Strategic Plans and Policy Branch Head


Captain Dermot Mulholland, CAN-N
Centre of Excellence (CJOS COE)
Norfolk, VA, USA

Captain Dermot Mulholland, RCN, joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1981 and attended Royal Roads Military College, graduating with a BA in Military and Strategic Studies in 1985. After completing his initial naval training both ashore and in surface ships, he volunteered for submarine service in 1986.

From 1986 until 1995 he served in a variety of appointments, from Navigator to Executive Officer, at sea in HMC Submarines ONONDAGA, OJIBWA and OKANAGAN as well as a two-year exchange with the Royal Navy as the Operations Officer of the submarine HMS OSIRIS. Captain Mulholland later served ashore on the Submarine Operations Staff at Maritime Command Headquarters. On completion of the Submarine Commanding Officers Course in the autumn of 1995, he served as a Senior Staff Officer in Maritime Command Headquarters before being appointed to command HMCS OKANAGAN in May 1997. It was during this command that the submarine was used to search for, and successfully find, the two ‘Black Boxes’ belonging to the ill-fated SwissAir Flt 111, which crashed in St Margarets Bay, NS, in 1998. After leaving HMCS OKANAGAN in September 1998 Captain Mulholland took up an appointment as Commander of the Submarine Training Division at the Operations School in Halifax. In September 1999, he was selected to undergo conversion training in the United Kingdom for Canada’s new submarine class, and in December 1999, he was appointed to command Canada’s third submarine of the new class – HMCS CORNER BROOK, an appointment he held until May 2002. In June 2003, Captain Mulholland graduated from the Canadian Forces Command and Staff Course in Toronto before taking up his third submarine command appointment, HMCS WINDSOR, the first VICTORIA class submarine to conduct operations. In November 2005 he was appointed to command the Pacific Fleet frigate, HMCS WINNIPEG, becoming only the fifth officer to have ever commanded both a submarine and a HALIFAX class frigate. In July 2007 he was appointed the Command Submarine Safety Officer in Maritime Staff HQ. In September 2008 he took up the additional duties of Director Maritime Policy Operations and Readiness, responsible for all strategic naval readiness and operations issues, before taking up an appointment as the N3/J3 Operations in Maritime Forces Pacific/Joint Task Force Pacific Headquarters in August 2010, where he was responsible for the conduct of numerous security operations.

In 2012 Captain Mulholland stood up, and became the first, Director Canadian Submarine Force and thereafter assumed command of Maritime Operations Group Four and Deputy Commander Canadian Fleet Pacific. The highlight of these duties was achieving operational status for our new submarine class, and commanding an international task group at sea for Exercise RIMPAC 2012.  Captain Mulholland returned to Ottawa as Director Operations Evaluations for Chief Review Services, before taking up his current appointment in 2014 as Branch Head for Strategic Plans & Policy at the Combined Joint Operations from the Sea Centre of Excellence in Norfolk, Virginia.