Lieutenant Colonel Allen West (US Army, Retired) is a Republican Congressman representing Florida’s 22nd district. He’s one of only two black Republicans serving in the 112th Congress. West is a decorated officer who served in Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. While serving in Iraq, he was reprimanded for illegally interrogating and firing a pistol near the head of an Iraqi police officer he thought was concealing information regarding a murder plot. In West’s run for office, he championed the conservative ideals of small government and was endorsed by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.