Delivers Northwood University Florida's Commencement Address, Receives
Northwood University Florida recently hosted Congressman Allen West as
its commencement ceremony keynote speaker and awarded him an honorary
Born and raised in Atlanta, West is the third of four generations of
military servicemen. His parents instilled in him the value of education
along with the love for God and country. "Education is the great
equalizer," he stated. "With a good education, any child in America can
live their dream."
West knows that for children to be able to pursue their dreams, they
need to be safe. Toward that effort, he has served in several combat
zones including Operation Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, where
he was battalion commander for the Army's 4th Infantry Division, and in
Afghanistan, where he trained Afghan officers to take on the
responsibility of securing their own country.
In 2004, when it was time to retire from more than twenty years of
service in the US Army, he brought his wife and two young daughters to
Broward County, Florida, where he taught high school for one year. He
then returned to Afghanistan as an advisor to the Afghan army, an
assignment he finished in November 2007.
received his Bachelor's degree from University of Tennessee and his
Master's degree from Kansas State University, both in political science.
He also holds a Master of Military Arts and Sciences from the US Army
Command and General Staff Officer College in political theory and
He has been honored several times throughout his military career with
awards including a Bronze Star, three Meritorious Service Medals, three
Army Commendation Medals (one with Valor), and a Valorous Unit Award. He
received his valor award as a Captain in Desert Shield/Storm, was the US
Army ROTC Instructor of the Year in 1993, and was a Distinguished Honor
Graduate III Corps Assault School. He proudly wears the Army Master
parachutist badge, Air Assault badge, Navy/Marine Corps parachutist
insignia, Italian parachutist wings, and German proficiency badge