Chaplain Allen was born July 2, 1943 in Cobden, Illinois. He graduated with a BA from Evansville University, Evansville, Indiana in May 1967. He was sworn into the Marine Corps in July of 1967 through the Aviation Officer Candidate program and completed OCS as the “Company Honor Man” of the 48th OCS Class February 1968. Reporting to NAS Pensacola, Florida for flight training in March 1968 he received his wings July 1969. He subsequently served as a CH-46 pilot with HMM 365, HMM 262, HMM 261 and MAG-26. This service included one tour in Republic of Vietnam and deployments aboard USS Inchon and USS Guadalcanal.
Upon separation from the Marine Corps in January 1971 he received a Masters of Divinity degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, North Carolina in 1973. Through the Naval Post Graduate Degree program he received a Certification in Spiritual Direction and a Masters degree in Spiritual Formation from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Chaplain Allen’s duty as a Navy Chaplain included tours as Chaplain to MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina; USS America (CV 66), RTC Orlando, Florida, NTS Orlando, Florida; Command Chaplain, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, New York; Command Chaplain, Commander Fleet Activities, Yokosuka, Japan; and Force Chaplain, Commander Naval Air Reserve Force, New Orleans, Louisiana.
His personal awards include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross; Meritorious Service Medal (w/2 gold stars); Air Medal (bronze numeral 52 strike/flight awards and gold numeral 1 single mission award); Navy Commendation Medal (w/2 gold stars); and Navy Achievement Medal.
Chaplain Allen is an ordained Baptist minister endorsed by the Alliance of Baptists. He is married to the former Terri Lee Hatchett of Henderson, Kentucky. Chaplain and Mrs. Allen have two sons, two grandsons, and one granddaughter. They live in Norfolk, Virginia.