Chaplain McRae joined the Australian Army in 1982, and went on to serve with the Special Air Service Regiment (SASR), specialising in vehicle mounted operations. Following operational service as a covert counter terrorist operator Chaplain McRae resigned from the army to pursue theological studies. He served a minister of religion in Canberra ACT from 1996, until 2008 before returning to the uniform in 2006 as an army reserve chaplain. He transferred to the regular army in 2008, and saw operational service in Timor Leste and Afghanistan. After completing a Master of Ministry degree Chaplain McRae and his wife Leonie were posted to Brisbane where he now serves as the 7 CBT BDE Coordinating Chaplain. They have been married for 30 years and have four children and two grandchildren.