Skip to main content

Conference countdown

Colonel Phaedra McLean TD

Colonel Reserves

Colonel Phaedra McLean grew up in the North West of England and joined the Territorial Army in 1987 as a private soldier with the Royal Military Police. Selected for officer training, she was commissioned in 1989 and on promotion to Captain became Section Commander of 42 (North West) Brigade Provost Unit participating in numerous exercises in Germany and the UK. Following the Strategic Defence Review in 1998 she transferred to Intelligence and Security Group (Volunteers) and in 1999 became the Section Commander of 29 (Volunteers) Military Intelligence Company (29 (V) MI Coy) in Preston. Alongside a high tempo training cycle, she actively led the Company to victory in the Masters Competition for three consecutive years.

In 2000, on promotion to Major and following successful completion of the Intermediate Command and Staff College (Land) course she became the Officer Commanding 29 (V) MI Coy based in Birmingham. The initiation of compulsory mobilisation post 9/11 saw a large percentage of the Coy deploy in support of Defence to Iraq and Afghanistan.


In 2002 she was mobilised for Op VERITAS, serving with the Defence Intelligence Staff for 6 months and extended her mobilisation to assist on Op TELIC.  On her return to the Army Reserves she once again took command of 29 (V) MI Coy. In 2006, she deployed on Op HERRICK as the 2nd in command of the Operational Intelligence Support Group in Kabul. Post deployment she took command of 29 (V) MI Coy as it transitioned to 55 (V) MI Coy and then command of 53 (V) MI Coy at York.


In 2009, she returned to the North West as the 2nd in Command of the Manchester University Officer Training Corps and following promotion to Lieutenant Colonel in 2010, she returned to 42 (North West) Brigade as the lead Reservist officer responsible for military and civil engagement. A2020 saw the establishment of two new Military Intelligence Battalions (MI Bn). In 2015 she assumed command of 6 MI Bn as the first female Int Corps Reserve to do so. Her tenure saw the Bn grow from 30% to 90% manned and already delivering operational support.


On promotion to Colonel she assumed the post of Corps Colonel Reserves Intelligence Corps Reserves in July 2017.


Her day job, before retiring in 2015, was 30 years as a police officer with Cheshire Police, with most of those years as a Firearms Officer and Instructor working in a number of operational and specialist roles across the United Kingdom.  Married to Nigel, she has two step children and her interests include playing all sports badly, travelling, photography and compiling her ever growing Scottish linked family tree.