By Ms. Dottie K. White (USASMDC/ARSTRAT)July 10, 2017
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Col. Tim C. Lawson, deputy commanding general for operations, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, was promoted to the rank of brigadier general in an official ceremony at the Peterson Air Force Base Club July 7.
Lt. Gen. James H. Dickinson, commanding general, USASMDC/ARSTRAT, and officiating officer for the ceremony, shared his thoughts on promotions.
"Promotion ceremonies are about recognizing the potential of the leader," Dickinson said. "The Army National Guard, as well as the active component, have recognized the potential of Tim Lawson. They have recognized the potential that he has much more to offer the Army in this position. We're going to promote him to brigadier general, and that is a major step in anybody's career."
Dickinson explained that there's no secret recipe to being a general officer.
"You just do the best you can with what you're given. And if you're a good leader, people will recognize that and things will happen. That's what we're talking about with Tim Lawson. He did remarkably well, and I think he did everything that he was asked to do. He's taken all the hard jobs.
"Today we're going to put stars on his shoulders, because he has done the hard work," said Dickinson. "He's had hard deployments. He's balanced that. He's taken care of Soldiers. We would not have this large crowd today if he didn't take care of Soldiers.
Dickinson said he was honored for the opportunity to promote such a special leader.
Following Dickinson's remarks, Lawson's wife, Connie, pinned on his new rank. Lawson then took the oath of office administered by Dickinson. He also received the general officer ensemble of cap, belt and pistol followed by the uncasing of the one-star flag.
Lawson, a Winchester, Illinois, native, then addressed the crowd gathered.
"I want to thank you all for coming here today and sharing this with my family and myself. I can't think of a greater privilege than to serve this country and to have the opportunity to lead the people that I've had to lead through my career. I get to wear this uniform on a daily basis, and there's no greater privilege."
Addressing Dickinson, Lawson said, "Sir, thanks a lot for your comments and even more so for your confidence in putting me in this position. I know you could have gone other ways and done other things, but you took me. That means a lot. It's now up to me to make sure that's one of the best decisions you've ever made, and I am going to do that."
He also thanked his wife and their two daughters for their love and support.
Lawson, the youngest of five brothers, said he could not have made it this far in his career without a good foundation -- his family.
"I grew up on a small farm in the heartland of Illinois -- Scott County. I had the great fortune to have some really great parents teaching me, educating me, and raising me along the way. My parents taught me right from wrong. They taught me the value a good and hard day's work, humility, pride, integrity, honesty, faith, and how to love. That mirrors the Army values that we live in as Soldiers. I don't think anyone would ever argue that those are some really important attributes to a great person and also a great leader, and they instilled that in me. There will always be a special place in my heart for that patch of land in Illinois and the good times I had growing up there."
Lawson explained two reasons for wanting to be a general. First he wants his family to be proud of him. And second, he said it is more satisfying to give back than to get.
"This promotion provides me the opportunity to continue to give and serve. Hopefully the more rank I have, the more power I have to continue to do great things and to make a difference in people's lives and for organizations. That's what this is really about in making a difference in this country."
Lawson assumed the position of SMDC deputy commander for operations June 1. The position was previously held by Brig. Gen. Gregory S. Bowen.
Within this capacity, Lawson oversees all operations within SMDC. He provides oversight of plans, training, certification and readiness for all SMDC operational forces and select operating functions. This includes oversight of two brigades, an Army Astronaut Detachment, Satellite Communications System Expert, Joint Friendly Forces Tracking, radar support to Space and Intelligence Operations and the Operational Command Post when activated.