W. O. West was a Major General in the United States Air Force and headed Project Giza (also known as the Stargate Project), the forerunner of Stargate Command at Cheyenne Mountain. He retired and hence was then replaced by George S Hammond.
A United States Air Force officer with experience in the Vietnam War and Southeast Asia (Gulf War), Major General West wore the wings of a senior pilot and a rather uninformative rack of ribbons. He is a qualified expert with small arms and served six months over deployed in conflicts in Vietnam.
He has prior experience with Colonel Jack O'Neil, trusting his judgment and his military expertise while having enough emotional distance from the man to select him for a suicide mission, despite O'Neill going through an emotionally difficult time considering how his son had just died. He knew O'Neill well enough to ask about his family, mainly his wife. (Stargate)
Upon the successful connection of the Earth Stargate to Abydos, West immediately militarized the program and locked out most of the civilian team previously under Langford. He then authorized the initial excursion to Abydos. (Stargate)
Sometime after the first activation of the Stargate, he presumably retired and was subsequently replaced by Major General George S. Hammond, who assumed control of the newly-formed Stargate Command in 1997. (SG1: "Children of the Gods")
Ribbons and Medals
- Senior Pilot Wings
- Air Force Distinguished Service Medal
- Meritorious Service Medal (with one or more clusters)
- Air Force Commendation Medal
- Air Force Achievement Medal
- Air Force Organizational Excellence Award
- National Defense Service Medal
- Vietnam Service Medal
- Southwest Asia Service Medal (device?)
- Air Force Overseas Short Tour
- Air Force Longevity Service Award (with 2 clusters of unknown type)
- Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon
- Air Force Training Ribbon
- Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
- The book describes him as a "stern soldier about fifty years old" (putting his birthday around 1940) and states the following:
- "Respected and feared by all who served under him, West was famous for three things: for always making the right decisions under pressure, for erupting into superhuman fits of rage when his orders were not executed exactly as he wished, and for being the best damn poker player in any branch of the armed forces."
- ―Stargate novelization p. 56[src]
- Leon Rippy, who played General West, is a character actor who appears in many movies by Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich. Rippy would later go on to appear in the TV series, "Leverage" alongside actor, Timothy Hutton.
|Commander of Project Giza
George S. Hammond