Allen West “We need more of our retired Senior General and Flag Officers to stand up and speak out against the decimation of our fine fighting force”

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Written by Allen West on October 24, 2013 for allenbwest.com

Cuts to the Marine Corps as mandated by sequestration are bringing the force to dangerously low levels. In 2011, the Marines announced they hoped to “right-size” the force after a decade of war from 202,000 to 186,800. But last month, Commandant General Jim Amos announced the Corps would need to reduce the Marine force to a “minimum acceptable” level of 174,000 as a result of sequestration budget cuts.

This week, while speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Major General Frank McKenzie addressed speculation that the force might have to be cut even deeper.

“Based on our review of the existing requirements today and our best-case projection for 2017, 150,000 would be an unviable number for the Marines,” McKenzie said.

While cuts to 150,000 are not likely, the reduction to 174,000 still means a cut to the fundamental unit of the Corps, the Marine Infantry Battalion. Since the Marines have already cut their end-strength (the maximum level of personnel authorized at the end of the fiscal year) from 202,000, which included some 27 infantry battalions, the 174,000 figure would require a reduction to 21 infantry battalions, as well as cuts to armor and towed artillery formations.

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Op-Ed Allen West Has the Courage and Backbone to Stand Behind His Beliefs – Digital Journal

By Burton Wiborg  Nov 22, 2012 for Digital Journal

Though straight-forward and rough around the edges, Lt. Col. and Congressman Allen West lives for patriotism and defending the Constitution of the United States.

Allen West has fought the good fight. He has dedicated his life for the good of this country and deserves some recognition for it.

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.

West’s high point in his career was as Battalion Commander of the 2nd Battalion 20th Field Artillery, 4th Infantry Division starting on June 6, 2002.

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