Web Journal of Admiral Thad Allen
In September, 2008 Admiral Thad Allen became the first of the nation's armed services' leaders to create his own blog. His experiment with social media began earlier that year when he created his own Facebook page. After the success of that effort (and because the Coast Guard's network did not permit users to visit social media sites like Facebook) he decided to begin writing his own official blog as Commandant, a blog he named "iCommandant" that was published in the "Commandant's Corner" page of the official Coast Guard website. In it he detailed his day-to-day activities as the Coast Guard's leader, taking readers along with him on his many visits to Coast Guard units around the country and around the world, trips above the Arctic Circle, to Capitol Hill, to a Presidential Inauguration, to meetings with the leaders of the other armed services as well as with officials from countries like Ireland, China and New Zealand. He offered up his thoughts on issues of the day, added photographs and videos, linked to other blog postings and websites that piqued his interest and invited commentary and questions from his readers. The Coast Guard, under his guidance, established its first social media policy for it's service members (ALCOAST 458/08) and he encouraged all Coast Guardsmen to join in the social media revolution. He continued to post to iCommandant during his remaining years in office, making his final entry on the day he turned over command of the Coast Guard to his successor, Admiral Robert Papp.
The following are Admiral Allen's entries on iCommandant, saved in pdf format. This historical material is, in a sense, "frozen in time" and many of the links are no longer functioning but the content and format of iCommandant is there as it was originally published. The Historian's Office is currently working on recreating the whole iCommandant blog as a fully functioning website with all links, photos, and videos working but in the interim we hope you enjoy this archival snapshot of Admiral Allen's pioneering attempt to "stay in touch."