Rear Adm. Larry Watkins is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was commissioned through the University of Missouri-Columbia Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps program in December 1990 while graduating with an economics degree. He also graduated from Webster University in May 2012, where he received his Master of Business Administration degree and completed Joint Professional Military Education curriculum at Army Command & General Staff College.
Upon completion of Surface Warfare Officer School in March 1991, he was assigned to USS Reid (FFG 30), deployed in support of Operation Desert Storm. He completed a follow-on tour at Commander, Amphibious Squadron Seven where he served as assistant operations, combat systems officer. He was subsequently assigned to Naval Space Command in Dahlgren, Virginia where he served as a space support team member for deployment to Saudi Arabia to support Operation Southern Watch as Theater Ballistic Missile Defense Officer for United States Central Command in 1997-1998.
Watkins transferred to the Navy Reserve in 1998 and completed staff and operational tours at U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) Intelligence Detachment 0174, Harbor Defense Command 207 in Miami, Florida, Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare Unit 207 based in Jacksonville, Florida, Maritime Expeditionary Squadron Ten in Jacksonville, Florida, C5F Maritime Operations Center, Joint Transportation Reserve Unit at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, and C7F in Fort Worth, Texas.
Watkins’ command and mobilization assignments include Commander Navy Reserve (NR) USS Klakring (FFG 42) detachment, Commander NR U. S. Fleet Forces Maritime Operations Center, and NR. U.S. European Command J3. Mobilizations included Officer-In-Charge of Theater Field Confinement Facility in support of Operation New Dawn at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, and mobilized in support of Operations Noble Eagle & Enduring Freedom where he was a counter terrorism analyst and battle staff briefer at USSOUTHCOM. He was also assigned to Joint Force Command – Norfolk as a plank owner establishing a new North Atlantic Treaty Organization command.
Rear Adm. Watkins earned his surface warfare designation in 1992; his decorations include numerous personal, unit and campaign medals and ribbons.