LCDR Charles M. St. Laurent enlisted in the Naval Reserve in 1956 before entering the US Naval Academy. He received his commission upon graduation with a BS degree in 1961.
His first duty station was aboard the USS Fletcher DD445. He also served aboard the USS O'brien DD725 and as a member of COMCRUDESFLOT 3 staff.
He was the commanding officer of the USS Chaokia ATA186 from 1966 to 1967. He attended Destroyer School and earned an MS degree in oceanography in 1970 at the US Naval Post Graduate School, Monterey, CA.
He reported aboard the USS Richard B. Anderson in July 1973 as the Executive Officer. He became Commanding Officer in 1975.