A native of Oak Harbor, Washington, CDR Gelinas graduated from Oak Harbor High School in 1992 and enlisted as an Electronics Technician in the Naval Nuclear Power Program in February 1993. During nuclear power training he was selected for a Navy ROTC scholarship and was discharged to attend Virginia Military Institute, from which he graduated with a Bachelor's of Science in Electrical Engineering and received his commission in May 1998.
CDR Gelinas's initial sea duty assignment was as the Undersea Warfare Officer in USS STOUT (DDG 55) stationed in Norfolk, VA. Following Naval Nuclear Power Training, he served as the Reactor Laboratories Division Officer in USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65). Ashore CDR Gelinas attended Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, California. There he earned a Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering in December 2005. Following completion of Department Head training, he returned to sea as Operations Officer in USS CARR (FFG 52) in Norfolk, Virginia. During this tour, he completed a 5th Fleet Deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He then served as the Reactor Electrical Assistant in USS GEORGE H. W. BUSH (CVN 77), during which he supported initial reactor criticality and commissioning.
Following this tour, Commander Gelinas reported to OPNAV N86 as the Surface Strike/Tomahawk Requirements Officer. After a successful OPNAV tour he returned to the nuclear community to serve as Deputy OIC of the CNAL Surface Mobile Training Team in September 2012. During CDR Gelinas's most recent sea duty assignment he served as the Assistant Reactor Officer in USS HARRY S. TRUMAN (CVN 75). In August 2017, CDR Gelinas reported as the Executive Officer and Associate Professor of Naval Science at the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps Unit at The University of Arizona. CDR Gelinas's personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, along with other unit and service awards.