to command the HMCS GLACE BAY from Feb 1, 2010 until Nov 22, 2010. He now serves as the captain of HMCS SUMMERSIDE since Nov 22, 2010. LCdr Houle brings a wealth of experience to his command and is anticipating a unique and rewarding experience in HMCS SUMMERSIDE that will challenge and grow his skills.
LCdr Houle, his wife Jennifer and son Nathan reside in Bedford, Nova Scotia. He is an avid golfer and hockey player and enjoys entertaining family and friends with his ever expanding culinary skills.