Attention! Knights learning life lessons
Lawson’s background as a Marine is helping with team discipline
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