Director's Message


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.

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.

Semper serviens,

CAPT Jeremy Adams, NOAA
Director, CPC

On the Horizon

2017 NOAA Corps Centennial Events

Approved Resignations, Separations and Retirements

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

Chief, Medical Administration Branch, Arriving!

LT Sharon Downey, MSA, BSN, RN, CCHP, USPHS reported aboard to CPC this past Monday as Chief, Medical Administration Branch. LT Downey started her uniformed service career in the US Army Reserves as a military police officer. She began her career with the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps in 1999 as a Junior Nurse at the Low Security Facility Butner, NC. In 2002, LT Downey elected to join the USPHS Inactive Reserve Corps. As an active member with the reserve corps, she was deployed in 2005 to support public health response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita in Louisiana, providing medical care and assistance to displaced victims. LT Downey reported aboard to CPC after detaching from the Federal Correctional Complex in Butner, NC (yes, she was released by the Warden) where she provided medical care for federally incarcerated inmates with various medical conditions. Graduating from North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC with Bachelor of Science degrees in Biology (1992) and a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing (2000), LT Downey completed her Master's of Science in Administration in 2009, with a concentration in Health Services Administration at Central Michigan University. In her duties at CPC, LT Downey has replaced CDR Hobson-Powell and will be responsible for administering the medical readiness and heath care for NOAA Corps officers. Welcome aboard LT Downey!

Diversity Makes You Smarter

The evidence is in. Being around people who are different from us makes us more creative, more diligent and harder-working. Read about it this article in Scientific American.

Medical Readiness Directive Amnesty

NOAA Corps Directive 03101D states "NOAA Corps officers must maintain an unrestricted physical and mental readiness for sea duty at all times." Unfortunately, as a Service our compliance with this portion of the Directives has been less than stellar. In order to maintain unrestricted physical and mental readiness for sea duty officers must meet the requirements listed here on the medical section of the CPC website.

LT Downey has received and embraced the direction from Director, CPC to enforce compliance with NCD 03101D by implementing a policy of "tough love." This philosophical shift in maintaining medical readiness is in direct contrast to the previous and long-standing CPC approach. This means that officers are expected to be proactive in managing and meeting medical readiness requirements and will be held accountable for achieving compliance. Hand-holding, cajoling, and the gentle reminders to comply with NCD 03101D are not only anathema to the ethos of being a commissioned officer, it is a significant waste of resources with a proven lack of return on investment. Officers not in compliance with medical standards by August 1, 2016, or who fall out of compliance after August 1, 2016, (please read the entirety of NCD 03101D before panicking) should expect to receive a Letter of Administrative Censure. If your medical readiness continues to be lapsed beyond 30 days, additional disciplinary measures may be adopted. A USPHS officer with Bureau of Prisons experience expands the diversity of CPC. The carrot is gone. Get ready for the stick.

Important Digital OER Information

Thanks to everyone who has made the switch to utilizing the digital signature version of the OER. The February 5, 2016 Cyberflash had some important information relating to what constitutes a valid and legal digital signature on an OER. One of the requirements was when you clicked on the digital signature that the pop-up showed the signature as "VALID". With the recently installed Adobe Acrobat DC version this no longer is happening even with valid digital signatures. You now have to take an additional 5 seconds and drill down a little to verify you have used a valid and legal digital signature. The procedure to verify is as follows:

  • Click on the digital signature.
  • A Pop-up will state that the digital signature validity is "UNKOWN". Click on the Signature Properties button.
  • Click on the Show Signer's Certificate button.
  • A valid signature will have a summary pop-up window that will show the name and 10 digit DOD ID number at top with an "Issued by" certificate that should show up as "U.S. Government" and a certificate similar to either DOD EMAIL CA-31 or DOD CA-32.

Questions? Contact Chief, Officer Career Management Division at 301-713-7748 or

Updated Officer Promotion Curricula in CLC

With the recent selection boards behind us, OCMD staff and the OMAO Chief Learning Officer have been working to update the Officer Promotion curricula in two areas.

First, the LCDR and LT curricula were updated May 2nd due to CLC course vendor (Skillsoft) library updates. Skillsoft is continuously updating course materials and moving towards shorter, focused courses. As these changes occur, OCMD staff and the OMAO Chief Learning Officer review materials to replace the retiring courses with the updated versions. To end users, this change will be nearly invisible, as those who have completed the old version receive credit, and those who have yet to start a course will only see the new course when they sign up.

Note: Only those who start but do not complete the individual course being replaced will be required to start that course over to take the new version.

Be aware that one course might be replaced by two or more, but the expected completion time is usually the same or less. If you have specific questions regarding courses being replaced within the promotion curricula, please send them to

Secondly, the Program Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) courses for LT and LCDR are being reorganized as sub-curricula within the promotion curricula. The intent is to organize the courses so you take them in proper order, with each course building on the previous one. The new configuration requires users to complete the courses in order. The new sub-curricula are:

LCDR PMBOK Sub-Curricula

  • Managing Projects within Organizations (PMBOK® Guide Fifth Edition)
  • Project Management Process Groups (PMBOK® Guide Fifth Edition)
  • Defining and Sequencing Project Activities (PMBOK® Guide Fifth Edition)
  • Estimating Activity Resources and Durations (PMBOK® Guide Fifth Edition)
  • Developing and Controlling the Project Schedule (PMBOK® Guide Fifth Edition)
  • Controlling Project Costs (PMBOK® Guide Fifth Edition)
  • Planning Project Human Resources (PMBOK® Guide Fifth Edition)

LT PMBOK Sub-Curricula

  • Project Management Overview (PMBOK® Guide Fifth Edition)
  • Integrated Initiation and Planning (PMBOK® Guide Fifth Edition
  • Planning Project Costs (PMBOK® Guide Fifth Edition)