Canada’s New Top General at his First Public Speech in Western Canada
Calgary Roundtable Event
General Thomas J. Lawson graduated from the Royal Military College (RMC) of Canada with an Electrical Engineering Degree in 1979. Upon completion of his flight training in 1981, he was posted to 421 Squadron in Baden, Germany, where he flew the CF-104 Starfighter. Following this four-year tour, in 1985, he completed a Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering through RMC, and then went on to serve as a professor at the College.
Promoted to Major in 1988, General Lawson was posted to Montgomery, Alabama, to attend the United States Air Force (USAF) Staff College. During that time, he also completed a Master's Degree in Public Administration at Auburn University. Posted to Cold Lake, Alberta, in 1991, General Lawson completed CF-18 Hornet training and then returned to Germany for a second operational tour, this time with 421 and 439 Squadrons. With the closure of Canadian Forces Base Baden, he was posted back to Cold Lake where he was assigned to 410 Squadron to serve as the Officer in Charge of the Fighter Weapons Instructor School.
In 1996, General Lawson was posted to Ottawa as a career manager and soon after promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel. Then in 1998, while still serving in Ottawa, he was appointed Commanding Officer of 412 Squadron. Upon completion of that assignment in 2000, he was placed in charge of career management for the Air Force, at which time he also completed the USAF Air War College Program. Promoted to Colonel in 2003, General Lawson held various staff positions within the Air Force before joining the CF Transformation Team in 2005 where he led the stand-up of the Strategic Joint Staff organization. Posted to 8 Wing Trenton in 2006, he completed a year as the Wing Commander before being promoted to Brigadier-General. In May of 2007 he was appointed Commandant of the Royal Military College inKingston.
In 2009, General Lawson was promoted to Major-General and appointed Assistant Chief of the Air Staff. In July 2011, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-General and posted to Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, where he assumed responsibility as the Deputy Commander North American Aerospace Defence Command.
General Lawson was promoted to his current rank and was formally appointed as the Canadian Forces’ Chief of the Defence Staff on October 29, 2012.
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