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Coast Guard Gets New Commandant

Adm Thad Allen
Adm Thad Allen

Admiral Thad W. Allen, the commandant of the Coast Guard, was relieved by Admiral Robert Papp yesterday. Adm. Allen will continue to serve as National Incident Commander for the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

“It has been an honor to serve as your Commandant for the past four years and I am confident in Admiral Papp’s ability to lead the Service during a period of tremendous changes, challenges, and opportunities,” Allen writes in a blog post addressed to ‘Guardians’. “The value of the U.S. Coast Guard has never been greater than it is today and it is the men and women of our great Service who truly make it all possible.”

Allen became commandant in 2006 and, during his tenure, transformed the acquisition process, created a new support structure for the Reserve Forces, enhanced its marine capabilities, stood up the Force Readiness Command and Deployable Operations Group and created the Maritime Enforcement Rating. Allen also strengthened the Coast Guard’s relationship with the Department of Homeland Security.

“The common thread connecting each of these of initiatives and actions, and my overarching goal as Commandant, was for the Coast Guard to become more change-centric – to sense changes in our operational environment and have the courage to make course corrections before problems overwhelm us or we have terms dictated to us externally,” Allen writes. “To do that we must become more diverse, adapt to new technologies, and embrace social media as well. I believe we have become more change-centric and a learning organization that capitalizes on lessons learned.”

Allen concluded his remarks by thanking the men and women of the Coast Guard for their hard work and dedication.

“I am incredibly proud of all our active duty members, reservists, civilians and auxiliarists,” he writes. “No matter how fiercely the winds of change swirl around us, our people stabilize the Service. You are America’s Maritime Guardians and your country needs you now more than ever. It has been my extraordinary honor to have been your Commandant and I am excited to see where you will take the organization in the future.”

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