Battalion commander, nephew of prominent politician, relieved at JBLM
Stars and Stripes November 22, 2023
An Army battalion commander and nephew of a prominent Republican politician was relieved of his command last month for “loss of confidence,” the Army said Tuesday.
Lt. Col. Herman Bernard West III had commanded the 1st Battalion, 94th Field Artillery Regiment at Joint Base Lewis-McChord since June, according to the Army statement.
The Army gave no reason for his dismissal, but Lt. Col. Jennifer Bocanegra, a spokeswoman at JBLM, said West has not been charged with violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Jason Wareham, an attorney in Denver who is representing West, told the Army Times newspaper on Monday that West has been accused of sexual harassment.
Efforts to contact Wareham on Tuesday were unsuccessful.
West is a nephew of retired Army Lt. Col. Allen B. West, who served as a Republican congressman from Florida from 2011 until 2013 and later as chairman of the Texas Republican Party in 2020-2021.
In 2003 the elder West was relieved as commander of an artillery battalion in the 4th Infantry Division following a use-of-force incident against an Iraqi police officer suspected of attacking U.S. troops.
The elder West admitted to violating rules on treatment of prisoners, including subjecting him to a mock execution with an unloaded pistol and striking him during interrogation.
West accepted non-judicial punishment including a $5,000 fine and was allowed to retire from the Army in 2004 as a lieutenant colonel.