At­ten­tion! Knights learn­ing life lessons

Law­son’s back­ground as a Marine is help­ing with team dis­ci­pline

Orlando Sentinel - - SPORTS FRIDAY - By Brian Mur­phy

UCF foot­ball di­rec­tor of player per­son­nel Bran­don Law­son had no clue back in 2008 that sports would be in his fu­ture.

That’s be­cause, at that time, he was too busy en­sur­ing the safety of Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush while aboard the Marine One he­li­copter.

Law­son did al­ways know that he wanted to join the Marine Corps — he did so about a week af­ter he grad­u­ated from his high school in Knoxville, 2004.

“I think a lot of it was I knew it was go­ing to be the most dif­fi­cult,” Law­son said on what at­tracted him to the corps. “But I also felt like the Marine Corps specif­i­cally, that fra­ter­nity, what they stood for, their his­tory, their role in what our armed forces do — ev­ery­thing from pro­tect­ing the pres­i­dent of the United States and Marine One, which I was very for­tu­nate to be a part of, to guard­ing all of the MCs all around the world, to be­ing the tip of the spear around the world in dif­fer­ent con­flicts, that’s what re­ally drew me to the Marine Corps.”

Once he got past com­bat train­ing and flight school, Law­son was as­signed to Marine He­li­copter Squadron One, or HMX-1.

HMX-1 is based out of Quan­tico, Va., and is re­spon­si­ble for, among other tasks, the pres­i­dent’s he­li­copter trans­porta­tion. And as the crew chief of Marine One, Law­son car­ried the brunt of that re­spon­si­bil­ity.

He was the top me­chanic on board and in charge of all main­te­nance for the VH-60 White Hawk he­li­copter. He also worked hand-in-hand with the pi­lots and guided them on any emer­gency plans.

“We have mul­ti­ple dif­fer­ent mis­sions: part of Marine One, part of the White House Mili- Tenn., in

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