Recently, I asked Lieutenant Colonel Allen West if he would write an article for OpinionBug about Iraq. He graciously agreed.
OpinionBug is honored to have his article appear on our site. The article will be published in the Sunday, October 17th edition.
LTC Allen West has a distinguished service record with the United States Army:
Lieutenant Colonel Allen B. West was born in Atlanta, Georgia at Hughes Spaldin Hospital, 7 February 1961. He attended and graduated from Henry Grady High School June 1979. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the US Army Field Artillery 31 July 1982 in the early commissioning program of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville Reserve Officers Training Corps.
He holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Tennessee, a Master of Arts degree in Political Science from Kansas State University, and a Master of Military Arts and Science degree from the US Army Command and General staff College, Ft Leavenworth, Kansas.
LTC West entered active duty service on 1 November 1983 at Ft Sill Oklahoma to attend the Field Artillery Officer Basic Course. Upon completion of his initial schooling in March 1984, LTC attended the Basic Airborne and Jumpmaster courses at Ft Benning Georgia.
LTC West’s first assignment, from 1984-1987, was as an Airborne Infantry Company Fire Support Team leader and battalion training officer in the 325th Airborne Battalion Combat Team, Vicenza Italy. LTC West was promoted to CPT in 1987 and attended the Field Artillery Officer Advanced Course.
His next assignment was to the 1st Infantry Division (Mechanized), Ft Riley, Kansas from 1988-1991. LTC West commanded Bravo Battery, 6th Field Artillery and was a Battalion Task Force Fire Support Officer for 2d Battalion, 16th Infantry. It was in that capacity that LTC West participated in Operations Desert Shield and Storm.
After redeployment from the Kuwait Theater of operations, LTC served as an ROTC instructor at Kansas State University in Manhattan Kansas from 1991-1994. In January 1995, LTC West was assigned to the 2d Infantry Division Support Command as the Assistant Operations/Combat Plans Officer. During this Korea assignment LTC West was promoted to Major and selected for attendance to the US Army Command and General Staff College at Ft Leavenworth and graduated in the Class of 1997.
After the Staff College, LTC West became the Operations Officer of the 18th Field Artillery Brigade (Airborne) at Ft Bragg North Carolina in 1997. That was followed by assignment as the Executive Officer of the 1st Battalion (Air Assault), 377th Field Artillery Regiment. Upon completion of these branch qualifying positions, LTC West was assigned to the II Marine Expeditionary Force in Camp Lejeune North Carolina, selected to serve as an Army exchange officer to this headquarters from 1999-2002.
LTC West’s culminating assignment to his career was as Battalion Commander of the 2d Battalion, 20th Field Artillery of the 4th Infantry Division, Ft Hood Texas. He assumed command of this unit on 6 June 2002 and relinquished command 4 October 2003. During his time as Commander he deployed his unit to Operation Iraqi Freedom where he served in Iraq for nine months.
His personal decorations include: Bronze Star medal, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaves, Army Commendation Medal with three oak leaves and Combat V-Device for Valor, Army Achievement Medal, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait Liberation Medals, Valorous Unit Award, Army Master Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, Navy Marine Corps Parachute Insignia, Italian Parachutist Badge, and German Proficiency Badge (Bronze Award).
LTC West is married to Dr Angela M. Graham-West of Kingston Jamaica. They have two daughters, Aubrey (10) and Austen (7).