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Brad Taylor: Delta Force Turned Author

Let’s talk about Brad Taylor, not just as the author or the retired Delta Force Lieutenant Colonel. Let’s dive into the man whose life reads like one of his thrillers, full of twists, turns, and a wealth of experiences that bleed into the pages of his novels. Born under the Okinawan sun and raised on a Texas ranch sprawling 40 acres, Taylor’s story began with wide-open spaces and dreams that stretched just as far.

Brad Taylor Beginnings

After university life at the University of Texas, Taylor didn’t just step into the military; he leaped, embarking on a 21-year adventure that shaped not just the soldier but the storyteller. From commanding troops in the shadowy realms of Delta Force to navigating the academic halls of The Citadel, his journey was as varied as it was intense. With each assignment and mission, Taylor was not just accumulating medals and accolades; he was gathering stories, insights, and a deep understanding of the human spirit under pressure.

Photo by Claudio Marinesco

Delta Force To Civilian

Taylor’s transition from the high-octane world of Delta Force to civilian life paints a vivid picture of a man who lived and breathed the ethos of one of the most elite units in the military. Reflecting on his journey, Taylor shares, “It’s almost you’re just that’s your life. That’s what you do.” The stark contrast he felt when moving to Charleston to teach at The Citadel was like stepping off a bullet train into a world where life’s pace was dramatically slower, where people were doing “normal stuff.” This adjustment shocked Taylor, who became accustomed to the intense, all-consuming nature of life at Fort Bragg, where the mission always took precedence.

Taylor’s insights into the brotherhood and camaraderie of Delta Force reveal the deep sense of belonging and identity forged in the crucible of shared hardships and triumphs. “When you live that world, you’re in a very small fraternity,” he explains, highlighting the profound challenge of leaving behind this tight-knit community. The transition to civilian life isn’t just about changing jobs; it’s about leaving a part of oneself behind and stepping into a world that no longer operates by the same rules or shares the same unspoken bonds.

The Growler is a specialized electronic warfare version of the U.S. Navy's two-seat F/A-18F Super Hornet jet fighter. The image depicts a full, frontal shot of the jet aircraft on the taxi way with engines running.
(Photo by iStock Photo)

The Right Stuff

Yet, for those aspiring to join the ranks of such an esteemed unit, Taylor’s advice is rooted in resilience and willpower. The selection process for Delta Force, he notes, is a great leveler, stripping away rank and name to focus purely on the individual’s capability and determination.

 “There’s no military school made in the United States military for Superman,” Taylor states, emphasizing that the trials one faces are designed to break a person down to their core, testing whether they possess the sheer will to push through adversity. It’s not about physical prowess alone but the mental fortitude to think on one’s feet when pushed to the limit.

Taylor’s reflection on the aftermath of selection speaks to the ongoing journey of proving oneself: “The biggest shock I had after finishing selection was that I actually had to prove myself in another way.” It underscores that earning a place in Delta Force is just the beginning. The real challenge lies in continually demonstrating one’s worth and contributing to the unit’s legacy. 

Brad Taylor’s narrative is a testament to the enduring spirit of those who serve at the highest levels, a reminder of the sacrifices made and the relentless pursuit of excellence that defines the life of a soldier long after the uniform is hung up for the last time.

To New York Times Best Seller

When Taylor speaks about his writing, you can hear the echo of his experiences. He talks about firearms in his novels with a refreshing pragmatism. “I don’t spend much time on weapon systems in the book… But if it’s necessary and critical to the book itself, then it’ll make it in the book,” he explains. This isn’t about flaunting knowledge or overwhelming readers with jargon. It’s about serving the story, keeping the action fluid, and the readers engaged. Taylor knows the devil is in the details, but so is the drag. He aims to keep you hooked, not hung up on the specs of a pistol.

Taylor’s approach to storytelling mirrors his strategic military planning. He parallels orchestrating a special forces operation and plotting a novel. It’s about making choices that drive forward that make sense within the world he’s created. “There’s something he’s going to do. Well, he could do a thousand things, and there’s got to be a reason why he didn’t do 999 other things.” This isn’t about limiting possibilities; it’s about crafting a narrative that’s as compelling as it is credible.

The selection process for Delta Force, he notes, is a great leveler, stripping away rank and name to focus purely on the individual's capability and determination.
(Photo by iStock Photo)

Inspiration

But where does Taylor find the fuel for his plots, the spark for his next adventure? “Oh, I got a ton,” he admits, discussing his morning ritual of devouring news feeds worldwide. From the geopolitical tensions in Eastern Europe to the nuances of international diplomacy, Taylor is always on the hunt for the seed of a story. His curiosity is insatiable, driven by a desire to entertain, illuminate, and provoke thought.

And yet, despite his vast knowledge and experience, Taylor remains grounded. He’s keenly aware of the gap between his world and his readers. “My wife keeps saying people don’t know what you know,” he shares, a reminder of the responsibility he feels to bridge that gap, to share insights wrapped in the cloak of fiction. It’s not about lecturing; it’s about engaging and inviting readers into a conversation that extends beyond the final page.

The lines between the man, the soldier, and the author blur in Brad Taylor’s world. His books are more than just escapes into the thrilling unknown; they’re reflections of a life lived boldly, of a man who’s seen both the darkness and light of humanity and chooses to write from that space in between. In his own words and deeds, Taylor invites us all to look beyond the surface, question, and perhaps most importantly, understand. That’s the magic of Brad Taylor, not just in what he writes but in how he lives.

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