Captain Ulen was born in Evansville, Indiana, 2 September 1895, and received his dental degree from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, where he was graduated in 1918. He served in the Army during the last months of World War I and was appointed Assistant Dental Surgeon with the rank of Lieutenant (jg) in Dental Corps of the US Navy on 26 April 1920. He progressively advanced in grade to that Captain to rank from 1 January 1942.
During his long Naval career, Captain Ulen had service prior to World War II in the battleships New York and New Mexico, and also USS Antares and USS Ranger, with foreign service on Asiatic Station. Shore assignments included the Naval Training Station, Great Lakes, Illinois; Naval Training Station, Hampton Roads, Virginia; the Naval Dental School, Washington, DC; and the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland. During that period he completed postgraduate courses of instruction in Prosthodontia at the Naval Dental School, Washington, DC and the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and the postgraduate course at the Army Industrial College, Washington, DC.
Early in World War II Captain Ulen was attached to the War Plans Section of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Navy Department, Washington, DC, and served in the Bureau throughout the war, his last duty being General Inspector (Dental) of the Bureau. While in that assignment he had additional duty in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. He received a Letter of Commendation, with authorization to wear the Commendation Ribbon, from the Secretary of the Navy, as follows:
LETTER OF COMMENDATION:
"For outstanding performance of duty as Dental Officer in the War Plans Division, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, responsible in a large degree for the planning and establishment of dental facilities to provide adequate dental examinations and professional care for the personnel of the Navy and Marine Corps, Captain Ulen successfully obtained equipment and procured officer and enlisted personnel, training them, both technically and professionally, for efficient service. Also acting as Liaison Officer between the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery and the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Captain Ulen by his tact, leadership and executive ability, upheld the traditions of the US Naval Service."
In January 1947 Captain Ulen reported for duty as District Dental Officer of the Third Naval District, New York, New York, and on 14 January 1948, was transferred to duty as Inspector of Dental Activities in New York. On orders of 10 June 1948, he proceeded to Pearl Harbor Territory of Hawaii, for duty as District Dental Officer of the Fourteenth Naval District.
In addition to the Commendation Ribbon, Captain Ulen had the American Defense Service Medal, the American Area Campaign Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal.