Retired Colonel Andrew R. Milburn

Retired Colonel Andrew R. Milburn is the guest speaker for the Recruit Graduation Celebration, week of March 31st, 2020. Mr. Milburn will be sharing his experience as an enlisted and officer in the United States Marine Corps with the families of loved ones graduating from recruit training. Colonel Milburn started as a Private in the USMC, reaching the rank of Colonel while serving his country domestically and globally.

His recent book, When the Tempest Gathers: From Mogadishu to the Fight Against ISIS, a Marine Special Operations Commander at War documents his 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.

Colonel Andrew R. Milburn serves as Chief of Staff, Special Operations Command Central. He graduated from London University (UK) in 1985 and from the Polytechnic of Central London with a law degree. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1987, and subsequently served with Security Forces Company, Norfolk, Virginia before being selected for the Enlisted Commissioning Program in 1990. After graduating from the Infantry Officer Course in 1991, Col. Milburn’s initial assignment was to the 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines where he served as Rifle Platoon Commander and 81 mm Mortar Platoon Commander. During this tour he deployed to Somalia and participated in operations in Mogadishu, 1992-1993.

Colonel Milburn’s notable assignments include the Assistant Operations Officer, Special Operations Training Group, Camp Pendleton, 1993-1994; Series Commander, Staff Secretary, and Company Commander of the Marine Recruit Depot, San Diego, California, 1994-1997; Commanding General’s Honor Roll during Amphibious Warfare School, Quantico, 1997; Company Commander and Battalion Operations Officer of Company Lima and Weapons Company, 3d Battalion, 4th Marines, 29 Palms, California, 1998.

Colonel Milburn was assigned to the Coalition and Special Warfare Center (CSWC) in Quantico, Virginia in 2002. While with the CSWC, he conducted training and assessment engagements in South America, Africa, South West Asia, and Eastern Europe. While in this assignment, he also deployed to Iraq in 2003 as the Future Operations Officer for 7th Marines. In early 2004, he was tasked with establishing the Marine Corps’ advisor training course to prepare Marines for deployment to Iraq as advisors to the nascent Iraqi Army.

Colonel Milburn deployed to Iraq, in 2004, as a Military Transition Team Leader. During this tour, he was assigned to the 6th Brigade, Iraqi Intervention Force, and participated in the second battle of Fallujah and subsequent operations in Mosul. Part of this tour was also spent in Afghanistan.

Colonel Milburn returned to Quantico, Virginia, in June 2005, to attend the School of Advanced Warfighting, where he received the Cates Award for outstanding student of the year. In 2006, Colonel Milburn was assigned to the Plans Branch, G-5, Marine Forces Pacific, Camp Smith, Hawaii. In November, 2007, he took command of the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines and subsequently led the battalion during a deployment to Karma, Iraq in 2009. In June 2009, he attended the Marine Corps War College, from which he graduated with distinction and as winner of the Joint Service Planner Award.

Colonel Milburn was then assigned to Special Operations Command Europe, where he served in the J-3 until 2011. During this time he led the EUCOM liaison team in support of the international NEO from Libya. In May 2011, he was assigned as Chief of EUCOM’s J-5 Plans Division. He reported to Marine Special Operations Command in 2012. While at MARSOC he commanded the Marine Raider Regiment from 2012-2015.

Colonel Milburn most recently served as Commander, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Iraq (CJSOTF-I) in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. He was responsible for the Special Operations effort to counter ISIL in support of U.S., Allied and Partner Nation objectives. Col Milburn retired in March 2019 and since then has been on the adjunct faculty of the Joint Special Operations University.

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