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.