WIESBADEN, Germany -- A field in Newman Village and the surrounding five homes were dedicated to six U.S. Army Soldiers who served in Europe during a ceremony here May 19.

The grassy area, inside Kroesen Loop, was named Allen Field in honor of Maj. Gen. Henry Tureman Allen. The homes were dedicated to Sgt. Alvin Cullum York, Sgt. 1st Class Edward Allen Carter Jr., Master Sgt. Paul L. Bolden, Maj. Gen. Philip E. Gallagher and Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe.

Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, U.S. Army Europe commanding general, told attendees at the dedication about the accomplishments of Allen, who was born in 1859 in Kentucky, the 13th of 14 children. He graduated from the United States Military Academy, also known as West Point, in 1882, then later served in Alaska where he is well-known for having led an expedition that covered roughly 15,000 miles of uncharted wilderness in a matter of months.

Allen went on to become an instructor at West Point and then served in Montana Territory guarding the Northern Pacific Railroad during its construction. He served as a military attaché to Russia and Germany. He fought in the Spanish-American War in Cuba and then in the Philippines. He was later stationed in France during World War I and played a role in the final allied push.

After the war, Allen became the commander of the American Forces in Germany. He saved an important historical fortress here during his time acting as military governor of the American Zone around Koblenz, which began a special relationship between Rhineland-Pfalz and the U.S. Army. Ehrenbreitstein is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Upper Middle Rhein Valley.

Allen lead from the front with a no-nonsense worldview, shaped by his past experiences, which gave him an appreciation for German culture, language and traditions, Hodges said.

"His unique approach of reaching out to Germans was to leave them as free as possible," he said. "Let us focus on his contributions to German and American friendship. We live here as guests and allies. We appreciate the friendship."

And in one final bit of advice, he implored audience members to learn the local language. "If I can learn German, then you can learn German," he said.