Colonel Laratta was born in Denver, Colorado. He is a former 0811 field artillery cannoneer and drilled with ‘P’ Battery, Aurora, Colorado as a member of the Marine Corps Reserve. He graduated Officer Candidate School in 1995 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1996. After graduating law school in 1999 and being admitted to the District of Columbia Bar, Colonel Laratta completed his training at The Basic School, Quantico, Virginia and Naval Justice School, New Port, Rhode Island in 2001.
From July 2001 until May 2006, Colonel Laratta served at Camp Lejeune as a Legal Assistance Attorney, Defense Counsel, and as the Officer-in-Charge, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney where he prosecuted federal felony offenses in U.S. District Court within the Eastern District of North Carolina. He deployed in 2003 to Kuwait in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and served as a Defense Counsel and Legal Assistance Attorney for the 4000 Marines and Sailors at Camp Fox.
From May 2006 until May 2009, Colonel Laratta served in Okinawa, Japan in the billets of Installation Law Officer, Marine Corps Bases Japan, Battalion Executive Officer, Headquarters and Service Battalion, MCB Butler, and as the Military Justice Officer/Senior Trial Counsel, 3d Marine Logistics Group. He then attended Portuguese language instruction from June to December 2009 at the Defense Language Institute (DLI), Washington, D.C with follow-on assignment as an ILS student at the Brazilian Naval War College (Escola de Guerra Naval), Rio de Janeiro from February 2010 until December 2010.
From February 2011 until July 2015, Colonel Laratta served at Camp Pendleton, California in the billets of Officer-in-Charge, Legal Team Echo, Staff Judge Advocate and Deputy Staff Judge Advocate, 1st Marine Division, and the Regimental Judge Advocate, Regimental Combat Team-7 while deployed in 2013 to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).
From July 2015 until May 2017, he then served as the Section Head, Operational Law and Authorities Section, Deployable Training Division, Joint Staff Directorate (J-7) in Suffolk, Virginia where he assisted and advised Combatant Command and JTF staffs. While with the J-7, he graduated from the Joint Forces Staff College (JPME II) in Norfolk, Virginia.
From May 2017 until the present time, Colonel Laratta has served at Headquarters Marine Corps, Judge Advocate Division, as the Officer-in-Charge of the Victims’ Legal Counsel Organization (VLCO), an organization comprising 23 attorneys and 9 civilian paralegals dedicated to representing victims of sexual assault and violent crime throughout the military justice process.
Colonel Laratta graduated from Colorado State University (Bachelor of Arts, Political Science/German Language Studies), the University of Denver, College of Law (Juris Doctorate), the Brazilian Naval War College (Master of Naval Science), and the Federal University of Brazil, Rio de Janeiro (Master in Business Administration-Executive). He is married and has two children in college. His personal decorations include the Joint Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (in lieu of third award), the Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and the Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal.