Mullins Relieves Allen As Commander Of Coast Guard Sector Mobile

The U.S. Coast Guard Sector Mobile held a change-of-command ceremony June 17, with Capt. Ulysses Mullins relieving Capt. LaDonn Allen as sector commander. Rear Adm. Richard Timme, commander of the Coast Guard’s Eighth District, presided over the ceremony, which was held in Mobile, Ala.

Mullins comes to Sector Mobile from Honolulu, Hawaii, where he previously served as prevention division chief for the Coast Guard’s 14th District, a post he had held since June 2019. Before that, Mullins spent three years as deputy sector commander of Sector Honolulu. Mullins has more than 26 years of experience serving in the Coast Guard.

Allen, who assumed command of Sector Mobile in May 2019, is retiring after more than 28 years of service in the Coast Guard.

Speaking to the crowd gathered for the change-of-command ceremony, Allen recalled how, as a young person, she would have never imagined joining the military.

“Here I am, 28 years and 10 moves later, and I wouldn’t change a thing,” she said.

Allen thanked former Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard R. Jay Lloyd for “giving me a hand up in 1994 when the recruiter chief told me that the Coast Guard was not looking for women.”

“Your gentle nudge provided me an opportunity of a lifetime and is why I’m here today,” Allen said. “Having just one person in your corner to help even the playing field is sometimes that spark you need to start a fire.”

Allen described the Coast Guard as a small family, brought even closer by the trials faced together.

“In fact, in Sector Mobile alone, we’ve been through so much,” Allen said. “Vessel collisions, allisions, groundings, global pandemic, political turmoil, major hurricanes, space operations and next-of-kin notifications for search and rescue. Telling a family member we’ve made the decision to stop searching for their loved one is something I never want to do again. These assignments and these events have left a mark on me, and I feel it every single day.”

Allen went on to thank a who’s who of Coast Guard leaders, both retired and active, that she served alongside throughout her career. She also thanked her family, including her grandmother whom she described as a “Rosie the Riveter,” for not only supporting her but for modeling for her what a strong woman leader looks like.

“It’s been a great ride, and I’m so proud to say that I am retired in the world’s greatest and premier Coast Guard,” Allen said. “Thank you all for sharing in my journey.”

Industry leaders joined their voices to welcome Mullins to the sector and to thank Allen for her years of leadership and partnership.

“The Warrior-Tombigbee Waterway Association offers our heartiest congratulations to Capt. Ulysses Mullins on his assumption of command of U.S. Coast Guard Sector Mobile from Capt. LaDonn Allen,” said Wynne Fuller, president of the association. “From my perspective, having worked closely with Sector Mobile for over 30 years during my career with the Corps of Engineers and over the past year with this association, Capt. Mullins takes over one of the finest teams in the Coast Guard. The relationships built and sustained by Capt. Allen and her predecessors, supported by an exceptional team of professionals, will serve him well in the Gulf Coast maritime industry.

“We look forward to working with Capt. Mullins and congratulate Capt. Allen on a fine career in service to our country and wish her every success in retirement,” Fuller added.

Mitch Mays, administrator of the Tennessee Tombigbee Waterways Development Authority and president of the Tenn-Tom Waterway Council, echoed that sentiment.

“The Tenn-Tom Waterway welcomes Capt. Mullins as he begins his tenure as commander of the Mobile Sector for the U.S. Coast Guard,” Mays said. “The Mobile Sector has always been a strong partner to business and industry on the Tenn-Tom Waterway, and we know this will continue under Capt. Mullins’ leadership. Furthermore, we congratulate Capt. Allen on her well-earned retirement and offer our appreciation for her leadership at the Mobile Sector.”