René Moerland was born in Moerdijk, in the province of North Brabant, the Netherlands, on 5th November 1961.
He entered service with the Royal Netherlands Air Force in 1980. He was assigned to the Control and Reporting Centre (CRC) in Nieuw-Milligen from 1981 through 1988 as Fighter Controller. In 1983 he was promoted Second Lieutenant and in 1986 First Lieutenant. In 1988, upon promotion to Captain, he was employed in an international posting at NAEW Force Command in Mons (BEL). During Operation Desert Storm he was deployed to the Turkish Air Force headquarters in Diyarbakir as NAEW Advisor. In 1991 he was (re-)assigned to CRC Nieuw-Milligen to receive continuation training, qualifying as Fighter Allocator, Surveillance Controller and Master Controller, and to perform various staff functions such as STANEVAL and EW Officer. During that assignment he served as Fighter Liaison at the Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) in Vicenza (ITA) in support of air operations (Deny Flight) over the former Yugoslavia.
After the middle management staff course he was promoted to Major and in 1994 he became a staff officer at CAOC 3 in Sembach (DEU) as Defensive Planner. In 1996 he was posted to the staff of CAOC 4 in Messtetten as Offensive & EW Planner. Starting in 1997 he attended the Higher Command and Staff Training Course. Upon graduation in 1998 he was promoted Lieutenant Colonel and began an assignment as Policy Adviser on the staff of the Deputy Commander RNLAF. He was also deployed to the CAOC in Vicenza as Senior Operations Officer of the CAOC Battle Staff during air operations (Allied Forge) over the former Yugoslavia.
From 2002 he was employed in the Netherlands Defence Staff as Senior Policy Officer in the Conceptual Issues Department, where he worked on matters such as the Military Strategic Vision of the CHOD, the Ground Target Engagement Study and the Integral Helicopter Study. In 2005, upon promotion to Colonel, he was assigned to the General Policy Directorate, where his responsibilities included parliamentary negotiation of budgets and preparation for the weekly meetings of the Council of Ministers. At the start of 2008, Col Moerland attended the Netherlands MOD Top Management Training course, after which he was employed from mid-2008 until the end of 2009 as Head of the Mission Support Department of the Netherlands Air Staff. The key issues under his responsibility were civil-military air traffic management, expeditionary Air Command and Control and the enhancement of the Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities of the Royal Netherlands Air Force.
In mid-2009 he acted as Joint Force Commander during NEC Exercise Purple Nectar. From January 2010 through April 2012 he served as Chef de Cabinet (MA) to the Commander of the Netherlands’ Armed Forces, General Peter van Uhm. During that period he deployed to Kandahar Air Base as Commander of the Netherlands Contingent Afghanistan, with particular responsibility for the build-up of 1(NLD) Police Training Group in Kunduz, the relocation of 1(NLD) Air Task Force to Mazar e-Sharif, and as Red Card Holder. In April 2012 Col Moerland was appointed to become Deputy Commander of the NATO AWACS E-3A Component in Geilenkirchen (DEU) later that year. He is qualified as E-3A Mission Commander. He became Deputy Commander of the E-3A Component and Senior National Representative of the Netherlands on 7 December 2012.