Lieutenant Colonel Ian Mackay, a graduate of RMC Duntroon in 1955 and subsequently the Australian National University, was a Platoon Commander in 4th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (4 RAR) before joining 1 Special Air Service Company (the forerunner of the SAS Regiment) as a founding member in 1957.
He was appointed Adjutant 2RAR in 1959 and served in Malaya and Malaysia and also South Vietnam where he was Company Commander, B Company 6 RAR in 1966-67.
He is a graduate of the Pakistan Staff College, Quetta and travelled widely throughout Afghanistan during a particularly turbulent period in the late 1960’s. He is also a graduate of the Australian Joint Services Staff College.
In 1971 he took over command of 7 RAR from Lt Col Grey on the battalion’s return from Vietnam and in 1973 he was appointed Military Assistant to the CGS. Posting as an Instructor at the Joint Services Staff College followed and on promotion to Colonel in 1977, his last appointment in the ADF was as Colonel, Military Staff, Strategic International Policy at Defence Headquarters.
After leaving the military, he has had extensive experience with multi-national organisations in Australia and South East Asia for more than twenty years and as at the beginning of 2012, is still acting as a Consultant to Australian and American organisations in the region.