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U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 4 Roger West
Pilot Closes Military Chapter
By Angela Scherbenske Combined
Joint Task Force, Horn Of Africa
CAMP LEMONIER, Djibouti, March 20, 2007 —Forty-three years ago the United States was embroiled in the civil rights movement, the conflict in Vietnam was ramping up, the Beatles were taking the world by storm and a young Roger West joined the U.S. Army.

After 43 years and three months of service to his country in the Ohio National Guard, Chief Warrant West is closing the final chapter on his military career.

“I have had a greet career in the Army National Guard Aviation and I wouldn’t change the opportunities that I have been fortunate to be a part of within my career,” said West.

The fixed-wing aviator recently completed his final military flight as a C-26 pilot for the CJTF-HOA staff and is preparing to redeploy home.

“When we taxied in the other day, which was my last flight with the military, I was excited and sad all at the same time,” said West. “Although it was my last flight, it was here on a deployment doing what we do, flying support missions for the primary Combined Joint Task Force, Horn Of Africa(CJTF-HOA) staff.”

West said that to be a National Guard soldier deployed with his entire section, doing what they do, was a great way to finish out his military career.

“This is the first time that my section has been able to be deployed together and do what we are all trained to do. I grew up and trained with a lot of these men in my section, and I am thankful to have had an opportunity to finish out my career with them,” he said.

Upon finishing his last flight at Camp Lemonier, West was honored with a letter of appreciation for his service from U.S. Navy Rear Adm. James Hart, CJTF-HOA commander, and U.S. Navy Capt. William Sizemore, CJTF-HOA chief of staff, both who are military aviators.

West humbly applauded the men and women from CJTF-HOA, regardless of rank or years of service, for their work and commitment: to CJTF-HOA’s success.

U.S. Army Ohio National Guard pilot Chief Warrant Roger West poses in front of a Marine CH-53E aboard Camp Lemonier. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech Sgt. Lee harshman

“I feel that it’s important to remember that we (CJTF-HOA) work to assist in helping make positive changes here, one family at a time, and then one community at a time.” said West.

West said a memorable experience during his time at Camp Lemonier was when he and his flight crew were able to spend an hour or so of their time playing football with the local children while on assignment in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He said that this experience was not just about spending time playing a game of football, but about building relationships with the people here in Africa.

“If you are out there in a community, such as when we were in Addis, and you take even 10 minutes of your time with the people from that community to build a relationship with them, then you have done something positive,” said West.

Change always has to start somewhere, and the members of the unit tried to do their part by volunteering time to projects and community issues to make a difference for the people here in Africa, said West.

When he is not focused on work, West enjoys spending his free time thinking about his family, and looking forward to his returning home and spending time with his wife, children, grandchildren, running 14-18 miles every few days, watching the news and reading books.

After more than 43 years of service, West has earned the time to reflect and enjoy the fruits of his labor.

Last Updated:
03/20/2007, Eastern Daylight Time
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