Hall of Achievement
The highest honor Monmouth can bestow.
Brigadier General Christopher F. Lawson ’88
It’s been told that Chris could really pound the rock as a tough, rugged running back on some very strong Fighting Scots football teams in the mid-1980s. In his junior and senior seasons, the Scots lost a total of just two times, the latter one in the Midwest Conference championship game.
He was also on another team during his days as a Monmouth student, and it was on that Reserve Officers Training Corps unit where our honoree found a team for which he could play his entire professional career. That ROTC experience served as a springboard to a military career for the man I’m introducing tonight – Brigadier General Chris Lawson.
After completing Monmouth’s ROTC program, Chris was commissioned as a second lieutenant. The year he graduated, he was commissioned as a medical service corps officer and later became a quartermaster officer in the Illinois National Guard.
Chris has served as a company commander and as commander of several battalions and brigades. He was also deputy task force commander of Task Force White Eagle of the Polish Land Forces. He served as the 1st joint chief of staff for the Illinois Joint Force Headquarters of the Illinois National Guard and the 6th chief of staff of the National Guard Joint Staff for the National Guard Bureau. Chris also served as the Chief of Sustainment for the storied 3rd Army, U.S. Army Central.
He has supported military operations in Bolivia, Germany and Poland. In 2008, Chris deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2008 and he deployed to Afghanistan in 2013 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. From 2015 to 2017, he traveled back to the Middle East multiple times in support of Operations Inherent Resolve, Freedom Sentinel and Spartan Shield.
Chris retired from the Illinois Army National Guard four years ago. He was praised at that time for his “talents as an innovative leader and visionary,” which had long-lasting positive effects on the Illinois National Guard. He was also credited for his energy and for his ability to build teams.