Lieutenant-General McNaughton was born in Perth, Ontario, in 1934 and graduated from Perth Collegiate Institute in 1951, He enrolled in the Royal Canadian Air Force in March 1952 and, following pilot training, was employed in flying instructional duties at Centralia and Trenton, Ontario, until 1958. From 1959 until 1963 he flew F86s with 439(f) Squadron in Marville, France, and on his return to Canada became chief flying instructor at Gimil, Manitoba, until 1966.
In 1966-67, General McNaughton attended the Canadian Army Staff College in Kingston, Ontario, and, on graduation, was employed at Mobile Command Headquarters, St. Hubert, Quebec. In 1969 he returned to Kingston as a member of the Directing Staff at the Canadian Land Forces Command and Staff College.
He returned to flying assignments in May 1972 with courses on the CH-136 Kiowa and CH-135 Twin Huey Helicopters. From December 1972 until June 1973, he was a student at the Royal Air Force Air Warfare College in England and upon return to Canada took command of 427 Tactical Helicopter Squadron at Petawawa, Ontario. Promoted to colonel on July 1, 1974, he was posted to Mobile Command Headquarters as deputy chief of staff Operations Support.
From August 1975 until July 1977, he was deputy commander of 10 Tactical Air Group at St. Hubert. During that tour, he spent six months in Egypt as deputy commander of the Canadian Contingent, United Nations Emergency Force Middle East.
In July 1977 he became the base commander of Canadian Forces Base Winnipeg, Manitoba. After one year at Winnipeg, he was promoted to the rank of brigadier-general and posted to National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa where he assumed the appointment of director general Air Doctrine and Operations.
On Aug. 13, 1981, he was appointed commander 10 Tactical Air Group and on July 23, 1982, he was promoted to major-general and named deputy commander Air Command at Winnipeg. He was appointed to the Order of Military Merit in the grade of commander on Dec. 23, 1983.
On June 12, 1985, General McNaughton was promoted to his present rank and assumed the appointment of commander, Air Command on June 13, 1985.
In August 1986 General McNaughton was appointed deputy commander in chief, North American Aerospace Defence Command, the headquarters of which is located at Colorado Springs, Colo.
He is married to France Jean Finkle of Belleville, Ontario. They have two children; a daughter, Jean, and a son, Ian.