Born in Rangiora, Brigadier McAslan completed his secondary education at Palmerston North Boys’ High School before enlisting in New Zealand Army in January 1988.
Brigadier McAslan graduated in December 1989 from the Officer Cadet School into the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (RNZIR) as a Second Lieutenant.
In April 1990, Brigadier McAslan was posted to 2nd 1st Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (RNZIR), in Burnham Military Camp as a Rifle Platoon Commander. He completed three subsequent postings to 2nd 1st Battalion over the course of his career, including Company Second in Command, Company Commander, and Battalion Commander.
Brigadier McAslan has held staff and instructor appointments including Army Public Relations, Chief Instructor at the Army’s Tactical School, Deputy Director Land Capability, and Chief of Staff at Headquarters Deployable Joint Task Force (Land). He also completed an exchange with the 5th Airborne Brigade in the United Kingdom in 1993.
In 2012 to 2013, Brigadier McAslan attended the United States Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. On return to New Zealand in June 2013 he assumed the appointment of Director Policy, Army General Staff.
In September 2013, on promotion to Colonel, Brigadier McAslan was posted to Strategic Commitments and Intelligence Branch as Director Strategic Engagements.
In June 2015 Brigadier McAslan was appointed Commander 1st (NZ) Brigade. He then deployed to Iraq on Operation Inherent Resolve as the Deputy Commanding General of the Coalition Joint Force Land Component Command (CJFLCC) in the rank of Brigadier in November 2016.
On his return to New Zealand in July 2017, Brigadier McAslan was assigned to Headquarters New Zealand Defence Force in Wellington and was posted to Chief of Defence Intelligence from November 2017 until December 2020, at which point he assumed his current appointment as the Land Component Commander.
Brigadier McAslan has completed a number of operational deployments including: Bosnia 1995, Lebanon and Israel 1998-2000, East Timor 2001-2002, Afghanistan 2011, and Iraq 2016-2017.
Brigadier McAslan is a graduate of the United States Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and the United States Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He holds a Masters of Military Art and Science (Strategy) from the US Command and General Staff College, and a Masters of Strategic Studies from the US Army War College.
Brigadier McAslan was awarded the Distinguished Service Decoration for his service in Afghanistan in the 2012 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
He was also awarded a Chief of Army’s Commendation in April 2008 for his role as Deputy Director Land Capability.