NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Stephen F. Austin State University will hold a dedication ceremony for the 1st Lt. Kile G. West Memorial Obstacle Course at 2:30 p.m. April 29 at the Student Recreation Center on the SFA campus. The public is invited to attend.

West, who graduated from SFA in 2005, attended the field artillery officer basic course and was assigned to the 1st Calvary Division at Fort Hood. West and four of his men were killed in action May 28, 2007, in Abu Sayda, Iraq, while en route to rescue the crew of a downed U.S. aircraft. West was the first officer commissioned at SFA to be killed in action. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star with Valor and the Purple Heart.

“West absolutely embodied the Lumberjack Battalion’s motto, ‘Be the Best,’” said Maj. James Attaway, SFA chair and professor of military science. “We wanted to do something to honor his sacrifice to our nation and thought it would be appropriate to name the obstacle course after him because it will be regularly used by our cadets.”

Completed in April 2018, the obstacle course was designed by Sgt. 1st Class Jose Rendon, SFA instructor of military science, to help cadets develop the strength, stamina and confidence they need to apply to Air Assault School.

Attaway said the obstacle course requires cadets to literally take a leap of faith to make it over obstacles they may face in life.

“The obstacle course helps cadets conquer their fears by putting them into challenging physical and mental situations. These experiences will help prepare them for challenges they will face as a United States Army officer,” Attaway said.

To learn more about the SFA Army ROTC program, visit