Captain McLaren is from Jacksonville, Florida. He is a 1991 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and 2012 graduate of the National War College. He has a Masters of Arts in National Security Strategy.
Captain McLaren has served aboard USS Leahy (CG16), USS Chancellorsville (CG62), USS Higgins (DDG76), and as Executive Officer aboard USS Boone (FFG28). He commanded USS De Wert (FFG45) from 2009 to 2011.
From 2015 to 2016 he commanded USS Mobile Bay (CG53). In 2016 MOBILE BAY deployed to the Western Pacific as the Air Defense Commander for the JOHN C STENNIS Strike Group.
Ashore Captain McLaren has served on 6th Fleet Staff in Gaeta, Italy, 7th Fleet Staff in Yokosuka, Japan, and SHAPE in Casteau, Belgium. He also served a tour at the Surface Warfare Officers School in Newport, Rhode Island, where he was in charge of the Prospective Commanding Officer and Leadership courses.
His decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff Commendation Medal from the Republic of Korea.