Adm. Hull to Retire

Wednesday, July 14, 2004
A change of command and retirement ceremony is scheduled for the Coast Guard Atlantic Area commander Friday at 10 a.m. at Nauticus, the National Maritime Center, in Norfolk, Va.

Coast Guard Commandant Thomas H. Collins will preside over the ceremony where Vice Adm. Vivien S. Crea, will assume responsibilities from Vice Adm. James D. Hull as the Coast Guard Atlantic Area commander.

Hull, the Atlantic Area commander for the past two years, will retire following the change of command after 39 years of service.

Hull was commissioned an Ensign at the Coast Guard Academy, New London, Conn., in 1969. Between 1969 and 1971, Hull was aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Rush in Vietnam. During combat, crewmembers from the Rush sank two enemy trawlers and prevented a U.S. Army unit from being over-run. Between 1971 and 1973, Hull was executive officer onboard the Coast Guard Cutter Red Birch and was part of a crew that tested the first oil boom in San Francisco. In the years that followed, Hull was the commanding officer onboard Coast Guard Cutters Alert, a 210-foot medium endurance cutter, and Dallas, a 378-foot high endurance cutter. In 1999, Hull became Commander, Ninth Coast Guard District and in 2002, was promoted to Commander, Atlantic Area.

The change of command ceremony is a time-honored event preserved by the rich heritage of naval tradition. It is a custom that is formal and impressive and designed to strengthen the respect for authority, which is vital to any military organization. The climax of the ceremony is reached when both officers read their orders, face one another, salute and transfer responsibility for the command. This provides the entire command with the knowledge that the officer directed by proper authority is taking command and an opportunity to witness this transfer of responsibility.

Coast Guard Atlantic Area, headquartered in Portsmouth, Va., covers all states east of the Rocky Mountains and stretches from the Canadian border to the Caribbean Sea. Atlantic Area includes 10.36 million square miles of land and 4.36 million square miles of navigable water.

In a typical year, among many maritime missions, the men and women of Atlantic Area, execute more than 33,000 search and rescue cases, save almost 3,000 lives, maintain 46,000 federal aids to navigation, respond to more than 3,500 oil or chemical spills and stop the flow of approximately 41,000 metric tons of illegal drugs.

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