Allen West was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia in the same neighborhood where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once preached. He is the third of four generations of military servicemen in his family.
West was commissioned through ROTC at the University of Tennessee as a Second Lieutenant (2LT) on July 31, 1982. He entered active duty service in the U.S. Army on November 1, 1983 at Fort Sill to attend the Field Artillery Officer Basic Course. He later attended airborne training at Fort Benning. West’s first assignment was as an airborne infantry company fire support team leader and battalion training officer in the 325th Airborne Battalion Combat Team. In 1987, he was promoted to Captain and attended the Field Artillery Officer Advanced Course.
He was then assigned to the 1st Infantry Division, where he commanded Bravo Battery, 6th Field Artillery Regiment and was a Battalion Task Force fire support officer for 2d Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment. While with the 1st Infantry Division, he participated in Operations Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm.
After redeployment from Kuwait, West served as an ROTC instructor at Kansas State University from 1991 to 1994. In January 1995, he was assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division Support Command as the Assistant Operations/Combat Plans Officer. During that time, West was promoted to Major and selected for attendance to the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and graduated in 1997. Afterward, he became the Operations Officer of the 18th Field Artillery Brigade, followed by assignment as the Executive Officer of the 1st Battalion, 377th Field Artillery Regiment. Upon completion of these positions, West was assigned to the II Marine Expeditionary Force in Camp Lejeune, and selected to serve as an Army exchange officer to this headquarters from 1999 to 2002.
West’s culminating assignment to his career was as Battalion Commander of the 2d Battalion 20th Field Artillery, 4th Infantry Division. He assumed command of this unit on June 6, 2002. He deployed with his unit during the Iraq War in 2003 and continued to command his battalion until his retirement from the Army in 2004 after 22 years of honorable service in defense of the Republic.
West’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star; Meritorious Service Medal (two Oak Leaf Clusters); Army Commendation Medal (three Oak Leaf Clusters, one Valor Device); Army Achievement Medal (one Oak Leaf Cluster); Valorous Unit Award; Air Assault Badge; and the Master Parachutist Badge. Lt Col West proudly wears the Army Parachutist Badge, the Air Assault Badge, the Navy/Marine Corps Parachutist Wings, the Italian Parachutist Insignia, and the German Proficiency Badge.
After his retirement from the Army in 2004, Allen taught high school for a year before returning to Afghanistan as a civilian military adviser to the Afghan army, an assignment he finished in November 2007.
In November of 2010, Allen was honored to continue his oath of service to his country when he was elected to the United States Congress, representing Florida’s 22nd District. As a member of the 112th Congress, West introduced seven major pieces of legislation, and was the original sponsor of H. R. 1246 which reduces costs at the Department of Defense, was passed unanimously (393-0), and signed into law by President Obama as part of the National Defense Authorization Act. Congressman West voted for the Balanced Budget Amendment, and voted for over 30 different bills designed to empower small businesses, reduce government barriers to job creation, boost American competitiveness, encourage entrepreneurship and growth, and maximize American energy production.
He is a Fox News Contributor, a Senior Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, and regularly writes for numerous media outlets including PJ Media and Washington Times.
West is an avid distance runner, a Master SCUBA diver, and a motorcyclist, and in his spare time he enjoys cheering his beloved Tennessee Volunteers. He is a member of the NRA, the VFW, the American Legion, the University of Tennessee Alumni Association, Kansas State University Alumni Association, and the Florida Republican Party. His wife, Angela, holds an MBA and Ph.D. and is a financial planner. His older daughter, Aubrey, attends college in south Florida, and his younger daughter Austen, is in high school.
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Policy, Politics, Procedures
Washington gridlock continues to hurt organizations nationwide. After serving in Congress, Representative Allen B. West won support from many groups along the American political spectrum and was named a “torch bearer” and a “political icon.” From an insider’s perspective on Washington, West is perfectly positioned to answer the major questions facing the U.S. from the debt ceiling issue and healthcare reform to slow job growth and a poor education system. In this intellectually fearless keynote, West explains the challenging dynamics between the Congress and the Administration, and how partisanship has drastically diverted the nation’s political course.
The Key to Effective Leadership
A former military leader and a politically conservative leader, Congressman Allen B. West rose to become an icon. His fearless approach to voicing key issues provides not only an inspiration to his half-a million followers, but also a valuable point of view. West knows the value of an inspirational leader, and more importantly, how to be one. In this stimulating keynote, West explores the top characteristics and principles of a good leader. Your audience will leave with applicable strategies for bettering their leadership approach.
Small Businesses Are the Staple of Today’s Economies
As a Member of Congress, Representative Allen B. West served on the Committee on Small Business, and specifically two of its subcommittees: the Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce; and the Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations. Based on his experience and his political philosophies, West knows that small businesses are the foundation of our economy. More importantly, recent laws such as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are jeopardizing the livelihood of these businesses and the U.S. economic foundation. West shares his concerns for small business owners and the outlook for our economy.
Workforce Development: Leveraging Military Leadership Skills to Ensure Business Success
After a 22-year military career, Lieutenant Colonel Allen B. West USA (Ret) certainly understands the value and challenges of effective leadership. Soldiers are trained to face hidden enemies, adjust to changing landscapes, meet short deadlines, and experience the fog of war. LTC Allen B. West teaches organizations how these same military principals when applied to the business world will help ensure an organization’s success in today’s market.
Conservatism in the African American Community
Typically, African American and conservative are not synonymous. As the first African American, Republican Congressman from Florida since 1876, Congressman Allen B. West is an anomaly. He was also born in the south-Atlanta, GA. West shares why he holds certain political values, and how they complement his background. In this unparalleled discussion, West will challenge all your assumptions and break down all stereotypes, including African American does not mean Democrat. Your audience will leave with a new sense of what political demographics really means in today’s day and age.
Protecting Our Nation Begins with Equipping the Troops
The state of 21st century warfare has drastically changed. Unconventional threats such as drones, robotics, and cyber warfare now exist and not only threaten our troops, but also our nation’s citizens. Properly equipping and training is essential to ensuring the security of our country and, the latest advancements in U.S. military capabilities are not enough to ensure our national security, according to Congressman Allen B. West who also served 22 years in the U.S. Army. While in Congress, West served on the House Committee on Armed Services and also on the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities. West knows first-hand the threat of not properly equipping and training soldiers for today’s unconventional battlefield, and your audience will gain a better understanding for the dynamics that politics plays on modern warfare.
Guardian of the Republic: Allen B. West’s Vision for Our Country
In this up close and personal discussion, Congressman Allen B. West shares his early childhood years, which includes his early life as a military brat to then joining and serving in the Army, his experiences as an African American conservative, his philosophical and political foundation, and his vision for our country. Your audience will leave understanding Allen B. West not only as a political icon, but also as a person, a military hero, and riveting leader.