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Thomas J. Lawson CMM, CD
Lieutenant-General Thomas J Lawson at NORAD
Born November 2, 1957(1957-11-02) (age 64)[1]
Place of birth Etobicoke, Ontario[2]
Allegiance Canada Canada
Service/branch  Royal Canadian Air Force
Years of service 1975 – Present
Rank General
Commands held Chief of the Defence Staff
Awards Canadian Forces Decoration
Order of Military Merit (Canada)
Spouse(s) Kelly Lawson

General Thomas J. Lawson CMM CD is a Royal Canadian Air Force general and the Chief of the Defence Staff of the Canadian Armed Forces. He previously served as Deputy Commander of the North American Aerospace Defence Command.

Biography[edit | edit source]

In 1979, Lawson graduated from the Royal Military College of Canada with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering (major in Electrical Engineering).[3] In 1981, Lawson completed wings and fighter training and was posted to 421 Squadron at CFB Baden-Soellingen where he flew the CF-104 Starfighter. He returned to Royal Military College in 1985 to complete a Master of Science in Engineering (Electrical Engineering) and then served as a lecturer with the Electrical Engineering department staff.[3]

In 1988, Lawson was promoted to Major and was posted to Montgomery, Alabama to attend the United States Air Force Air Command and Staff College.[3] While posted in Alabama, he completed a Master of Public Administration at Auburn University. In 1991, he was posted to CFB Cold Lake and completed CF-18 Hornet training and returned to CFB Baden-Soellingen to fly operationally with 421 and 439 Squadrons. After the base closed, Lawson returned to CFB Cold Lake, joining 410 Squadron as a CF-18 instructor, where he was in charge of the annual Fighter Weapons Instructor Course.[3]

In 1996, Lawson was posted to National Defence Headquarters as a career manager and promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel.[3] In 1998, he was appointed Commanding Officer of 412 Squadron where he flew the CC-144 Challenger until 2000. Lawson was placed in charge of career management for Air Command and he completed the United States Air Force Air War College.[3]

In 2003, Lawson was promoted to Colonel and held various staff positions with the Air Force before joining the CF Transformation Team in 2005 and leading the stand up of the Strategic Joint Staff.[3] In 2006, Lawson was posted to CFB Trenton and completed a year in command of that base before being promoted to Brigadier-General in May 2007 and appointed Commandant of his alma-mater, the Royal Military College of Canada.[3]

In September 2009, he was promoted to Major-General and appointed Assistant Chief of the Air Staff. In July 2011, he was promoted to Lieutenant-General and on August 15, 2011, he was appointed Deputy Commander NORAD and posted to Colorado Springs.[4] On August 27, 2012 Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the appointment of Lieutenant-General Lawson as incoming Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) to replace outgoing General Walter Natynczyk.

Notes[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

Military offices
Preceded by
J P A Deschamps
Assistant Chief of the Air Staff
2009-2011
Succeeded by
J Y Blondin
Preceded by
J M Duval
Deputy Commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command
15 August 2011 - August 2012
Succeeded by
J. A. J. Parent
Preceded by
W J Natynczyk
Chief of the Defence Staff
October 2012 - present
Incumbent


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