Fair Winds and Following Seas to VADM Devany
This past Tuesday, officers in the National Capitol Region were fortunate to attend a lunch with VADM Devany. The lunch was a great opportunity to engage with the VADM in a casual and candid setting before he completes his distinguished career and "uses the brow" to head off to calmer seas and a well-earned retirement. Our local DC chapter of the Association of Commissioned Officers took the lead in preparing for this event and did a fine job - thank you LCDR Wattam and ACO Board Members and thank you VADM Devany for spending some of your time with us. If you didn't get a chance to wish the VADM well, you can still bid him farewell and thank him for his service and leadership if you RSVP NOW for his retirement ceremony one week from today on April 22nd at 1330 in the NOAA Auditorium and Science Center in Silver Spring. Uniform of the Day is Summer White.
New Uniform and Awards Board Convened
A new Uniform and Awards Board has been convened. Thank you and welcome to:
- CDR Kristie Twining, Chair
- CDR David Zezula
- LCDR Joshua Slater
- LT Andrew Ostapenko
- LT Claire Surrey-Marsden
- LT Aaron Maggied
- LT Tanner Sims
- LT Richard Park
- LT Jesse Milton
- LTJG Micki Ream
Yesterday, CDR Twining and CPC staff met to take a critical look at the current awards process and discuss ideas for improvement by leveraging technology, assisting CPC staff by assigning certain tasks to UAB members, and adjusting the process to meet the needs of NOAA officers. A few areas hold some promise for improved award servicing. These will be further explored and possibly implemented after OPMD gains a little more bandwidth following the conclusion of next month's promotion boards. An updated NOAA Corps Awards "How-to" document is now available on the CPC website. Two notable changes:
Please submit all award nominations, suggestions, and inquires related to the UAB via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The UAB will accept award nominations any time throughout the month up until the last day of the month preceding the next UAB meeting. The UAB will review incoming nominations and inquiries on a first-come, first served basis as they come in. Please do not wait until the last minute to submit your nominations.
BOTC and OCS Leadership Philosophy Panels
Special thanks to CAPT John Caskey and the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center Staff as well as the officers below who took the time out of their busy schedules to participate in this past week's Leadership Philosophy Panels for the USCG OCS class and BOTC-127:
- CDR Devin Brakob
- CDR Chad Cary
- LCDR Meghan McGovern
- LTJG Andrew Clos
- ENS Michael Ball
Feedback from officers and civilian personnel who have previously participated in the Leadership Philosophy Panels has been overwhelmingly positive. The value of these events is not reserved solely for our newest ensigns but for the panel members as well. The experience is well worth the time. All leaders and managers are encouraged to seize this valuable opportunity to "tune-up" their own leadership philosophy while helping to mold the philosophy of our next generation of leaders. The next opportunity will occur later this fall during BOTC-128. Contact CAPT Caskey (John.Caskey@noaa.gov, 860-701-6630) for more information, to express your interest, and/or reserve your spot.
Commander Les Cruise, USPHS
Acting Director, OMAO Health Services
Deputy Director, OMAO Health Services
Acting Chief, CPC Medical Administration Branch
Beginning May 16, 2016, and continuing until further official notice, CDR Les Cruise will assume the duties and responsibilities of Acting Director, OMAO Health Services. CDR Cruise has recently assumed the duty and responsibilities of Acting Chief, CPC Medical Administration Branch and will continue in that role until the new chief (LT Sharon Downey) arrives in late May. CDR Cruise can be reached at 757-441-3004 or email@example.com for questions regarding fitness for duty, eOPF documents, or other OMAO Health Services issues. Thank you CDR Cruise for your dedication to keeping OMAO Health Services and Chief, Medical Administration Branch duties afloat while continuing to serve our shipmates in your day job.
CO and XO Immersion
Marine Operations has initiated a week-long program to help ensure COs and XOs report to their ships with as much preparation as possible. During this week of immersive operations-related administrative and management training, prospective COs and XOs travel to Marine Operations Center (MOC) Atlantic or Pacific to meet with key personnel and subject matter experts to gain a better understanding of the requirements of their new positions, build strong relationships, and promote teamwork between ship commands and shore-side support personnel.
The MOCs will provide this training in February, May, and August. Officers will pick the week most convenient to them within 6 months of reporting to their sea assignment. On-coming COs and XOs must contact their respective MOC XO to coordinate attendance and travel. Based on the overwhelming positive feedback of attendees thus far, this training is highly encouraged for all prospective COs and XOs regardless of tenure or experience.
Training dates and a draft schedule for 2016 are as follows: May 2-6, 2016, and August 1-5, 2016. Updates will be announced in the Cyberflash and posted to the CPC training site.
"Hangout" with the Director, CPC
In an effort to improve communication and foster greater transparency, understanding, and trust, I will be available on Google Hangouts to discuss, ask, recommend, congratulate, complain, argue, suggest, or otherwise have a captive audience with me on any topic related to NOAA Corps human resources on a monthly basis. This availability is intended to be an opportunity for ANY of my shipmates – remember shipmates applies to those of you who don't wear the "blue suit" but have a vested interest in the NOAA Corps. The Hangout will be live without a script, no canned answers, and no requirement for pre-screened questions, just open, frank, and honest conversation. As such, I may not have all the answers, but if I'm within shouting range of the experts in my office, I will bring them in to assist or I will have them follow up with answers as soon as possible after the fact.
I have placed a recurring monthly hold on my calendar on the first Wednesday of each month from 1400 to 1700 specifically to have these face-to-face conversations. I am relatively new to using Google Hangouts, so the first one or two of these may be a little rough, so keep your expectations in check. However, I'm willing to subject myself to a little technology-induced embarrassment if this effort proves to be a useful and well-received communication tool. If there is a positive demand signal, "Hanging Out" with the Director will become a regular occurrence during my time at the helm of CPC.
Call for BOTC 129 Interviewers
In an effort to help streamline and standardize the BOTC interview evaluation process, the Recruiting Office is requesting one officer, preferably at the O3 or O4 rank, in each of the following regions to commit to conducting interviews for BOTC 129 candidates from July 1-15, 2016:
- Northeast Region (RI/MA):
- Southeast Region (AOC-Tampa, FL):
- Central Region (Boulder, CO):
- Southwest Region (San Diego, CA):
- Northwest Region (Seattle, WA):
- Alaska Region (Anchorage, AK):
- Hawaii Region (Honolulu, HI):
These areas were selected based on convenience of applicants being able to travel to these locations while also creating a decent geographical spread. We are estimating that the East and West coast regions will see a bulk of these interviews. Interviewers can expect to see an
average of 10-15 applicants in the East and West coast regions per cycle. We realize this is a large commitment but having a dedicated group of interviewers will normalize scores and make them more valuable to the selection board.
For those officers that can volunteer, the Recruiting Office will be hosting a webinar before interviews begin in July. The focus of this webinar will be on the interview process to include context behind interview questions, what to ask and not to ask an applicant, and other items related to recruiting.
If you are interested, please contact LT Jeffrey Pereira at Jeffrey.Pereira@noaa.gov by May 15, 2016.
NOAA Corps Directive 12701 Updated
NOAA Corps Directives Chapter 12, Part 7, Section 12701 has been amended to update the regulations addressing wearing of decorations and awards earned while in a civilian status prior to entering the NOAA Corps. This update is in keeping with U.S. Navy and USCG uniform and awards policy. The updated directive is available here.
NOAA Corps Volunteers Needed - DOC Bronze Medal and Career Awards Event
NOAA Workforce Management is in need of at least four Junior Officers with outstanding military bearing in the National Capitol Region to assist with the Bronze & Career Awards event on May 24 in the NOAA Auditorium. Duties include:
Advanced Tasks, Monday, May 23 - assist with auditorium set-up to include moving plaques from WFMO Office to the auditorium, setting up the stage including flag protocol.
Pre-Ceremony, Tuesday, May 24 - manage sign sheets, convey seat assignments, distribute award recipient instructions and programs.
Post-Ceremony, Tuesday May 24 - pass out plaques to award winners who did not receive them on stage.
Please contact Nancy Jackson (Nancy.Jackson@noaa.gov) and Karen Robin (Karen.Robin@noaa.gov) of WFMO to volunteer and contribute to this important award event. Estimated time commitment is 2 to 3 hours for the advanced tasks on May 23. Activities on May 24 are expected to last all morning.