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The assignment process is designed to match the needs of the Service with your skills, career development and personal desires; in other words, to assign the right officer to the right job at the right time. Assignments are a competitive process involving all fully qualified officers.

Assignment Process

The Commissioned Personnel Center routinely receives inquiries from officers about the NOAA Corps assignment process and in particular, the criteria used by the Officer Assignment Board (OAB) to determine which billets are to be filled and by whom. Each officer is encouraged to review NOAA Corps Directives, Chapter 5 - Assignments, for the most authoritative discussion on the assignment process. A thorough understanding of the assignment process and of the criteria used is essential for each officer. Please follow this link to the Assignments How to Guide which provides a synopsis of the process as well as helpful hints to help manage your assignments.

CPC is a non-voting member of the Officer Assignment Board, but is the conduit for providing the OAB with information pertaining to the individual officers while managing the assignments for every Center and Line Office. The OAB considers the following criteria, in descending order of priority, when recommending billets to be filled and by whom:

  • Needs of the Service and the NOAA programs
  • Officer preferences and special circumstances
  • Individual officers' career development;
  • Grade level of the billet and of the officer;
  • Availability of qualified officers;
  • Performance and promotion potential;
  • Experience and training;
  • Balance of sea, shore, flight, and mobile duty;
  • Time in present geographical area and in present billet;
  • Travel costs;

All assignment inquiries should be sent to: assignmentbranch.cpc@noaa.gov. or call (301) 713-7694. The Chief, Assignment Branch encourages all officers to review/update their assignment preferences on-line at least once a year, but not less than 18 months from their scheduled rotation date. In addition, all officers should take a proactive approach to selecting their future billets and are encouraged to contact their Line Office Liaison Officers for guidance specific to that Line Office.

"Great ability develops and reveals itself increasingly with every new assignment."
Baltasar Gracian

Officer Assignment Board (OAB)

  • All Purpose/Informational OAB: OAB's are held on the first Wednesday of every other month, or as close to that timing as is practicable to ensure maximum attendance from designated Line Office Liaisons. The Agenda for the board will reflect the topics as presented to the Assignment Officer from each of the LO Liaison Officers.
  • O-3 and below: The Assignment Officer consults with the LO Liaison Officers/programs and brings assignment recommendations to the Director, NOAA Corps throughout the year (at least once a month) to coincide with presentation of Board recommendations.