Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Laura Skinner serves as the Professor of Military Science for the University of Southern California Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (AROTC) program. She began her military career in 1995 after being commissioned as a second lieutenant through the AROTC program at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. LTC Skinner is a chemical officer by trade and her military education includes the Chemical Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, Combined Arms Service and Staff School, and Command and General Staff College. LTC Skinner’s civilian education includes studies in pre-medicine with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology as well as a graduate degree as a Master of Business Administration.
LTC Skinner served at numerous duty locations in both command and staff positions throughout her military career. Her first duty location was Fort Polk, Louisiana, where she served as decontamination platoon leader for the 87th Chemical Company and then as a reconnaissance platoon leader for the 51st Chemical Company. After three years at Fort Polk, she travelled to the Republic of Korea and served as the company executive officer for the 62nd Chemical Company. Upon promotion to captain, she was assigned to the 10st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Kentucky where she had the opportunity to serve as a brigade chemical officer, a company commander, and the deputy chief of protocol. Prior to culminating her first tour on active duty in 2005, she served as an Assistant Professor of Military Science at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. Returning to active duty in 2008, LTC Skinner was assigned to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri where she served as chief plans officer, CBRNE cell chief, battalion executive officer, and as the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence G-35. During her assignment at Fort Leonard Wood, she also deployed in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM as an executive officer for the Deputy Commander, Regional Support Command, Kabul, Afghanistan. After one year at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas attending CGSG, LTC Skinner accepted a nominative position with the Department of the Army Inspector General, Washington, DC, where she served as an inspector general and then as executive officer for the Principal Director to The Inspector General. Her most recent assignment prior to becoming the Professor of Military Science was serving as an Interagency Fellow in the Office of Policy for the Department of Homeland Security.
Her military awards and decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (two oak leaf clusters), the Army Service Commendation Medal (six oak leaf clusters), the Joint Service Achievement Medal, the Army Achievement Medal (one oak leaf cluster), the National Defense Service Medal (second Award), the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Medal, the Korea Defense Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the NATO Medal, the Air Assault Badge, and the Army Staff Identification Badge. She is also the recipient of the coveted Chemical Corps Honorable Order of the Dragon Medallion.
Her civilian experience includes Military Recruiter, Lucas Group, Honolulu, HI; High School Science Teacher, Radford High School, Honolulu, HI; Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor, Carlisle, PA; and, Co-Owner, Anytime Fitness, Waynesville, MO. Serving as a military spouse from 2005-2008, her volunteer efforts earned her the Commander’s Award for Public Service. She continues to volunteer within her community and advocate on behalf of children with special needs.
Lieutenant Colonel Skinner resides in Rancho Palos Verdes, California with her husband Colonel (Retired) Anthony R. Skinner and their two children, Jackson (16 years old) and Riley (14 years old).