Professor LaBranche joined the faculty in 2013 and in 2014 became director of MAWS. He served as chairman of JMO from 2015 to 2016 and chairman of WGD from 2016 to 2021. His operational tours include commander, Carrier Air Wing 17 flying the F/A-18 C/E/F/G variants on CVN-70; commanding officer, Fighter Squadron 31 flying F-14Ds on CVN-71 and CVN-74; assigned to Fighter Squadron 11 flying F-14Ds on CVN-70 and F-14Bs on CVN 74; assigned to VA-196 flying the A-6Es on CVN-70; and assigned to VA-85 flying A-6Es on CV-66. He has nine operational deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, over 5,000 tactical flight hours and over 1,400 arrested landings. He was an instructor pilot and JSO qualified.