Rear Adm. Leigher, a native of Appleton, Maine, was commissioned as an ensign at Officer Candidate School, Newport, R.I. in 1981. He graduated from the University of Southern Maine in 1980 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and attended the Naval War College, graduating in 1994 with a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies.
His initial assignment was aboard USS Thorn (DD 988) as a communications officer. In 1984, he reported to the Surface Warfare Officers School in Newport, R.I., as the fleet communications instructor. In 1987, he was selected for lateral transfer and subsequently designated a naval cryptologic officer. Later in 1987, Leigher was assigned to U.S. Naval Security Group Activity Hanza, Okinawa, Japan, as a division officer responsible for fleet and national signals intelligence operations. In 1990, he was assigned as the staff cryptologist for Commander, Cruiser-Destroyer Group Two in Charleston, S.C. During this tour, he completed two deployments embarked in USS America (CV 66), which included combat action during Operations Desert Storm, Desert Shield and Southern Watch. In 1992, he was assigned to the Office of Naval Intelligence Detachment, Newport, R.I., as a war-gaming specialist.
In 1995, Leigher was assigned to U.S. Naval Forces Europe in London, England, as the cryptologic operations officer. In 1998, he reported to commander, Naval Security Group Command, Fort Meade, Md., for assignment as deputy director for Information Technology and Communications, and was subsequently assigned to the Pentagon as the executive assistant to the deputy director for Cryptology. In 2002, he reported to the National Security Agency, serving as a Senior Operations Officer in the National Security Operations Center. In July 2004, he reported as the deputy director for Information Operations at Naval Network Warfare Command and subsequently served as the commanding officer Naval Information Operations Command, Norfolk, Va.
Upon his promotion to flag officer in June 2008, he was appointed as the director of Information Operations on the Staff of the Chief of Naval Operations. In December 2009, he was assigned as deputy commander for U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet. In July 2011, Leigher returned to staff of the Chief of Naval Operations in his current position as, Director of Warfare Integration for Information Dominance, and was promoted in December 2011.
Leigher wears the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (three awards), the Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three awards), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (two awards), and various unit and campaign medals.