Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced that Lieutenant-General Thomas J. Lawson, currently Deputy Commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), will be appointed Chief of the Defence Staff, and promoted to the rank of General. The change of command ceremony will take place in the coming weeks.
"Lieutenant-General Lawson is the right leader for the Canadian Armed Forces and will bring a clear vision and strong values to the role," said Prime Minister Harper. "His experience, team-building skills and collaborative approach will help position the Canadian Armed Forces for the future."
Following his graduation from the Royal Military College in 1979, Lieutenant-General Lawson’s distinguished career in the Royal Canadian Air Force included postings to Baden, Germany, Montgomery, Alabama, and Cold Lake, Alberta. In 1998, he was appointed Commanding Officer of 412 Squadron, and later took charge of career management for the Air Force. Promoted to Colonel in 2003, Lieutenant-General Lawson held various positions with the Air Force before joining the Canadian Forces Transformation Team in 2005 and leading the establishment of the Strategic Joint Staff. In 2006, he completed a year in command of Canadian Forces Base Trenton before being promoted to Brigadier-General in 2007 and appointed Commandant of the Royal Military College. In 2009, he was promoted to Major-General and became Assistant Chief of the Air Staff. Lieutenant-General Lawson assumed his current position as Deputy Commander of NORAD in July 2011.
The Prime Minister took the opportunity to thank General Walter J. Natynczyk for his exemplary leadership as the Chief of the Defence Staff since July 2008 and wished him all the very best in his future endeavours.