He was born in Chicago Ill., September 12, 1939, to Oscar and Elizabeth Laubecher. At age 8, his parents moved to Crown Point, Ind., where he spent his formative years. He graduated from Crown Point High School in 1957, and then attended St. John' s Jr. College, where he earned an associates degree, and then Central Missouri State University, where he was awarded a bachelor' s degree in Business Administration. Two months after graduation, he was drafted into the U.S. Army, and assigned to the Infantry. He was selected to attend Infantry Officers Candidate School at Ft. Benning, Ga., and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant, Infantry in 1965. He was assigned to command a Basic Training Company at Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo. From July of 1967 to July of 1968, he served in Vietnam as an advisor to an ARVN Infantry Battalion, which was part of the ARVN 25th Infantry Division. After completing the Infantry Officers Advance Course, at Benning, he returned to Vietnam from July of 1969 to July of 1970, serving with the U.S. 25th Infantry Divisions 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment (mechanized), as its B Company commander, and its operations officer.
After serving his country for 23 years, he retired from the Army in October of 1986, at MacDill Air Force Base. His military awards include, The Silver Star; Legion of Merit; four awards of the Bronze Star, two of which were for heroism; four Meritorious Service Medals; five Air Medals; a Joint Service Commendation Medal; an Army Commendation Medal; a Good Conduct Medal; plus many Vietnam medals awarded for his service there. In 1985, the Tampa Chamber of Commerce selected Lt. Col. Laubecher as Military Citizen of the Year for his service and involvement in the Hillsborough community, and Mayor Bob Martinez declared June 6, as Lt. Col. Ralph Laubecher day in the city of Tampa. After his retirement from the Army, he went to work for a civilian company that provided war gaming support for the military. He was one of the first site managers to provide Battle Simulation Training for the Army at III Corps at Ft. Hood Texas, and at XVIII Corps at Ft. Bragg N.C., and then in Europe. He became project manager for the U.S. Army Reserve Component' s five Battle Simulation Centers in the U.S. He, and the leaders he helped train, have stated that the simulation training provided to our soldiers, their commanders and staff, have saved countless lives in our Iraq and Afghanistan battlefields. Upon retirement, he became active in the 5th Infantry Regiment Association, serving as its vice president, and then as the president of the association, and then as a member of its board of directors. He loved his soldiers, being a soldier, and loved his country. He had stated that the highest honor his country could ever bestow upon him was to allow him to lead their sons in combat. He kept in contact with many of his comrades over the years, and enjoyed seeing them at 5th Infantry Regiment' s reunions. He tried to live by the creed of "duty, honor, country," and had deep love and conviction for his God, his family and his friends.