Rupert Joe McLean was born on October 23, 1961, in Lillington, NC. Rupert graduated from Harnett Central High School in 1980, where his senior class peers voted him as "Best Looking Male." He later enlisted in the United States Marine Corps as an infantry corpsman. Rupert served in the Marine Corps from 1980 to 1983. He was serving in Beirut, Lebanon, in October 1983, when a suicide bomber drove a truck of explosives into a building—which killed 241 United States service members (including 220 Marines). It was by God’s grace that he returned home safely. For his USMC service, he was honored with a key to the city of Dunn, NC. Rupert retired in 2007 from Honeywell in Moncure, NC, after 20 years of service. Following his honorable discharge from military service, he eventually married Penny Burch, and from this union he had two sons.