McNallen attended Midwestern University in Texas. After receiving a degree in political science and a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army, McNallen went on to become a U.S. Army Ranger. McNallen was stationed in Germany for the latter part of his enlistment, which ended in 1976.
After his discharge from the Army, McNallen hitch-hiked across the Sahara Desert, and worked as an adventure journalist. In this capacity, he traveled to India, Burma, Africa, and the former Yugolslavia to report on military conflicts. His articles have appeared in Soldier of Fortune magazine.
McNallen worked for six years as a junior high school instructor and worked briefly as a prison guard.
From 1987 to 1996, McNallen served in the United States National Guard, where he held a "Secret" level "security clearance" for his involvement in work in counter-drug operations.
Mcnallen currently resides in Nevada City, California.
Asatru and OdinismEdit
McNallen was one of the major advocates of Asatruand Odinism in modern times. Much like Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson founder of the Íslenska Ásatrúarfélagið, Else Christensen of the Odinist Fellowship and Stubba of the Odinic Rite, McNallen founded a proto-Asatru group called the Viking Brotherhood in 1972 and began publishing a small periodical called the Runestone. The Viking Brotherhood later evolved into the Asatru Free Assembly.
After some years of inactivity and restructuring, McNallen currently leads the Asatru Folk Assembly or AFA. He has recently contributed an article entitled Three Decades of the Ásatrú Revival in America to Tyr, a periodical espousing Radical Traditionalism.