Commander Craig Allen Jr
Commander Allen is a career cutterman whose assignments have taken him around the United States and abroad before returning him to the Pacific Northwest where he calls home.
Following graduation from the US Coast Guard Academy in 2002, he served as the Assistant Operations and Law Enforcement Officer in USCGC Venturous, homeported in Saint Petersburg, Florida.
In 2004, Allen reported to Pascagoula, Mississippi as Executive Officer of the pre-commissioning crew that took possession of USS Tornado, one of five 179-foot Cyclone class patrol craft transferred from the US Navy to the US Coast Guard. While Allen was onboard from 2004 to 2006, USCGC Tornado responded to the devastation wrought by hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and successfully completed a proof-of-concept forward deployment to the Western Caribbean in support of Joint Interagency Task Force-South.
From 2006 to 2010, Allen taught Nautical Science, coached track and field, and was the faculty advisor for the cadet marital arts club at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Following that tour, he deployed to the Kingdom of Bahrain to command USCGC Baranof. During that assignment, Baranof logged over 4,000 hours underway conducting maritime infrastructure protection and theater security cooperation missions, while also training Iraqi Navy and Marines to take over the oil platform defense mission that Coalition forces had carried out for more than a decade.
From 2011 to 2013, Allen served as the first Commanding Officer of USCGC William Flores in Miami, Florida. Among the highlights of that tour was meeting Flores family members and several survivors of the USCGC Blackthorn collision at the cutter’s commissioning ceremony.
Allen attended the U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College in Quantico, Virginia from 2013 to 2014, where he was selected for the inaugural Advanced Studies Group program and earned distinguished graduate honors. He then reported to the Office of Counterterrorism and Defense Operations at Coast Guard Headquarters, where he oversaw Coast Guard integration in Department of Defense wargames and doctrine development projects, and represented the Coast Guard on the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Irregular Warfare working group. During that tour, Allen also spent several months in Western Africa with two Coast Guard law enforcement detachments as the Atlantic Area liaison officer for the Africa Maritime Law Enforcement Partnership (AMLEP) program.
From 2018 to 2020, Allen served as Executive Officer of the USCGC Waesche homeported in Alameda, California. During that time, he conducted multiple counter-narcotics patrols to the Eastern Pacific. He now continues that mission as Commanding Officer of the USCGC STEADFAST.
Commander Allen is married to the former Christina Henry from Highland, New York. Together they have three children: Alexandra (10), and twins Brooke and Connor (8).