Air Chief Marshal Donald Perera was born on 30th November 1950 in Colombo. Air Chief Marshal Perera had his primary and secondary education at St.Thomas' College Mt.Lavinia where he excelled both in studies and sports.
Air Chief Marshal G D Perera joined the Sri Lanka Air Force as an Officer Cadet in the General Duties Pilot Branch on 12th January 1972 along with the First Intake of Cadets. On successful completion of Flying Training he was commissioned as a Pilot Officer on 19th October 1973. During his decorated and illustrious career he held the appointments of Commandant Flying Training Wing Air Force Academy China Bay, Commanding Officer No.2 Transport Wing Ratmalana, Base Commander SLAF Base Katunayake and Zonal Commander Western Zone, Base Commander SLAF Base China Bay and Zonal Commander Eastern Zone, Acting Director Operations and Chief of Staff of the Air Force. Prior to being appointed as the Chief of Defence Staff on 12th June 2006, he held the office of the Commander of the Air Force from July 2002.
Air Chief Marshal Perera graduated from the Air Command and Staff College, Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, USA in 1990 and had also attended the prestigious National Defence College at New Delhi, India in 1998.
Having in possession over 7500 flying hours to his credit, he has made an immense contribution to the operational requirements of the Armed Services and Police in the ongoing war with the LTTE. Air Chief Marshal Perera being a fixed wing Pilot has flown almost all the transport aircraft on the SLAF inventory at that time which include the De Havilland Dove, Riley Heron, Douglas DC 3 Dakota, Cessna 421, HS 748 Avro, Beech Super King Air B200, Chinese Y-12 and the Y-8. Since 1983, he actively participated in Air Operations in the North and East. In recognition of his distinguished service he has been awarded with the Vishista Seva Vibhushanaya, Utthama Seva Padakkama, Republic of Sri Lanka Armed Services Medal, Sri Lanka Air Force 50th Anniversary Medal, Sri Lanka Armed Services Long Service Medal, Presidential Inauguration Medal, 50th Independence Anniversary Commemoration Medal, North and East Operations Medal, Purna Bhumi Padakkama ,Vadamarachchi Operation Medal and Riviresa Campaign Service Medal.
He is married to Ranjini, a Dental Surgeon serving and they are blessed with a daughter.
THE PRESIDENT OF SRI LANKA AND MINISTER OF DEFENCE