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'I'm very honoured:' Change of command at HMCS Hunter in Windsor

Outgoing Commanding Officer Richard Hillier, Captain Geoffrey Hamilton and incoming Commanding Officer Chris Elliott are seen at a swearing-in ceremony for Elliott on June 1, 2024. (Chris Campbell/CTV News Windsor) Outgoing Commanding Officer Richard Hillier, Captain Geoffrey Hamilton and incoming Commanding Officer Chris Elliott are seen at a swearing-in ceremony for Elliott on June 1, 2024. (Chris Campbell/CTV News Windsor)
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HMCS Hunter in Windsor has a new Commanding Officer.

Commander (Cdr) Chris Elliott has served in the Royal Canadian Navy for 15 years and was promoted from Lieutenant Commander (LCdr) during a ceremonial passing of the torch Saturday.

“I'm very honoured to take the role of Commanding Officer at HMCS Hunter and as a local Windsorite,” Elliott said.

“It's been a little while since we've had somebody local to take over as Commanding Officer, so duly honoured for the city, and I understand having the relationships here, that we're going to be able to accomplish quite a bit while I have my tour of command.”

The 34-year-old was born and raised in Windsor, Ontario, and joined the Navy at HMCS Hunter in 2009.

He attended the University of Windsor for a Bachelor of Human Kinetics and Bachelor of Education and earned a Master of Education from Queen's University and a Master of Business Administration with the University of Fredericton.

Elliott hopes his Windsor roots will help establish new recruits and create more opportunities for youth to join the Royal Canadian Navy.

“Most certainly trying to build those relationships in the community,” Elliott explained.

“Understand that we have a lot to offer young Canadians in our community, and building those relationships so that we can get them cooperative education credits, work integrated learning experiences, and allow them to have a part-time job and get some adventure, travel the country, and see the world with the Navy.”

HMCS Hunter is a Canadian Forces Naval Reserve Division in Windsor, Ont. (Michelle Maluske/CTV News Windsor)During his time in the Navy, Elliott worked as a secondary school teacher for the public school board and on the Gordie Howe bridge project in construction safety and security.

Cdr. Elliott began his military service as a Marine Engineer Systems Operator, sailing on the East and West coasts.

In 2014, he completed the primary leadership qualification and was promoted to Master Seaman the following year. Cdr. Elliott commissioned in 2015 as an Intelligence Officer.

Throughout his tenure at HMCS Hunter, Cdr. Elliott was part of the initial RTR development team, helped launch a Co-operative Education program, and established strong working relationships in the local-international community through Exercise Border Sentinel.

Elliott has also instructed courses, worked at the Maritime Security Operations Center (West), and deployed on Operation Lentus and Operation Laser. He was appointed as Executive Officer of HMCS Hunter from 2020-2023.

In 2022, LCdr. Elliott joined the national Strategic Outreach Team to help build programs and partnerships between community stakeholders and the Navy across the country.

“When I think about recruitment with the Navy, particularly as a Naval Reserve, which we are down here, it's an opportunity for young people to really get a chance to wear the uniform, serve their country while also getting quite a bit of benefit for them to develop personally and professionally, which hopefully gives them an opportunity to be an active leader in this community,” Elliott said.

In his free time, Cdr. Elliott enjoys volunteering in the local community, acting as a Volunteer Presiding Official for Citizenship Ceremonies, and founding a charity to support programs for individuals with special needs, earning the Sovereign's Medal for Volunteers in 2018.

“It's all really driven by my willingness to support and volunteer in my community, build those relationships which has allowed me to kind of develop into the person that they'll trust with this position as Commanding Officer of HMCS Hunter," he said.

Elliott replaced outgoing Commanding Officer Richard Hillier.

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