DR. HOWARD G. COOMBS retired from full-time duty with the Canadian Armed Forces in 2003 and transferred to the Canadian Army Reserve, where he continues to serve on a part-time basis. He is currently assigned to the staff of the Chief of Reserves, in Ottawa, as a Special Projects Officer, in the rank of Colonel. From 1976-1979 Coombs was member of 2415 Gonzaga Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Since enrolling in the CAF in 1979, Coombs has had the privilege of command from platoon to brigade, as well as held a variety of staff and training positions. His command experience includes service with the 1st and 2nd Battalions, The Royal Canadian Regiment, 3 Commando, Canadian Airborne Regiment, Princess of Wales’ Own Regiment, and 33 Canadian Brigade Group. His current regimental affiliation is the PWOR. He is a graduate of the Canadian Forces Staff School, Canadian Land Force Command and Staff College, United States Army Command and General Staff College, and the US Army School of Advanced Military Studies, which awarded his Master's degree. Coombs received his PhD in military history from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario and is currently an Assistant Professor of the Royal Military College of Canada.
Coombs has operational deployments to the former Yugoslavia and Afghanistan as a military officer on regular and reserve duty. In addition, he deployed with Joint Task Force Afghanistan from September 2010 to July 2011 as a civilian advisor to the Task Force Commander. He has been awarded both the Canadian Forces Medallion for Distinguished Service and the Order of Military Merit. His research interests are Canadian professional military education, in addition to Canadian military operations and training since 1946.