CSM (RET) Joseph LaPlante Jr. was born in Worcester, Massachusetts. He completed Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and Fort Sill, Oklahoma, from January 1977 to September 1977. He served as a Fire Support Specialist, Armorer, and Career Counselor for B Battery, 1st Battalion, 29th FA from 1978 to 1980 at Fort Carson, Colorado.
In October 1981, he completed the Army Recruiter Course and was assigned as a Field Recruiter to the New Bedford, Massachusetts, Boston Recruiting Battalion. In April 1984, he was the Station Commander of the Fall River Recruiting Station, Fall River, Massachusetts. He became Company Trainer in September 1985 for the Wareham Recruiting Company in Wareham, Massachusetts, and in August 1986 was assigned as Station Commander of the Brockton Recruiting Station, Brockton, Massachusetts. In August 1987, he became a Guidance Counselor at the Boston Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) before moving into the Senior Operations NCO position at the Boston Recruiting Battalion in December 1989.
In August 1990, he transferred to the San Francisco Recruiting Battalion as the First Sergeant of the Santa Rosa Recruiting Company, Santa Rosa, California. In May 1993, he became Senior Guidance Counselor at the Oakland, California, MEPS. In May 1995, he became First Sergeant of the Gilroy Recruiting Company, Gilroy, California. In December 1995, he became Acting Sergeant Major of the Sacramento Recruiting Battalion, Sacramento, California. In June 1996, he became First Sergeant for the North Bay Recruiting Company, Sacramento Recruiting Battalion. In March 1997, he transferred to the 6th Recruiting Brigade, Fort Baker, California, as Brigade Master Trainer for nine recruiting battalions.
He was selected to attend the US Army Sergeant Major Academy, Class 51, at Fort Bliss, Texas, in July 2000. On June 25, 2001, he assumed the position of Command Sergeant Major of the New England Recruiting Battalion. In January 2004, CSM LaPlante assumed the position of the 6th Recruiting Brigade Command Sergeant Major. Following his retirement CSM came to the USM Army ROTC to work as it's NCOIC, and recruiting NCO.
His awards and decorations include the Gold Recruiter Badge with three Star Sapphires, the Recruiter Ring, Glenn E. Morrell Award, Career Counselor Badge, Army Achievement Medal 3rd Award, Army Commendation Medal 3rd Award, the Army Meritorious Service Medal 7th Award, Legion of Merit 2nd Award, National Defense Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development with Numeral #4, Army Service Medal, Army Good Conduct 8th Award, and the Army Superior Unit Citation 2nd Award.
CSM LaPlante is married to Patricia LaPlante, and they have two daughters, Crystal and Heather.