Andrew Milburn

Military Memoir

His exceptional skill is telling each story of battle and then knitting them into a coherent whole.

Andrew Milburn was born in Hong Kong and grew up in the United Kingdom where he attended St Paul’s School and University College London. After graduating from law school, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps as a private. He was commissioned from the ranks, and as a Marine infantry and special operations officer, has commanded in combat at every grade. 

As the commanding officer of the Marine Corps’ special operations regiment, he was selected to lead a multi-national task force given the mission of defeating ISIS in Iraq. He retired in 2019 as the Chief of Staff of Special Operations Command, Central (SOCCENT), the headquarters responsible for the conduct of all U.S. special operations throughout the Middle East. He and his wife Jessica live in Tampa, FL with their two children and a coterie of rescued dogs.

Advice for aspiring authors: 

Sit down and write! Start with small blocks of time — say, 30 minutes — then work up to one hour and then more. On the days that you don’t feel like writing, or can’t think what to say — and if you are like me there will be quite a few of these — just tell yourself that you will write for 30 minutes and then stop. Don’t get frustrated — you are getting better everyday.


The Atlantic

War on the Rocks — September

War on the Rocks — July

Military Times

U.S. Army


“A decorated Marine’s officer’s riveting account of some thirty years of often horrific frontline fighting from, Somalia to Iraq. Milburn’s to hell and back memoir is gritty, erudite, and reminds us of the extraordinary sort of people who keep us safe while we sleep.”
— Victor Davis Hanson, The Hoover Institution, Stanford University, author of The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won

“This is simply the finest war memoir to emerge from the last two decades of constant fighting.”
— Bing West, co-author of Call Sign Chaos, a New York Times bestseller

“…the best combat memoir to emerge from the modern battlefield. Milburn’s astonishing Marine career took him from Somalia in 1992 to Syria In 2018 and everywhere in between, including traditional infantry and unique advisor and special operations commands that resulted in fighting for the same Iraqi cities years apart, again and again. The result is a searing perspective on endless Middle East combat that has no peer.”
— Owen West, former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations

“In the fields that today we know as Special Operations, individuals throughout history have developed near-legendary standing….The first half of the 20th century gave us T. E. Lawrence and Marines like Edson, Carlson, and Pierre “Pete” Ortiz…..Without hyperbole, the combat memoir of Colonel Andrew Milburn, USMC, When the Tempest Gathers, establishes this Marine leader’s name among this storied group…… this genuine tale of the triumphs and the challenges of leadership in today’s wars….is most importantly a compelling and completely authentic story.”
— Marine Corps Gazette