Richard A. LaBranche

Chair Wargaming Department
Capt., U.S. Navy, Retired
Richard A LaBranche Profile Image


Chairman LaBranche, WGD, joined the faculty in Jul 2013, was assigned as Director of MAWS in Apr 2014, and served as Chairman of JMO from Jan 2015-Aug 2016. Operational tours: Commander, Carrier Air Wing 17, flying the F/A-18 C/E/F/G variants on the CVN-70. Commanding Officer of Fighter Squadron 31, flying F-14Ds on CVN-71 and CVN-74; Fighter Squadron 11, Flying F-14Ds on CVN-70 and F-14Bs onboard CVN 74; Attack Squadron 196, flying the A-6Es on CVN-70; and Attack Squadron 85, flying A-6Es on the CV-66. Prof LaBranche has 9 operational deployments to the Iraq/Afghanistan; has nearly 5,000 tactical flight hours and over 1,400 arrested landings; was an Instructor Pilot and is JSO Qualified.

Areas of Expertise

  • A2/AD
  • Air Warfare
  • Command and Control
  • Homeland Security
  • Joint Operations
  • JPME
  • Leadership
  • Military Planning
  • Operational Warfare
  • Wargaming

Professional Highlights


Chairman, War Gaming Department

As Chairman of the War Gaming Department, guides 100+ civilian and military professors, and staff of diverse backgrounds and qualifications in the study of Maritime Warfare, through applied gaming, research, analysis, and education to prepare future maritime leaders, and help shape the future Navy.

Chairman, Joint Military Operations Department (JMO)

Responsible for leading, directing and managing JMO’s 50+ professors, staff members and 570+ annual U.S. and International Students, in all matters pertaining to the implementation of the JMO curricula at the U.S. Naval War College.

Director, Maritime Advanced Warfighting School (MAWS)

Responsible for leading, directing and managing professors, staff and students, in all matters pertaining to the MAWS curriculum. MAWS is the Navy’s sole source school which develops operational planners with the skills required to assess, plan, and execute combined, joint, and naval operations.

Commander, Carrier Air Wing SEVENTEEN (CVW-17)

Commanded ten geographically dispersed carrier-based squadrons, 2,000+ personnel, over $5.6 Billion in aircraft and support assets, and an annual operating budget of $377.4 Million. Responsible for all carrier strike group offensive air combat operations, the safety of all personnel and equipment.

Deputy Chairman, War Game Department, Naval War College

Responsible for leading and directing military and civilian professors and faculty in rigorous research and analysis to help define future Navy structure, concepts and policies. Developed advanced strategic and operational concepts for future employment of maritime, Joint and Multi-National Forces.


Commander’s representative to ensure the safe and rapid execution of life and property saving operations. Identified capabilities in anticipation of challenges in support to civil authorities or operations to deter, prevent, and defeat threats of aggression aimed at the U.S. and its territories.

Commanding Officer, Fighter Squadron THIRTY-ONE

Directed all aspects of combat operations and readiness including: training, morale, safety, quality control, inventory and budget for 300+ personnel and $900M in aircraft and assets in the Navy’s last F-14 Tomcat Squadron.


Ph.D., Touro University, (Anticipated 2018), (ABD) Business Administration

M.A., Naval War College, 2002, National Security and Strategic Studies

M.S., Boston University, 1990, Business Administration

B.S., Southern Illinois University, 1985, Aviation Management

Material and external links contained herein are made available for the purpose of peer review and discussion and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Naval War College, Department of the Navy or the Department of Defense.