Director's Message:


I've got three items I wish to call your attention to and discuss in this installment of the Cyberflash.

Report of Good Order and Morale

In his final Cyberflash before handing the conn of CPC to me, CAPT Krepp provided a summary report of disciplinary actions taken against NOAA Corps officers. CPC has received feedback questioning the motivation and intent behind releasing this information. I can provide some insight and answer the question regarding both. First and foremost, providing this information is NOT intended to provide a deterrent effect, humiliate the disciplined individual, or to "scare" people in to making good choices. The motivation is to maintain good order and morale.

I first came across this type of report while assigned to the USCG and found the title to be rather puzzling. How could "good order and morale" be related to disciplinary actions taken against USCG military members? Upon further investigation, and by looking at this report from the perspective of a Coastie, it became clear that the reason for the title and one of the primary reasons for this report is to reinforce the importance of doing the right thing, even when it's hard. The report provides assurance and positive reinforcement to those officers who continue to meet high standards of conduct, who take the hard road when the easy road is much more expedient, and who do the right thing when no one's looking. These things matter. Accountability is re-enforced as shown by the report.

For those who felt that this report was intended to try and lay blame, scare people, or felt that it is an attempt to establish a zero-defect or witch-hunt climate, I question where this fear is coming from. I believe that these concerns are unwarranted if you practice and maintained your commitment to our core values. If you haven't conducted yourself in accordance with our core values - you've allowed yourself or others to cut-corners, bend rules, or compromise on doing things the right way - perhaps you may want to take a moment to reflect and refamiliarize yourself with honor, respect, and commitment. I highly recommend doing this, as my adherence to these values has served me well through out my career, brought me peace of mind, and allowed me to see the value in this report. I hope it will do the same for you.

CPC will continue to publish summaries of disciplinary actions during my watch. The frequency and timing of these reports will vary due to the need to maintain a reasonable standard of anonymity for the disciplined parties.


Recently I was advised by one of my fellow blue-suiters that some officers serving in remote areas or assigned to non-OMAO programs have been advised or encouraged by their civilian peers, and in some cases required by their supervisor, to wear civilian attire as their Uniform of the Day. Usually the request is based on a desire for us to "fit in" with the majority of the civilian employees at one of these locations, or that some people may be intimidated or put-off by the uniform. I encountered this phenomenon during my first land assignment. I thought, as an organization, that we had worked through this issue.

Let me be crystal clear with my expectations. If you are an active duty officer in the NOAA Commissioned Corps, you are REQUIRED to wear your uniform in accordance with the NOAA Corps Directives. Civilian clothing may be authorized or required for special operations or when in a leave or liberty status. A "special operation" is NOT so that a NOAA Corps officer can blend in with the appearance of the civilian majority or to make others feel more comfortable with our presence in the workplace. See NOAA Corps Directives 12104 and 12105 for additional policy information.

I will spare the myraid reasons why these requests are an affront to our organizational values (and my personal beliefs) as well as completely inconsistent with the fundamental concepts of promoting a diverse and inclusive working environment. Instead, I encourage officers to contact me when or if you encounter organizational resistance toward positively identifying yourself as a commissioned officer of the United States of America by wearing a NOAA Corps uniform. I welcome the conversation to help educate those who don't understand or are intimidated by personnel in uniform. I expect and appreciate all of your efforts to change NOAA culture and promote discipline and pride in service by wearing the uniform.

NOAA Corps Centennial Anniversary

On an exciting and celebratory note, there are only 232 days until the commencement of the NOAA Corps Centennial celebration year! It'll be here before you know it, so please communicate your ideas to recognize this significant milestone to If you've already volunteered your ideas or talents and haven't heard back from a subcommittee lead, please ping on us again.

Semper serviens,

CAPT Jeremy Adams, NOAA
Director, CPC

On the Horizon

10-13 May 2016 OPB - Promotion Selection
24 May 2016 Bronze & Career Awards Event
2017 NOAA Corps Centennial Events

Approved Resignations, Separations and Retirements

LTJG Theresa Smith 13 May 2016
LT Laura Gallant 01 June 2016
VADM Michael Devany 01 July 2016
LTJG Jason Wilson 01 Sep 2016
RDML Gerd Glang 01 Sep 2016
CAPT Wade Blake 01 Sep 2016
LT Charlene Felkley 01 Sep 2016
LTJG Eileen Pye 02 Sep 2016

OPM's road show for Human Resources(HR) Specialists

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is hosting a road show for Human Resources (HR) Specialists and Hiring Managers. NOAA's Workforce Management Office is endorsing participation as these workshops are focused on:

  • creating better collaboration between hiring managers and HR staff during the hiring process, thereby, producing improved civilian hiring outcomes.
  • preparing Hiring Managers with the best knowledge, resources and tools available to make informed decisions in the civilian recruitment and hiring process.

Officers serving in positions which supervisor and hire civilian personnel should consider attending an OPM workshop in your area as it's a good opportunity to learn the most up-to-date information regarding hiring flexibilities and practices. The dates, locations and registration for the OPM Hiring Excellence Workshops can be found here.

From the Assignment Desk:

NESDIS Billet #6500: SARSAT Operations Support Officer

Help take the "Search" out of "Search and Rescue"! This billet is located in Suitland, MD and offers an officer the opportunity to serve as part of the international COSPAS-SARSAT Program, of which NOAA operates the SARSAT component. The SARSAT system detects and locates 406 MHz emergency beacons from mariners, aviators, and others in distress anywhere in the world. The system uses a combination of geostationary and low earth orbiting satellites to detect and locate the beacons and has helped save tens of thousands of individuals from life threatening situations.

This billet provides the incumbent with an opportunity to lead and/or coordinate SARSAT-related activities with other components of NOAA, SARSAT's Partner Agencies (NASA, USCG, and USAF), International Partners, and Federal Users of emergency beacons (DOS, DOD, and DHS). Incumbent officer will also have the opportunity to travel several times a year to coordinate outreach activities at user-attended events such as EAA Air Venture and the Miami International Boat Show.

For more information please contact CAPT Will Odell at or CDR Nicholas Chrobak at

REFTRA 81 (Fall 2016)

Are you heading back to sea before November 2016? REFTRA is required for those ashore greater than 24 months and who have not sailed aboard a NOAA vessel as an underway OOD for a minimum of 30 days within the past 24 months.

Here's what to expect.

  • Mid-July (3 months ahead) - Chief, OCMD sends an email to officers due for the upcoming REFTRA 81 class, based on their orders.
  • Mid-August (2 months ahead) - Chief, NCOTC sends an email with final REFTRA 81 dates and detailed schedule.
  • 1 October – Travel Authorizations are generated for REFTRA 81 attendees.
  • Target class size is 12-14 officers. Officers returning to sea assignments within 6 months of REFTRA 81, but after the new year, may also be considered for this class if there is room.

Documenting Sea Service for NOAA Corps Officers

There have been a number of recent requests for CPC to provide Sea Service Letters or documentation as proof of meeting sea service requirements for USCG licenses. To clarify, as the CFRs are currently written they do not authorize the "60% rule" for Uniformed Service Members; 46 CFR 10.232(d) explicitly says "Armed Forces of the United States". However, USCG Policy Letter 15-03 issued OCT 2015 appears to extend the 60% rule to Uniformed Service personnel. In light of the Policy Letter, CPC will continue to issue Sea Service Letters, when requested, which show the beginning and ending dates of an officer's maritime assignments, including permanent duty and temporary duty, and positions served. The USCG Policy Letter 15-03 can be found here.

The Sea Service Letter will not include detailed information, such as port of call names and dates or ship characteristics, typically found on a Sea Service Letters issued by the Command of the vessel when a mariner is discharged. If the National Maritime Center requests more detail, it is incumbent upon the mariner to provide proof of sea service received from the various ships based on the specific action the mariner is requesting (original, renewal, or upgrade). As professional mariners, it is your responsibility to ensure that you receive proper discharge certificates or Sea Service Letters upon discharge from a vessel.

From the UAB Desk

Female Uniform Change Alert!

Attention all female officers: NOAA Corps plans to follow the Navy's shift to more gender-neutral uniforms beginning in the Fall of 2016. The combination cover for Navy female chiefs and officers is being phased out as women shift to the same combination covers authorized for men. All Navy female officers and chiefs must begin wearing their new headgear by 31 October 2016. The NOAA Corps plans to prescribe the same timetable to implement the combination cover uniform changes. These uniform changes are currently being incorporated into Chapter 12 of the NOAA Corps Directives and will be forwarded for approval. Below is an excerpt from the Navy Times, as well as a link to the full article. Additional changes mentioned in this Navy Times article will be forthcoming and guidance will be provided soon. Please email the UAB at with any questions or concerns.

"Women who like the fit can wear the existing, and formerly all-male, combination cover, or they can wear the new "alternate" combination cover (ACC) that's available now at many Navy Exchanges and online."

"The ACC is similar in design to the current male combination cover, but is smaller with an oval — vice round — opening to facilitate a more comfortable and stable fit on the head when worn…."

Uniform changes emphasize gender neutrality

Access to Replacement NOAA Corps Awards

Replacement medal sets and individual items can be purchased directly from Graco Awards either by emailing ( or calling (1-800-421-0227) their sales department directly. Available items include DOC, NOAA, and NOAA Corps large medals, miniature medals, and ribbons. These items are not available via the Graco website and must be purchased by contacting a sales representative. Unlike Ultrathin, these are the exact items that CPC provides to officers upon receipt of an award. There is no minimum order requirement, however officers should expect a lead time of 4-8 weeks to mint these items if Graco does not have them in stock.

UltraThin Inc. sells custom-made ribbon and medal racks for all of the United States armed, uniformed and volunteer services. UltraThin does not stock NOAA Corps medals, but can mount medals that are sent to them upon request. While UltraThin has most NOAA Corps ribbons on their "Rack Ribbon Builder" tool, some of the more recent NOAA Corps ribbons are not visible. All NOAA Corps ribbons are available for mounting, however the following ribbons must be requested either by phone (1-800-758-7265) or as notes to the online order in the "comments or special instructions" section of the check-out page online:

  • Meritorious Service Medal
  • Antarctica Service Medal (not NC specific, ask for federal ribbon)
  • USCG Arctic Service Medal (not NC specific)
  • National Response Deployment Medal
  • Outstanding Volunteer Medal
  • Sea Service Deployment Ribbon
  • National Response Service Ribbon

NOAA Corps Officer Training Center

Congratulations to BOTC 127 for making the official transition from Officer Candidates to Junior Officers! These eight enthusiastic and hard-working Ensigns will be joining the fleet after the completion of their final two weeks of post-graduation training to include ECDIS and Bridge Resource Management.

OCS 2-16 and BOTC 127 render Military Honors to VADM Devany The Color Guard marches past the Official Party. The NOAA Ensign is carried proudly by Ensign Mason Carroll.
Ensign Thompson is presented her commission by her mother, Major Tracy Thompson, USAF Reserve, Retired Captain Caskey presents Ensign Gump with the NOAA Professional Mariner Award
RADM Score presents Ensign McAcy with the NOAA Academic Award VADM Devany presents Ensign Levano with the NOAA Distinguished Honor Graduate Award

Bravo Zulu to all for a job well done - they've worked extremely hard to make it this far. Please offer the newest members of your wardroom the warmest of welcomes!