Commander Laura R. Hatcher was born in London, England and raised as a Navy family member in Europe, Central America and Southern California. A 1992 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, she received a Bachelor of Science in Political Science. Upon completion of Basic Diving and Salvage Officer School in Panama City Beach, Fla., she was designated a Navy Diving Officer in May 1993.
Cmdr. Hatcher began her Diving Officer career on board USS Salvor (ARS 52) in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, serving as the Operations and Supply Officer. As a Lieutenant, she laterally transferred to the Intelligence Community in 1997. Follow-on intelligence tours included: Joint Intelligence Center Pacific, Detachment, Yokota Air Base, Japan and United States Pacific Command (USPACOM) J2 Directorate at Camp Smith, Hawaii.
In 2002, Commander Hatcher served as the Officer-in-Charge (OIC), Reserve Intelligence Area 16N, located in Willow Grove, Penn. During this tour, she was responsible for the training and administration of 300 reservists; as a result she was presented the coveted annual Navy Intelligence Reserve Command award as the top performing OIC for 2004. Returning to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, she reported to USPACOM Joint Intelligence Operations Center in November 2004 and served in several key positions to include: Reserve Production Officer, Command Training Officer, Knowledge Manager and Chief, Current Intelligence Watch Operations Branch.
In 2008, she accepted orders as the first Ship’s Intelligence Officer for Precommission Unit George H. W. Bush (CVN 77), where she had the privilege of leading a crew of over 2500 Sailors as the ship’s commissioning officer. The ship’s namesake personally honored her with an award for her efforts. In November 2009, Cmdr. Hatcher reported to Navy Expeditionary Intelligence Command as the Executive Officer and fleeted up to Commanding Officer in June 2010.
Cmdr. Hatcher is a graduate of the United States Naval War College, Newport, R.I., and has a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies. Her awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with gold star, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal and various unit awards. She has earned designation as a Basic Diving Officer, Surface Warfare Officer and Naval Parachutist.