Born February 7, 1961, Allen Bernard West was born in Atlanta, Georgia to Herman and Elizabeth West. His father and older brother were both military officers, his father serving in World War ll and his brother in the Vietnam War, while his mother was a civilian employee of the United States Marine Corps.
Although West’s parents were registered Democrats, they raised him to be conservative-minded, and to ‘scorn the thought of a handout’ he claims. His upbringing would be the result of his life long devotion to the preservation of liberty and freedom.
Throughout his life West has been actively engaged in military service for his country. On November 1, 1983, he entered active duty in the U.S. Army at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where he attended Field Artillery Officer Basic Course. He then went to Fort Benning, Georgia for airborne training. His first assignment was an airborne infantry company fire support team leader and battalion training officer in the 325 Airborne Battalion Combat Team. He was promoted to Captain in 1987 and attended the Field Artillery Officer Advanced Course.
After his training, West commanded Bravo Battery in the 1st Infantry Division, 6th Field Artillery Regiment and was a Battalion Task Force fire support officer for 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment. During his 1st Infantry assignment he was deployed to Kuwait for Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm.
After West’s tour in the Middle East, he served as an ROTC instructor at Kansas State University from 1991 to 1994. West was assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division Support Command in January 1995 as the Assistant Operations/Combat Plans Officer. He was promoted to Major during that time and selected for attendance to the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College where he graduated in 1997. Later he became the Operations Officer of the 18th Field Artillery Brigade, then an assignment as the Executive Officer of the 1st Battalion, 377th Field Artillery Regiment. After completing these assignments, West was assigned to the II Marine Expeditionary Force in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, chosen to serve as an Army exchange officer to this headquarters from 1999 to 2002.