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Allen West (politician): Wikis


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Allen B. West
Allen West by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Place of birth Atlanta, Georgia
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1982 - 2004
Rank Lieutenant Colonel
Commands held 2nd Battalion 20th Field Artillery 4th Infantry Division
Battles/wars Operation Desert Storm
Iraq War
Awards Bronze Star
Meritorious Service Medal
Army Commendation Medal
Army Achievement Medal
Other work public school instructor in Palm Beach and Broward Counties of Florida
(Deerfield Beach High School)
Adviser to the Afghan Army
(Military Professional Resources, Inc.)
Congressional candidate
(Florida's 22nd congressional district).

Allen B West is a retired American army officer and candidate for the United States Congress in Florida's 22nd district. West currently resides in Florida with his wife Angela and his daughters Aubrey and Austen.


Early life

Allen West was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1961 to his father, Herman West Sr (born in Ozark, Alabama) and his mother, Elizabeth West (born in Camilla, Georgia). Allen's father served in WWII. Allen is in the third of four generations of his family to serve in the military.


West is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and obtained his masters degree in political science at Kansas State University. He also holds a Master of Military Arts and Sciences from the US Army Command and General Staff Officer College in political theory and military history and operations.

Awards and decorations

His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal (two Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Commendation Medal (two Oak Leaf Clusters, one Valor Device), Army Achievement Medal (one Oak Leaf Cluster), Valorous Unit Award, Air Assault Badge and the Parachutist Badge.

In addition, West has been awarded the following service medals and ribbons: National Defense Service Medal (with bronze star device), Southwest Asia Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Army Overseas Service Ribbon (multiple awards), Saudi Arabia Kuwait Liberation Medal W/Palm Tree and Kuwait Liberation Medal

In January 2004, the conservative FrontPage Magazine named West its Man of the Year.[1]

Misconduct allegations and retirement

While serving in Taji, Iraq on August 20, 2003 as commander of the 2d Battalion 20th Field Artillery, 4th Infantry Division, Lieutenant Colonel West was in charge of but not present at an interrogation of an Iraqi police officer who was suspected of having information about planned attacks on American forces. According to the Iraqi police officer, Yehiya Kadoori Hamoodi claimed that during the interrogation soldiers under West's supervision assaulted him attempting to get him to talk.[2] West fired a pistol near the policeman's head, threatened his life, and allowed his troops to physically assault the man.[3][4]

West, who at the time was just short of having 20 years of service, was charged with violating articles 128 (assault) and 134 (general article) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and was in danger of receiving an 11 year prison sentence, dismissal, and losing his retirement benefits. West was processed through an Article 32 hearing in November 2003, where he admitted wrongdoing, was fined $5,000 over two months for misconduct and assault. He then submitted his resignation, and was allowed to retire with full benefits in the summer of 2004.[3]

At a hearing, West was asked by his defense attorney if he would do it again. "If it's about the lives of my men and their safety, I'd go through hell with a gasoline can," he said.[3]

Apparently not knowing West's gun was aimed into a barrel, "Hamoody cracked and gave information about the planned ambush on West's convoy, thwarting the attack. West said there were no further ambushes on U.S. forces in Taji until he was relieved of his leadership post on October 4." [5]

After West's resignation was brought to public attention the next fall, he received over two thousand letters and e-mails from the American public offering him moral support.[citation needed] In addition, a letter was drafted to the Secretary of the Army, its signatories being ninety-five members of Congress in West's support.[citation needed]

Activities since retirement

After leaving the Army, West moved his family from Texas to Florida and was a high school teacher for one year. He has served in Afghanistan as a civilian adviser to the Afghan Army, an assignment that ended shortly after he was wounded by an accidentally discharged rocket propelled grenade.

Congressional campaign

On May 29, 2007, West declared himself as a Republican candidate for congress in Florida's 22nd congressional district. West campaigned against Ron Klein for the congressional seat in the November 2008 elections.[6] He is currently running for the same seat in 2010, and spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference on February 20, 2010. [7]


External links



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