Commander Forces Command
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 proud of his Armoured Corps background where his Regimental service concluded with the appointment to Command the 1st Armoured Regiment, Australia’s only tank unit, in 2001/02.
Major General McLachlan has deployed on operations in the Israeli Occupied Territories, Lebanon and Iraq. Most recently he completed a 12 month tour in Afghanistan with the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan where he was the senior campaign planner.
Major General McLachlan has also 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 US Marine Urban Warfare development teams – Urban Warrior and Project Metropolis.
Major General McLachlan’s general staff roles include operations and personnel functions in Army Headquarters and a period 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 selected to represent the Australian Defence Force for a placement in the Office of the US Secretary for Defense to work on the first Quadrennial Defense Review of the Obama Administration. He 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, East Timor and the Solomon Islands.
Major General McLachlan’s roles as a General Officer have included operational planning in Afghanistan and Joint Capability Coordination for the Vice Chief of Defence where he was responsible for generating Australian Defence capability in cyber space, electronic warfare, joint command and control and counter IED capabilities. He recently completed two years as Head of Army Modernisation and Strategic Planning during which time he focused on digitizing the Army, optimizing the helicopter fleet and improving soldier combat equipment.
Major General McLachlan commenced his current role as Commander of Forces Command in December 2016.
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 is also a graduate of the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program.
Major General McLachlan is married to Maree and they have two adult sons. His interests include open water swimming, bike riding and age group triathlons. He aspires to master long board surfing.