Director's Message


A HUGE save the date announcement is in this edition of the Cyberflash - the "Century of Service" Gala in honor of the 100th anniversary of the NOAA Corps is happening in 302 days! Being one who never wants to miss a great gathering, I hope to see you there! In the remaining 301 days between tomorrow and the Gala, I highly recommend you get those shoes polished to a high gloss, find a date (or not), and share a save-the-date announcement (or at least an informal heads-up) with your colleagues. This event will be huge. I look forward to seeing you there as we partake in service traditions and celebrate the cultural contributions and accomplishments of the NOAA Corps, oldest ancestor activity that makes NOAA, NOAA.

On a completely unrelated note, if you haven't subscribed to the Harvard Business Review, please consider it. The mailings are not too frequent that they become annoying and I've found the content to be thought provoking and frequently insightful. One recent article entitled "Being a Good Boss in Dark Times" struck a chord with me and I suspect it may resonate with other people. Between the election season, police shootings/shootings of police, terror attacks, mid-eastern refugee crises, political coups, Zika, Brexit, etc., etc., it can feel like the world is gone out of control (and I desperately wish I were at sea!)

This article provided some perspective, a good dose of insight, and gratitude for the things I can control or influence – the climate in my office. For those of us fortunate enough to be in positions of leadership think of how your emotions and actions impact your shipmates. Read the article and ask yourself – Do I fan the flames of fear and uncertainty? Do I create a safe space for people to unload their anxieties and do their jobs? Do I use the news of this crazy world to reinforce commitment to our core values or do I jump on the hysteria bandwagon and cause employees to shut-down and just get by?

As we prepare to enter what I refer to as the seventh inning stretch of the field season (August/September) the usual stress and burn-out of operations can degrade safety and performance. Be especially mindful of and perhaps exercise a little extra empathy for your shipmates who may be struggling this field season. In this overly connected, instant notification, sensationalistic, social media-addicted, 24-hour news cycle world there's no lack of extra stressors. Keep your head in the game and sail (or fly or dive) safe!

Semper serviens,

CAPT Jeremy Adams, NOAA
Director, CPC

On the Horizon

25 July 2016 BOTC 128 Commences
01 to 05 August 2016 Marine Ops PCO/PXO Immersion
11 August 2016 BOTC 129 Selection Board
26 August 2016 RDML Gerd Glang Retirement Ceremony
RDML(Select) Shepard Smith Promotion Ceremony
Office of Coast Survey Change of Command
2017 NOAA Corps Centennial Events
20 May 2017 NOAA Corps "Century of Service" Gala

Approved Resignations, Separations and Retirements

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
LTJG Shannon Hefferan 14 Oct 2016
LT Lindsay Morrison 30 Nov 2016
LTJG Kasey Sims 30 Nov 2016

Save The Date - NOAA Corps "Century of Service" Gala

The NOAA Corps "Century of Service" Gala will be held May 20, 2017 in Washington, DC at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. We would love to see you there! Details to come over the next few months as we gear up to celebrate a century of service.

Hatch Act and Political Activities Reminder

As this year's election season heats up, all NOAA Corps officers are reminded to heed the special prohibitions pertaining to partisan political activities. Please be especially cautious in your use of social media during this election season and if in doubt don't post it, share it, tweet it, or otherwise endorse it. The Office of Special Counsel already filed a petition for disciplinary action against one Commerce employee. Do not put yourself at risk to be the second! Consult NOAA Corps Directives Chapter 9, Part 2 – Political Activities for additional guidance. If you still have questions contact the Department of Commerce Office of the General Counsel Ethics Law and Programs Division at 202-482-5384,, or visit And remember – VOTE!

NOTE: Encouraging your shipmates to vote is not a partisan political activity. Encouraging your shipmates to vote for (or against) a specific candidate is!

BZ from the Recruiting Branch

The Recruiting Branch would like to thank everyone who played a role in the recruiting process for BOTC 129 from attending recruiting events to conducting interviews. We had 53 completed applications and the selection board convenes in August to select new officers.

Status of Forces Survey/Blended Retirement System

In a few weeks (late August or early September) some NOAA Corps officers may receive an email from a DOD survey contractor inviting them to participate in the Status of Forces Survey. The email will have a unique ticket number and a survey link so only randomly selected officers can take this routine and voluntary survey. The survey is anonymous and confidential and will be used primarily to establish a baseline for financial well-being and fiscal knowledge with respect to the new Blended Retirement System. Many questions specific to military forces will be omitted after the respondents identify themselves as NOAA Corps (or USPHS) officers, however some questions may not be applicable to NOAA or the NOAA Corps.

From the Assignments Desk

NMFS Billet #2522: Executive Officer, Protected Resources Division –Southeast Regional Office

A newly created billet opportunity exists within NFMFS at the O-4 grade. This billet is located in St. Petersburg, FL and offers an officer the opportunity to serve in the Protected Resources Division at the Southeast Regional Office. The Protected Resources Division conserves and manages marine mammals and endangered and threatened species through implementation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act. This includes corals, sea turtles, sawfish, sturgeon, right whales, bottlenose dolphins, and many other species of concern. The officer will provide support for the Assistant Regional Administrator (ARA) and five Branch Chiefs as well as supervise two GS-8/9 administrative staff members. The officer will also assist the ARA in planning and executing an annual budget of over $6M.

The billet provides the incumbent with an opportunity to gain knowledge and experience in directly supervising civilian personnel, managing contracts to support mission activities, and gain in-depth experience with planning and executing a large budget. Please read the billet description on the CPC website for more information.

If interested, please contact David Bernhart at or CDR Nicholas Chrobak at

ODU Uniform News

The Uniform Distribution Center has 65% of their NOAA Corps/PHS ODU inventory in stock, which is a bit different from the size availability reflected on their website. They tell us they will have some of each size in stock by the end of August. For now, officers can call the UDC to order NOAA Corps ODU items, and if their size is not in stock, ask to be notified via email when it comes in.

In the meantime, if you're pressed for ODUs, CPC has learned that some of our USPHS colleagues have purchased USCG ODUs and paid a tailor to remove the embroidery or turn the embroidered pocket inside out (?). This is a low-tech option, but one that might help in a pinch. Based on a recent conversation with the UDC Manager this past week, it sounds like the UDC is nearing a normal state of operations and should have all uniform sizes in stock by the end of August, and they anticipate they will be able to meet our needs going forward.