LtCol Dawson enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve in 1993, while attending Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA. He served with 2nd Battalion 23rd Marines while completing his degree in Political Science and was then commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps in 1996 upon graduation. Following The Basic School and completion of the Financial Management Officers Course, he served as the Deputy Comptroller and Budget officer for the 1st Marine Division.
After leaving active duty and a short stint in the inactive ready reserves, he joined 6th Engineer Support Battalion in Portland, Oregon as they were preparing for a battalion wide mobilization in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom I. As a captain, from 2003-2004 he served as the battalion adjutant with 6th ESB before taking over command of Headquarters and Service company from 2004 -2006. During this time he was re-designated as a Combat Engineer officer.
As a major, from 2006 to 2009, he was the Company Commander for Engineer Co A, 6th ESB. During this time his company participated in JTF-North’s border enhancement engineer mission along the Arizona-Mexico border, New Horizons construction project in Trinidad and Tobago and the Alaskan Innovative Readiness Training project in Newtok, Alaska. Following company command in 2009, he was selected to attend the Command and Staff seminar program.
While enrolled in USMC Command and Staff, Major Dawson served as the G-4 Operations Officer for MCAGCC/MAGTF-TC in 29 Palms. Upon graduation of Command and Staff, Major Dawson mobilized in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. From January 2012 to July 2012 Major Dawson served as the Force Protection Chief for NATO Training Mission –Afghanistan (NTM-A).
After his deployment to Afghanistan in August 2012, he was assigned as a Reserve Support officer with RS Portland, Marine Corps Recruiting Command. During this time he was promoted to his present rank and received mobilization orders to Stuttgart, Germany with Marine Forces Europe as the lead exercise planner for exercise Agile Spirit in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia. He left active duty in August 2014 after a year-long mobilization.
LtCol Dawson took command of Marine Wing Support Squadron 473 in Miramar, CA on September 13th, 2014 and relinquished command on September 10, 2016. He is currently the Executive Officer for Marine Aircraft Group 41 in Ft Worth, Texas. Additionally, he is a student at the U.S. Army War College, completing his Masters degree in Strategic Studies.