Peter Laver joined the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) as a Midshipman in 1979. He completed specialist training as a Seaman Officer and Aviation Warfare Officer in the early part of his career, serving in HMAS ADELAIDE as an officer of the watch and in 817 Squadron, flying Sea King helicopters. He qualified as a Principal Warfare Officer in 1988 and served in HMAS SYDNEY as the ship's Anti - Submarine Warfare Officer until 1990.
Following Seahawk conversion in 1990, he served in HMAS CANBERRA ship's flight, during which posting he was engaged in the operational evaluation of the Seahawk helicopter and UN Sanction enforcement operations against Iraq. He subsequently served in 816 Squadron, performing instructional and operations planning duties. He was appointed as Executive Officer in HMAS CANBERRA in 1998, following an appointment to Maritime Command for duties with Sea Training Group and operational planning staff.
Peter Laver was promoted to Commander in 1999 and appointed to a Joint staff position in the ADF Airworthiness Authority. During this period he led the development of operational airworthiness regulations for the ADF and managed the implementation of an ADF approach to risk management for aviation operations.
Peter Laver assumed command of HMAS TOBRUK in 2002, deploying for border protection duties and undertaking the withdrawal of the ADF peacekeeping force from Bougainville at the conclusion of its mission. Thereafter, as Commander Sea Training in 2004, he supervised the preparation of naval forces deploying to operations in the Gulf, while overseeing a review of Naval readiness evaluation processes.
He was promoted to Captain in December 2004 and assumed duties as Director Sailor's Career Management, during which appointment he was responsible for the implementation of several key initiatives comprising Navy's Sea Change personnel strategy. Appointed to Command again in 2006, he served as Commander Amphibious Task Group until 2008. Following a posting as Chief of Staff to CDF, he was promoted to Commodore rank in 2010, serving initially as Commander Fleet Air Arm, then Director General Navy People, and from December 2014 as Chief of Staff Navy Strategic Command. He was promoted to Rear Admiral rank in 2015 and appointed as Commander Maritime Border Command in 2016.
Peter Laver is a graduate of the University of New South Wales, gaining a Bachelor's Degree in Science in 1981. He studied international relations at the Royal College of Defence Studies in London, United Kingdom in 2009. An avid snow skier, Peter is the President of the RAN Ski Club; an independent club with strong links to the RAN. He is also appointed as the Chair of the RAN Keeping Watch Grants Committee.
He and his wife Suzanne, who is a teacher, have a daughter and live in Canberra. As well as skiing, his interests are sailing, swimming, rugby, golf and travel.