Lieutenant Colonel Laratta was born in Denver, Colorado. He graduated Marine Corps Recruit Training, San Diego, Marine Combat Training, and the Basic Cannon Crewmembers’ Course, Fort Sill, Oklahoma in 1994. He drilled as an 0811 with ‘P’ Battery, Aurora, Colorado as a member of the Marine Corps Reserve. He graduated Officer Candidates School in 1995 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1996. After graduating law school, Lieutenant Colonel Laratta completed his training at The Basic School and Naval Justice School, New Port, Rhode Island in 2001.
From July 2001 until May 2006, Lieutenant 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.
Lieutenant Colonel Laratta then served in Okinawa, Japan from May 2006 until May 2009 in the billets of Installation Law Officer, Marine Corps Bases Japan, Battalion Executive Officer, Headquarters and Service Battalion, MCB Butler, and 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.
After returning from Brazil, Lieutenant Colonel Laratta served at Camp Pendleton, California from February 2011 until July 2015 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). He then served as the Section Head, Operational Law and Authorities Section, Deployable Training Division, Joint Staff Directorate (J-7) in Suffolk, Virginia. While with the J-7, he graduated from the Joint Forces Staff College (JPME II) in Norfolk, Virginia. He currently serves at Headquarters Marine Corps, Judge Advocate Division, as the Officer-in-Charge of the Victims’ Legal Counsel Organization.
Lieutenant Colonel Laratta graduated from Colorado State University in 1996 with a bachelor of arts (B.A.) in political science and German language studies, and the University of Denver, College of Law in 1999 with a Juris Doctorate (J.D.) degree. Additionally, he earned a Master of Naval Science from the Brazilian Naval War College and a Master in Business Administration (executive) from the Federal University of Brazil, Rio de Janeiro in 2010. He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar. He is married and has two college-aged children. 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.