Commodore Craig Skjerpen joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1988 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. After completing his initial naval training, Commodore Skjerpen was posted to HMCS ALGONQUIN where he received his Bridge Watch Keeping Certificate in 1992. He completed the Destroyer Navigating Officer course and was employed as the Navigation Officer in HMC Ships MIRAMICHI and ANNAPOLIS from 1994 to 1996.
After completing the Operations Room Officer course in 1999, he was posted to HMCS WINNIPEG as the Weapons Officer and Combat Officer. As Combat Officer, he deployed with the USS CONSTELLATION Battle Group in support of OP AUGMENTATION in the Arabian Gulf. As Executive Officer in HMCS IROQUOIS 2005-2007, he deployed for OP SIRIUS and OP SEXTANT/ OP ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR while IROQUOIS was the Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 Flagship. As Commanding Officer of HMCS CHARLOTTETOWN, 2009 to 2011, he participated in OP UNIFIED PROTECTOR, the NATO operation in Libya. HMCS CHARLOTTETOWN received a CDS Unit Commendation, due to the work conducted by the ship’s company during the Operation.
Commodore Skjerpen's staff appointments include VENTURE, the Naval Officer Training Centre, Canadian Fleet Pacific Headquarters, and the Maritime Staff Headquarters. He was the Director of Programmes at Canadian Forces College and later worked in Operations in Canadian Joint Operations Command as J3.
Commodore Skjerpen received his Bachelor's degree in Maritime Studies from Memorial University of Newfoundland. He is a graduate of the Joint Command and Staff College in the United Kingdom and holds a Master's degree in Defence Studies from King's College of London. He is also a graduate of the Canadian Forces College National Securities Programme.
He served as the Commander of Maritime Operations Group Five and Commander Sea Training Group from 2014-2017. Commodore Skjerpen was appointed as the Commander of the Canadian Fleet Atlantic on 18 July 2017.