William L. Lawler

Associate Professor Wargaming Department
Capt., U.S. Navy, Retired
William L Lawler Profile Image


Lawler has been a member of the Wargaming Department since 2016, where he helps to design, develop, execute and analyze war games. He was previously a research analyst involved in the college’s Halsey Alfa Advanced Research Project. A retired naval aviator (EA-6Bs), his sea tours included carrier deployments, combat operations, and operational command. Other assignments included a joint tour for the Office of Secretary of Defense, director of Operational Test and Evaluation, and as the chief of staff for Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group Five. He also served as the director of Naval War College’s Operational Level Programs and chief of its Assist and Assess Team.

Areas of Expertise

  • Electronic Warfare
  • Operational Warfare
  • Wargaming

Professional Highlights


Associate Professor War Gaming Department

Helps design, develop, execute and analyze war games to support the Naval War College's mission to prepare future maritime leaders, and help shape key decisions on the future of the Navy.

Research Analyst - Naval War College’s Halsey Alfa Advanced Research Project

Research analyst in combined Student/Faculty Advanced Research Project providing planners and decision-makers insights into current and future warfighting considerations through detailed wargaming and assessment.

Deputy & Director, Operational Level Programs

Supported operationalization of the Navy’s eight large fleet headquarters through onsite assistance, as well as a variety of graduate level courses, to improve their ability to plan, prepare, execute, and assess the spectrum of operations.

Chief of Staff Expeditionary Strike Group FIVE (ESG-5)

Directed a wide range of the staff’s deliberate and crisis planning efforts in two theaters of operations.

Chief, Assist and Assess Team, U.S. Naval War College

Led team of military and civilian faculty through onsite assist visits to enhance the Navy’s Fleet Headquarters ability to command and control maritime forces.

Military Assistant for Electronic Warfare (EW) Programs, OSD - Director Operational Test and Evaluation

Drove improved characterization of capabilities, test execution and resource alignment for Navy, Air Force, Army, and Special Operations airborne electronic attack and defensive systems.

Commanding Officer, VAQ-130

Led operational employment, training, maintenance, and combat readiness of 185 person carrier based EA-6B squadron.


M.A., U.S. Naval War College, National Security Studies

B.S., Marquette University, Mechanical Engineering

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