Lieutenant Commander Ray McLellan joined the Royal New Zealand Navy as an Ordinary Seaman Radar Plotter in May 1980, undertaking his initial and specialist training ashore at HMNZS TAMAKI, before completing task book training at sea on HMNZS TARANAKI.
In early 1981 Ray was posted to the frigate HMNZS CANTERBURY (F421) where he completed two ARMILLA Patrols supporting the Royal Navy during the Falklands conflict. Over the next five years he gained promotion and professional qualifications and was posted to all the major units of the RNZN with short periods on HMNZS MONOWAI and the Lake Class Patrol Craft.
From May 1987 until December 1989 he was posted to Singapore where he was the J2 NCO at ANZMIS. On returning to New Zealand he posted back to the Fleet and in 1992 completed an Anti-Submarine Air Controller course at HMAS WATSON in Sydney.
On promotion to Chief Petty Officer in 1996 Ray posted back to HMNZS CANTERBURY as the Plotting and Radar Instructor. During his time on CANTERBURY he took part in operations in the Arabian Gulf and Bougainville along with disaster relief in the South Pacific and deployments to South East Asia. He also spent time attached to 5SQN RNZAF as an Airborne Electronics Operator on P3K Maritime Patrol Aircraft during Operation Griffin.
After a period as the Senior Instructor at the Maritime Warfare Training Centre and the Assistant Career Manager (Operations Branch), he posted to NZUNFET East Timor in 2001 as Intelligence NCO on the staff of COMSECWEST based at Suai. On completion of this tour, Ray took up the position of Divisional Coxswain at HMNZS TOROA in Dunedin, his home town.
Ray left the Regular Force in January 2004 and commissioned in to the RNZNVR as a Seaman Officer. In civilian life he is employed by Calder Stewart Industries, a large construction and development company based in Milton, South Otago. The company specialises in rural, commercial and light industrial buildings with over 400 staff employed in Invercargill, Dunedin, Central Otago, Ashburton, Christchurch, and Auckland. As the Health and Safety Advisor, Ray is responsible for developing and implementing OH & S policy and promoting safe working practices. He supervises and audits safety on construction sites throughout Canterbury, Otago and Southland though has been employed full-time on large projects for Fonterra at Darfield and in the lower North Island.