MAJOR GENERAL DONALD L. LAMBERSON
Died March 17,2009
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Major General Donald L. Lamberson is assistant deputy, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Washington, D.C.
General Lamberson was born in 1931, in Dublin, Ind. He graduated from high school in Cambridge City, Ind., in 1949 and earned a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Purdue University in 1953. He received a master's degree in nuclear engineering in 1961 and a doctorate in aerospace engineering in 1969, both from the Air Force Institute of Technology.
He was commissioned through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program and entered active duty in March 1954. During early assignments he served as a communications officer with the Air Defense Command at Geiger Field, Wash., and as a weapons officer assigned to the Strategic Air Command at Royal Air Force Station Lakenheath, England.
In March 1961 he was assigned to the Air Force Weapons Laboratory at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., as a nuclear weapons research officer. He was chief of the laboratory's X-Ray Group and performed several nuclear weapons effects shots before returning to the Institute of Technology to begin his doctoral studies in July 1965.
General Lamberson returned to the Air Force Weapons Laboratory at Kirtland Air Force Base in August 1967 to do doctoral research. In March 1969 he was assigned to lead the Air Force's high-energy laser program, and in July 1972 became chief of the Advanced Radiation Technology Office, where high-energy laser technology and prototypes were developed and tested.
He transferred to the Armament Development and Test Center at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., in April 1978 and served as deputy for development and acquisition of conventional armament. The general remained in this position through transition to the Armament Division, Air Force Systems Command, at Eglin in October 1979.
General Lamberson was assigned as deputy assistant for directed energy weapons, Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, Washington, D.C., in April 1982. The general served as the focal point for the president's initiatives on defense against ballistic missiles. In October 1983 he became assistant deputy chief of staff for research, development and acquisition, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. He assumed his present duties in March 1987 as part of the Goldwater-Nichols DOD Reorganization Act.
His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit and Air Force Commendation Medal. He also has received the Air Force Outstanding Research and Development Officer Award, and the Air Force Association's Theodore von Karman Award and Citation of Honor.
He was promoted to major general Jan. 1, 1982, with date of rank Aug. 1, 1978.
(Current as of September 1988)