When the Tempest Gathers
From Mogadishu to the Fight Against ISIS, a Marine Special Operations Commander at War
by Col Andrew Milburn
Pub Date 28 Feb 2020
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'This is quite simply the finest war memoir to emerge from the last two decades of constant fighting.' - Bing West, New York Times bestselling author of One Million Steps: A Marine Platoon at War and Call Sign Chaos. These are the combat experiences of the first Marine to command a special operations task force, recounted against a backdrop of his journey from raw Second Lieutenant to seasoned Colonel and Task Force Commander; from leading Marines through the streets of Mogadishu, Baghdad, Fallujah and Mosul to directing multi-national special operations forces in a dauntingly complex fight against a formidable foe. The journey culminates in the story’s centerpiece: the fight against ISIS in which the author is able to use the lessons of his harsh apprenticeship to lead the SOF task force under his command to hasten the Caliphate’s eventual demise. Milburn has an unusual background for a US Marine, and this is no ordinary war memoir. Very few personal accounts of war cover such a wide breadth of experience, or with so discerning a perspective. He has a keen eye and a level of perception surprising for someone caught up in the midst of the fray. As Bing West comments: “His exceptional skill is telling each story of battle and then knitting them into a coherent whole. By the end of the book, the reader understands what happened on the ground in the wars against terrorists over the past twenty years.” Milburn tells his extraordinary story with self-effacing candor, describing openly his personal struggles with the isolation of command, post-combat trauma and family tragedy. And with the skill and insight of a natural story teller, he makes the reader experience what it’s like to lead those who fight America’s wars.