ROA’s President, Rear Admiral Paul Kayye, USN (Ret.) and Executive Director Major General David Bockel, USA (Ret.) attended the “relieving the watch” ceremony of the Commandant of the Coast Guard May 25. It can be noted how fond the attendees were of Admiral Thad W. Allen because of the number of standing ovations by the guests for both the Admiral and his wife, Pam, who has a place in the hearts of the Coast Guard as well.
The ceremony was also attended by Admiral Allen’s parents, Coast Guard Chief Damage Controlman Clyde and Mrs. Wilma Allen. This was even more significant because Chief Allen was the Coast Guard Academy football coach in the early 70’s when Admiral Allen and his relief Admiral Robert J. Papp attended the Academy. Members of the Class of 1971 and 1975 attended this change of command in support of their classmates.
Admiral Papp will assume the duties as the 24th Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard. Of note, he is a previous Director of Reserve and Training, which is equivalent to being the USCG Reserve Chief. He is also a member of the Reserve Officers Association.
The day before, the “relieving the watch” ceremony was held for the Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard, where Vice Admiral David Pekoske turned over his command to Vice Admiral Sally Brice O’Hara, making her the second female vice commandant in the history of the service, after retired Vice Admiral Vivien Crea, who retired last year. Vice Admiral O’Hara also served as the Director of Reserve and Training. This means that both the current Commandant and Vice Commandant of the US Coast Guard have commanded the Coast Guard Reserve in the past.