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Richard C. Allen enlisted in the Naval Aviation Cadet program in 1959, was commissioned an Ensign and designated a Naval Aviator in 1960, and designated a Naval Flight Officer in 1971. A graduate of Naval Postgraduate School with a BS in Engineering Science, he has also completed the Armed Forces Staff College and National Defense University Capstone Training. He was selected for initial flag Officer assignment in 1987. He retired from the U.S. Navy 1 April 1996 as a Vice Admiral.

Early operational assignments included duty as an A-4 "Skyhawk" pilot with Attack Squadron THIRTY FOUR, A-6 "Intruder " instructor pilot in Attack Squadron FORTY TWO, combat tour as a pilot in Attack Squadron SEVENTY FIVE, department head tour with Attack Squadron SIXTY FIVE, and XO of Attack Squadron EIGHTY FIVE.

Command tours include: Commanding Officer of Attack Squadron EIGHT FIVE (VA-85), Commander Carrier Air Wing SIX (CVW-6), Commanding Officer USS DETROIT (AOE-4), Commanding Officer USS AMERICA (CV-66), Commander Carrier Group SIX (CCG-6), and in his final Navy tour Commander Naval Air Force U.S. Atlantic Fleet (COMNAVAIRLANT). He also served as Battle Force SIXTH FLEET, Commander Task Force SIXTY and Commander Task Group 4.1 during his assignment as Commander Carrier Group SIX.

Staff assignment include: Plans Officer, Medium Attack Wing ONE; Program Coordinator in the Weapons Requirements Branch (OP-506F3), OPNAV; Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans (N-3), SIXTH FLEET; Current Operations Officer (J-33), USCINCLANT; Operations Officer (J-3), USCINCLANT; Deputy Naval Warfare (OP-07B), OPNAV; and Director Assessment Division (N-81), OPNAV.

During operational assignments, he had the opportunity to participate in a number of crisis responses and combat operations. They include the Cuban Missile Crisis (1962), the Vietnam War (1967-1968), Cyprus Conflict (1973), Libya Gulf of Sidra Operations (1981), Lebanon operations (1983), Libya Combat operations (1986), and Caribbean counter drug operations (1990).

Personal awards include the Distinguished Service Medal (two awards), Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (three awards), Distinguished Flying Cross (two awards), Defense Meritorious Service medal (two Awards), Air Medal (two individual and seven strike flight), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal with Combat "V", Navy Achievement Medal with Combat "V", and several unit, service and campaign awards. In addition, he was selected as East Coast Intruder of the Year in 1972, was the first NFO selected for Air Wing Command in 1978, and received the Navy League’s 1986 John Paul Jones Award for Inspirational Leadership.

He is married to the former Margaret Fricks Hall of Marietta, George. They have one daughter, Laura Lee.

He was appointed to the position of President of the Association of Naval Aviation on 22 June 1998.

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