Major General Fergus McLachlan

Major General Fergus McLaclan

Gus McLachlan was born in Papua New Guinea while his parents served with the Australian administration.  He grew up and was educated in Melbourne before he entered the Royal Military College, Duntroon, in January of 1982. He is a proud Armour officer whose Regimental service concluded with his appointment to Command the 1st Armoured Regiment, Australia’s only tank unit, in 2001/02. 

Major General McLachlan has served on exchange with the United States Military. In 1999 he was posted to the United States Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory in Quantico Virginia, where he worked for two years on the Marine Urban Warfare development teams – Urban Warrior and Project Metropolis. 

Major General McLachlan has served on operations in the Middle East and more recently in Central Asia. He served as a United Nations Military Observer in the Israeli Occupied Territories and Lebanon and as the Operations Officer for Australia’s Joint Task Force 633 in Iraq. He has just completed a year serving with the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan where he was the senior planner in the campaign.

Major General McLachlan’s general staff experience includes a role in Army Headquarters as the Director of Operations when he was involved in the strategic level planning of operations in Iraq and the Solomon Islands. Major General McLachlan’s senior staff positions include Director of Officer Career Management – Army and Commander Career Management - Army. In November 2007 he was appointed as Chief of Staff to the Chief of the Defence Force, ACM Angus Houston.

Major General McLachlan has also been seconded to the staff of the Federal Parliament as the Defence Adviser to the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, during which time he escorted Parliamentary delegations to the United States and Iraq and acted as the Secretary of the Defence Sub-Committee.

In 2009 Major General McLachlan was identified by the Chief of the Defence Force for a placement in the Office of the US Secretary of Defense to work on the first Quadrennial Defense Review of the Obama Administration. He completed this work in late 2009 and returned to Australia to assume command of the Army’s 1st Mechanized Brigade in Darwin.  He served for three years as the Commander of the 1st Brigade during which time the Brigade deployed personnel for operational service in Afghanistan, Timor and the Solomon Islands. 

In early 2014 Major General McLachlan returned to Australia from Afghanistan to assume the appointment as Head Joint Capability Coordination. 

Major General McLachlan holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of New South Wales and a Masters Degree in Strategic Studies from the University of Canberra. He was made a Member of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honors List in 2008.

Major General McLachlan is married to Maree and has two adult sons studying at the national university. His interests include sailing, bike riding and slow triathlons. He aspires to master long board surfing.