General Laura J. Richardson
General Laura J. Richardson is currently serving as the 32nd commander of United States Southern Command. She is a native of Northglenn, Colorado and a graduate of Metropolitan State University of Denver, Colorado. She commissioned into the U.S. Army and trained as an army aviator. She holds a Master of Science in National Resource Strategy from the National Defense University’s Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy.
Over her career, General Richardson has commanded from the Company to Theater Army level. Prior to taking command of SOUTHCOM, she served as the Commanding General of U.S. Army North (Fifth Army), which is the Army Service Component Command for U.S. Northern Command. She commanded an Assault Helicopter Battalion in combat in the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) 2003-04, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and deployed to Afghanistan as the deputy chief of staff for Communications at Headquarters International Security Assistance Force in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. She has also served in numerous staff assignments at a myriad of locations, including military aide to the Vice President at the White House in Washington, D.C., the Army’s legislative liaison to Congress at the U.S. Capitol, and at the Pentagon as an Army campaign planner.
She is married to Lieutenant General (Retired) Jim Richardson, and they have one daughter and a grandchild