A former Naval flight officer, test pilot and veteran of multiple carrier deployments over 21 years of service, Doug Larratt (EMBA ’17) learned the brotherhood of service as a midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy, creating life-long bonds with friends who, like him, “bleed Navy blue and gold” (coincidentally Bruin colors as well). “There’s something about committing yourself to a higher cause and serving that cause with like-minded teammates,” he says. “The bond created is unique.”
Both of his own daughters are now UCLA Bruins, and Larratt feels he still serves by delivering high-quality systems to the young servicemen and women who defend our nation. He is one of four UCLA Anderson students receiving a 2016 John Wooden Global Leadership Fellowship on November 2.
Larratt is a program director at Orbital ATK, where he manages design, development and production of major air-launched missile systems. His current project, the Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile – Extended Range (AARGM ER) is the next generation missile for FA-18 and F-35 JSF aircraft.
Following his Naval Academy studies, Larratt served in the Navy operationally, flying the A-6E Intruder and EA-6B Prowler aircraft. He attended the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, earned master’s degrees in aerospace engineering and strategic studies, and served in many flying and leadership positions while logging 2,260 total flight hours in 26 different aircraft and 501 carrier landings.
Larratt was sent on long deployments for many months at a time, while his wife, Bernadette, took care of their young daughters. “I am forever grateful. We moved eight times in 15 years of service.” He recalls flying through post-Gulf War oil fires in Kuwait, helping evacuate refugees from a volcano eruption in the Philippines, and celebrating Y2K on a carrier in the middle of the North Arabian Gulf. In 2007, he retired from the military and began working for Orbital ATK.
Now an empty nester above the average age of most UCLA Anderson students, Larratt says he is “inspired and refreshed” by working with his Executive MBA classmates. “You can never stop learning,” he says. “I didn’t come to make a career transition or jump. It’s an opportunity to continue to grow.”
Along with his wife, Larratt is an officer in the UCLA Parents’ Council, a university-sponsored organization that supports Bruin students through volunteerism and mentoring, and serves as a communications interface to the UCLA Parent population. He says being a father taught him leadership lessons: “When I first had children, I learned things can be gray,” he says. “Children don’t listen to orders and they don’t care about your rank. As a leader you have to commit to something greater than yourself. You use that to inspire the team.” He says this works in military and commercial contexts, as well as in parenting.
“What drew me to Coach Wooden,” Larratt says, “was his commitment to the mission. His teams were inspired and bonded by knowing they were committed to something greater than themselves.”
The 2016 John Wooden Global Leadership Award honors W. James McNerney, Jr., retired chairman, CEO and president of the Boeing Company. The event will be held on Wednesday, November 2, at the California Science Center, starting at 6:00 p.m. Business attire is required. For event and ticket information, contact email@example.com. Proceeds from the event fund fellowships for four UCLA Anderson students who are being awarded John Wooden Global Leadership Fellowships.