Owen L. Clements was born February 11, 1886 in Berrien County, GA, a son of Benjamin Franklin Clements and Senie Burkhalter. He was more frequently known by his middle name, Leonard.
In the Census of 1900 Leonard Clements was enumerated along with his family in the Rays Mill District, Georgia Militia District 1144 of Berrien County. Leonard’s father was a farmer who owned his home and land free and clear of mortgage. While his father worked the fields, 14-year-old Leonard, and his siblings who were of age, attended school.
Some time before 1910, Leonard joined the U. S. Army. He was stationed at Fort Russell near Cheyenne, Wyoming and assigned to Battery D, Fourth Field Artillery. The 4th Field Artillery Regiment was first activated in 1907 from numbered companies of artillery.
In early 1913, the 4th Field Artillery Regiment was dispatched from Fort Russell to Galveston, Texas by President Taft in anticipation that intervention would be required in Mexican civil unrest. Portions of the 4th Field Artillery were involved in the occupation of Vera Cruz in 1914 and afterward returned to Texas.
By August, 1915 Clements’ unit, Battery D, Fourth Field Artillery was stationed at Mercedes, Texas on the Mexican border.