Thomas J. Lawson
|Thomas J. Lawson CMM, CD|
General Thomas J Lawson, CDS, May 13 2013
|Born|| November 2, 1957 
|Service/branch||Royal Canadian Air Force|
|Years of service||1975 – present|
|Commands held||Chief of the Defence Staff|
|Awards||Commander of the Order of Military Merit
Canadian Forces Decoration
Legion of Merit (U.S.)
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.
In 1979, Lawson graduated from the Royal Military College of Canada with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering (major in Electrical Engineering). 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.
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. 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.
In 1996, Lawson was posted to National Defence Headquarters as a career manager and promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel. 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.
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. 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.
In September 2009, he was promoted to Major-General and appointed Assistant Chief of the Air Staff. In this role he said that the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II's stealth could help defend Canadian sovereignty as Russian bombers would be faced with an "undetectable threshold".
- How old is Canada's new top general? He's 54 CBC News 30 August 2012
- Canada’s top general talks future of the Canadian Forces
- NORAD – Biography – T. J. Lawson, CMM, CD CANADIAN FORCES
- Duggan, Evan. "New stealth fighter project highlights Russia, China as future threats." embassymag.ca, 28 July 2010.
- Change of Office ceremony for NORAD Deputy Commander
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J P A Deschamps
|Assistant Chief of the Air Staff
J Y Blondin
J M Duval
|Deputy Commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command
15 August 2011 – August 2012
J. A. J. Parent
W J Natynczyk
|Chief of the Defence Staff
October 2012 – present