Sergeant Major (Retired) Matthew West was born in Teaneck, New Jersey and was raised in DeSoto, Texas. After graduating High School, he enlisted the United States Army in 1983. After attending Basic and Advanced individual training, he attended the US Army Airborne School. He was then assigned to C Co, 1-504 PIR at Fort Bragg, NC. While there, he attended Unit Armorer, Air Movement Operations School, Jumpmaster (Distinguished Honor graduate), PLDC, JOTC, Ranger School and BNCOC. He was then assigned to the 5th Ranger Training Battalion at Dahlonega, Georgia where he served as a Ranger Instructor, Mountaineering NCOIC and Battalion Master JM. During this assignment he attended National Warfare Mountaineering courses (summer and winter), Pathfinder School and Total Army Retention Course. His next assignment took him to Fort Richardson, Alaska where he served with the 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry. He served as a Platoon Sergeant and S-3 Air NCO. Here he attended The Inland Waterways Course and ANCOC. Sergeant Major (Ret) West was then assigned to the 75th Ranger Regiment for a short period of time, working on the Regimental Staff, before moving to 2/11 Infantry Regiment to serve as an instructor for the Infantry Officer Basic Course (IOBC). While here he attended multiple instructor courses, Tactic Certification and remained on Airborne Status during this assignment. After selection for Master Sergeant, he was selected to report to Fort Polk, Louisiana to serve with the 1st Battalion (Airborne), 509th Infantry. During this assignment he served as the Battalion Operation Sergeant, A Co First Sergeant and served as the Battalions first Operations Sergeant Major. While assigned to the 509th, SGM (Ret) West's contributions to the unit were development of the OPFOR Academy POI, development of the new OPFOR methodology in support of the Global War on Terrorism, and development of the Yarborough Mile event held semi-annually. Based on his service and duties he was selected to attend the US Army Sergeants Major Academy at Fort Bliss, Texas. During this assignment, SGM (Ret) West was selected among 150 candidates assigned to the Academy, to deploy to Iraq during the Invasion in 2003. He was attached to multiple units during the 5 month deployment. Upon completion of the USASMA, he was assigned to HHC, 1-30 Infantry, 3rd Brigade, 3rd ID at Fort Benning Georgia. While there he deployed to Iraq in 2005 to 2006. He served as the Battalion Operations Sergeant Major and as the Civil Military Operations Leader for the unit. During this tour of duty SGM (Ret) West conducted over 300 combat patrols, controlled over $20 Million worth of projects and trained the Iraq Army Battalion to take over their Area of Operation. After returning from Iraq, SGM (ret) West was then assigned to the JRTC and Fort Polk as a Task Force Sergeant Major for Task Force 1, and Brigade C2 (Command and Control). Additionally, he served for almost 3 months as the Operations Group CSM. He was selected for and assigned to Vicenza, Italy to serve as the G3 Sergeant Major for the Southern European Task Force (SETAF). He was instrumental in the transformation from SETAF to the United States Army Africa (USARAF), which served as the Army Component Command to US Africa Command.
His awards and decorations include, the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal (w/3 OLC), Army Commendation Medal (5th Award), Army Achievement Medal (5th Award), Army Good Conduct Medal (8th Award) National Defense Service Medal (2nd Award) Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War On Terror Service Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal (w/ Campaign 2 Stars), Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (4th Award), Military Outstanding Volunteer Medal (2nd Award), Army Service Ribbon, and Overseas Service Ribbon (3rd Award). He is also the recipient of the Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Senior Parachutist Badge, and Parachutist Badge, Pathfinder Badge, recipient of Canadian, British, German, French and Italian Airborne Wings and the coveted US Army Ranger Tab.
He is a lifetime member of the National Infantryman's Association, and awarded the Order of Saint Maurice, Lifetime Member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and serves as an officer for Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) at multiple levels within the Department of Louisiana.
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