I wish you happy and safe Memorial Day weekend! Whether you are at sea, in a cockpit, or conning a BBQ with a frosty beverage in hand, take a moment to remember the sacrifices of those who died while defending our freedoms. Reflect on what it means to be an American. Be grateful for those who came to serve and have gone before us so that we may enjoy the fruits of liberty, security, and bounty. And again - be safe.
In your reflection, I encourage you to be proud of our organizational heritage and the values demonstrated by our NOAA ancestors. They have contributed significantly to our Nation's armed services in times of need. I'm not just referring to the service of our forbearers in the Coast and Geodetic Survey Corps, I'm thinking specifically of Edward Weber, Lester Fodor, George Kubach and Luther Brady. These four civilian members of the U.S. Weather Bureau were killed in action while serving as weather observers aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Muskeget during the Battle of the Atlantic in World War II. The next-of-kin of these four men were awarded posthumous Purple Heart Medals after confirming (in Spring 2014) their deaths were due to enemy action. They epitomized the motto "science and service" by volunteering for extremely hazardous duty during our Nation's most dire hours. A moving video tribute and story describing this event and their service has been posted to the Weather Ready Nation website. I encourage you to view the ceremony and read the story here.
Lastly, there are a few medically-themed announcements in this Cyberflash. Please read them carefully. One topic I wish to address from my desk is maternity leave.
Recently the DOD adopted a policy to grant 12 weeks of leave to female officers subsequent to the birth of a child. In order to maintain parity, improve diversity, promote inclusion, and support retention, CPC has sought to implement this policy for NOAA Corps officers as well. Unfortunately, due to the differences in authorities between the uniformed and the military services, as well as previous legal case histories, the NOAA Corps cannot provide 12 weeks of leave (not charged to annual leave) for the purposes of child care and bonding without also providing the same benefit to male officers who have become parents.
Personally, I support the concept of a full 12 weeks of "parental leave" regardless of gender for reasons that are too numerous to list here - just Google "European Parental Leave." However, after much discussion with the Director, NOAA Corps, we have determined that we are not European (that was easy) and at the present time adopting a policy in accordance with my personal preference would create a significant parity rift with the other services while also creating unsatisfactory organizational risks for the Department, Agency, and the NOAA Corps. As such, there will be no NOAA Corps policy establishing an entitlement to 12 weeks of maternity leave for female officers following the birth of their child.
Active duty officers are advised to continue to obtain prenatal and maternity care through their nearest Military Treatment Facility and follow the advice and guidance of their Primary Care Manager. RADM Score and I want to ensure that our uniformed shipmates who are starting a family are supported with the tools and materials to lay a solid keel for the launch of the good ship "Parenthood," and that they have the opportunity following launch to develop a safe voyage plan for navigating the seas of life. Please direct any questions or for additional guidance regarding maternity leave entitlements to CPC Policy Chief Sherrita Irby at 301-713-7729.
CAPT Jeremy Adams, NOAA
|2017||NOAA Corps Centennial Events|
|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|
|CAPT Eric Berkowitz||01 Oct 2016|
|CAPT Adam Dunbar||01 Oct 2016|
|CAPT John Caskey||01 Oct 2016|