Dr. Bouchard retired from the Navy in 2003 as a Captain after 27 years on active duty. He commanded the destroyer USS Oldendorf and Naval Station Norfolk, the world’s largest naval base.
Dr. Bouchard was a specialist in strategic and operational planning, including assignments as Branch Head, Strategy and Concepts Branch, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations; Deputy Senior Director for Defense Policy and Arms Control, National Security Council, The White House; and Deputy Director, Navy Operations Group (Deep Blue), which was responsible for planning the Navy’s role in the war on terror. At the National Security Council, he was principal author of the National Security Strategy, 1997-1999. He received numerous personal decorations, including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the highest non-combat award in the US military.
When serving as a National Security Council White House official, Bouchard strongly opposed gays serving in the military, particularly on submarines. In a handwritten addendum to a National Security Council memorandum, document released by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Bouchard wrote about Petty Officer Keith Meinhold, "Morale and cohesion of whatever sub he is put on will be destroyed. Navy must decide which crew it will sacrifice. Hopefully Navy can find a sub being decommissioned to put him on so an operational unit will not be ruined."
Dr. Bouchard is widely recognized as an expert on national defense and homeland security, and has received several awards for his leadership in port security, including the Secretary of Defense 2002 Annual Antiterrorism Award, Secretary of Transportation 2002 Partnering for Excellence Award, Virginia Port Authority Medal of Excellence, and the Virginia Maritime Association Port Champion Award.
Dr. Bouchard graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval Academy, where he majored in International Security Affairs and studied Chinese and Japanese. He earned a Master of Arts degree in National Security Affairs from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School and a Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science (international relations and strategic studies) from Stanford University. Dr. Bouchard is the author of Command in Crisis and numerous articles on defense, naval and homeland security matters, and has won multiple awards for his naval history writings.
Dr. Bouchard is heavily involved in state, regional and local activities in the areas of national security and economic development. He serves on the Commonwealth Security Panel, which advises the governor on homeland security and emergency preparedness, on the Board of Directors of the Hampton Roads Military and Federal Facilities Alliance. Dr. Bouchard Chairs the Hampton Roads Partnership’s Innovation Task Force, whose mission is to promote technology-based economic development in Hampton Roads, a component of implementing Vision Hampton Roads – the region’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Virginia Maritime Association and is a member of the Advisory Committee for the Maritime Institute at Old Dominion University.
Dr. Bouchard also is recognized as an expert on the economic and national security aspects of environmental and climate change policy. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Green Jobs Alliance. He served on the Virginia Beach Alternative Energy Task Force, 2009–2010, and in 2008 served on the Governor’s Commission on Climate Change and chaired its Adaptation Working Group.
In 2007 Dr. Bouchard was the Democratic nominee to replace Leo Wardrup, the retiring House Transportation Committee chair and former chair of the House Republican Caucus. The Republicans, caught in a spat between party factions fighting over state spending and the level of cooperation with Democratic Governor Tim Kaine, chose Chris Stolle, brother of state Senator Ken Stolle, over Carolyn Weems, a Virginia Beach school board member and Wardrup protege. Bouchard defeated Stolle in the November general election.
While representing Virginia Beach in the Virginia House of Delegates in 2008-2009, Dr. Bouchard served on the Finance Committee, Science and Technology Committee, and the Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee. He was the only member of the General Assembly who had commanded a military base in Virginia.
He was defeated for reelection on November 3, 2009 by Republican Chris Stolle.