Bruce M. Lawlor
File:Bruce M. Lawlor.jpg
Lawlor as commander of Joint Task Force-Civil Support
Born January 24, 1948
Bellows Falls, Vermont
Allegiance 22x20px United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1967–2003
Rank 40px Major General
Commands held 1st Battalion 172nd Armor
86th Armored Brigade
Joint Task Force-Civil Support
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Global War on Terrorism
Awards Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal
Army Commendation Medal
Other work Director of the Center for Technology, Security, and Public Policy, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Major General (Retired) Bruce M. Lawlor (b. January 24, 1948) is a retired United States Army officer. He is prominent as the first commander of Joint Task Force-Civil Support. In addition, he was one of five White House staff members who wrote the plan to create the Department of Homeland Security, and he was the first DHS Chief of Staff.

Early life and service in Vietnam[edit | edit source]

Bruce Michael Lawlor[1] was born in Bellows Falls, Vermont on January 24, 1948,[2] and graduated from Vermont Academy in 1966.[3] He briefly attended the United States Military Academy[4] before transferring to George Washington University, from which he received a Bachelor of Science degree in political science in 1970.[5]

While attending West Point Lawlor was recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency.[6] Trained as a Vietnamese linguist[7], he was a member of the Phoenix Program[8][9][10] and served in South Vietnam from 1971 to 1973 as the leader of a counter-terrorism team.[11][12]

In 1974 Lawlor received a direct commission in the United States Navy Reserve as an intelligence officer.[13]

Lawlor received his law degree from George Washington University Law School in 1975 and started a practice in Springfield, Vermont.[14]

Political career[edit | edit source]

A Democrat, Lawlor was a legal advisor to Governor Thomas P. Salmon.[15] In 1980 Lawlor won election to the Vermont House of Representatives. He served two terms, 1981 to 1985.[16][17]

In 1984 Lawlor won the Democratic nomination for Vermont Attorney General[18] and lost the general election to Jeffrey L. Amestoy.[19]

Continued military career[edit | edit source]

In 1979 Lawlor transferred his military membership to the Vermont Army National Guard. Initially assigned as the intelligence officer in an Armor battalion, Lawlor became qualified in the Armor branch and advanced through command and staff positions including: commander of the 86th Armored Brigade's 1st Battalion 172nd Armor Battalion; commander of the 86th Brigade; Special Assistant to the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe; and Assistant Division Commander of the 42nd Infantry Division. In 1986 he graduated from the Command and General Staff College.[20]

In 1996 Lawlor received a Master of Science degree in National Security Studies from Norwich University as part of the Army War College's Senior Service College Fellowship Program (SSCF).[21] In addition, he attended the National Security Fellows Program at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.[22]

Later military career[edit | edit source]

From May 1998 to October 1999 Lawlor served as Deputy Director for Operations, Readiness and Mobilization in the Army's Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans.[23]

From October 1999 until October, 2001 Lawlor was commander of Joint Task Force-Civil Support, the first individual assigned to this position.[24][25] In this assignment Lawlor oversaw creation of the Civil Support Team concept, an initiative that enables the National Guard to play a greater role in responding to domestic terrorism than has historically been allowed since the passage of the Posse Comitatus Act.[26] Lawlor retired from the military in November, 2003.[27]

Effective dates of promotions[edit | edit source]

Military awards and decorations[edit | edit source]

General Lawlor's awards and decorations include:

Continued governmental career[edit | edit source]

Shortly after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Lawlor joined the White House staff to help plan and coordinate the response as Senior Director for Protection and Prevention in the Office of Homeland Security.[30] While in this position Lawlor was one of the chief creators of the legislation that created the Department of Homeland Security.[31] When DHS was officially founded in March, 2003 Lawlor was named its first Chief of Staff, serving until November, 2003.[32][33]

In 2003 Lawlor earned a Doctor of Science degree in Engineering Management from George Washington University.[34]

Post governmental career[edit | edit source]

Since leaving DHS Lawlor has continued his involvement in national security affairs through both academia and private business, including: Member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC); Chief Executive Officer of Centuria Corporation; Distinguished Service Professor at the Stevens Institute of Technology; Professor at the George Washington University; Instructor at the Army War College; and Director of the Center for Technology, Security, and Public Policy at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; Advisory Board Member for Patron Systems, Inc.; and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Community Research Associates, Inc.[35][36][37]

He currently resides in Arlington, Virginia.[38][39]

External resources[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Vermont Adjutant General, List of Vermonters in the Vietnam War 1964-1975, 1986, page 225
  2. Vermont Secretary of State, Legislative Directory, 1981, page 258
  3. Vermont Academy, Florence Sabin Award Winners page, accessed July 13, 2012
  4. Association of Graduates, Register of Graduates and Former Cadets of the United States Military Academy, 1991, page 124
  5. Vermont Secretary of State, Legislative Directory, 1983, page 255
  6. Elizabeth Becker, Military Terrorism Operation Has a Civilian Focus, New York Times, January 9, 2000
  7. Mark Moyar, Phoenix and the Birds of Prey: Counterinsurgency and Counterterrorism in Vietnam, 2007, page 123
  8. William P. Mahedy, Out of the Night: The Spiritual Journey of Vietnam Vets, 1988, page 18
  9. Al Santoli, Everything we had: an oral history of the Vietnam War, 1985, page 182
  10. Bright Quang, Road to the United States, Part 1, 2006, page 321
  11. Walter H. Capps, The Unfinished War: Vietnam and the American Conscience, 1990, page 97
  12. Loren Baritz, Backfire: A History of How American Culture Led Us Into Vietnam and Made Us Fight the Way We Did, 1986, page 16
  13. Tom Jennemann, Former Homeland Security Chief to Work at Stevens: University Hires Lawlor for Security Initiatives, Hudson Reporter, November 30, 2003
  14. Legislative Directory, 1983, page 255
  15. Susan Smallheer, Ex-Springfield Representative on Front Lines, Rutland Herald, September 12, 2001
  16. Legislative Directory, 1981, page 258
  17. Legislative Directory, 1983, page 255
  18. Vermont State Archives, 1984 Primary Election Results, 2006, page 2
  19. Vermont State Archives, General Election Results Attorney General, 1906-2010, 2010, page 11
  20. National Guard Bureau, General Officer Biography, Bruce M. Lawlor, 2001, accessed July 13, 2012
  21. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Newly Formed Center for Technology, Security, and Policy Names Former Chief of Staff for U.S. Department of Homeland Security as Director, Virginia Tech News, February 5, 2008
  22. Kevin J. Kennedy, Bruce M. Lawlor, Arne J. Nelson, Grand Strategy for Information Age National Security, 1996, page 5
  23. Center for Biosecurity, Speaker's Biography, Bruce M. Lawlor, 2000, accessed July 13, 2012
  24. Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs), Brig. Gen. Bruce M. Lawlor Appointed First Commanding General For Joint Task Force-Civil Support, November 1, 1999
  25. Executive Publications, Government Executive, Volume 36, 2004, page 115
  26. National Domestic Preparedness Office, Joint Task Force – Civil Support and WMD Prepardness, The Beacon newsletter, December 1999, page 6
  27. Government Research Corp., National Journal, Volume 36, 2004, page 115
  28. General Officer Biography, Bruce M. Lawlor, 2001
  29. General Officer Biography, Bruce M. Lawlor, 2001
  30. Elizabeth Book, Security Beat, National Defense Industrial Association, September 2002
  31. Stevens Institute of Technology, Top National Expert to Head Homeland Security Initiatives at Stevens, November 21, 2003
  32. Stephanie Strom, Threats and Responses: Protective Devices; Behind Duct Tape and Sheeting, an Unlikely Proponent, New York Times, February 23, 2003
  33. Sterling Investment Partners, Sterling Investment Partners Completes Acquisition of Domestic Preparedness and Emergency Response Company, May 12, 2004
  34. George Washington University Alumni Association, Alumni Newsmakers, Geowgr Washington University Magazine, Spring 2008, accessed July 13, 2012
  35. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Faculty biography, Bruce M. Lawlor, accessed July 13, 2012
  36. Patron Systems, Inc., Patron Announces Creation of Advisory Board, January 7, 2005
  37. Business Library, Reviewer's Biography, Bruce M. Rawlor, Review of "A Time for Heroes" by Robert L. Dilenschneider, Fall, 2005
  38., Rob Simmons Political Campaign Contributions from Virginia 2006 Election Cycle, accessed July 13, 2012
  39., Profile for Bruce M. Lawlor, accessed July 13, 2012
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