Interview: Adm. Allen, Commandant of the Coast Guard, on Social Media – Part 1

I did an interview in April with Adm. Thad Allen, the 23rd Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, regarding social media & the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard has been spearheading a move into the world of Web 2.0 and interaction with the public through online outlets, and Adm. Allen has been a prominent part of that transition. Here is the text of that interview:

  • The Commandant tried another experiment to enhance transparency via social media by tweeting from his FY-10 Budget hearing. You can follow @ iCommandantUSCG.

    LCDR Tony Russell
    Press Secretary to the Commandant

    This is an official United States Coast Guard posting for the public’s information. Our posting does not endorse this site or anything on it, including links to other sites, and we disclaim responsibility and liability for the site and its content.

  • While the Commandant of the Coast Guard continues to play with Social Media, he has discussed every topic known to the Coast Guard except Civil Rights. He currently leads the only military service to every have its Office of Civil Rights called before congress (1 April 2009 before the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Transportation) for having a program that has not been in compliance with the law for over a decade.
    Admiral Allen has not made single statement on the program his is charged with by law to properly administer.

    Chairman James Oberstar said on 1 April 2009 “I am deeply disturbed by the findings of the “United States Coast Guard Office of Civil Rights: Program Review” released in February of this year. But I am even more disturbed to discover that the findings of this report mirror findings from reviews that were conducted 10 years ago.”

    And Congressman Elijah Cummings stated “Put simply, the picture that emerges from the reports available to us shows that despite knowing that its equal opportunity programs did not ensure full compliance with U.S. law and regulations, the Coast Guard has taken little to no action to ensure full compliance. Further, there have apparently been no consequences for these failures – except perhaps the individual consequences that Coast Guard personnel may have borne, some of whom may have been denied the opportunity to effectively challenge what they may have felt was discriminatory treatment.”

    Since the 1 April 2009 congressional hearing, Adm. Allen has made dozens upon dozens of Blog posts, Twittered, etc. and yet has been silent on this critical and important issue.