Director's Message

Shipmates,

It is with great disappointment and deepest sympathy that I must inform the sixty-eight officers whose promotions were expected to be effected on September 1, 2016, that there has been a delay in processing the promotion package. Currently I expect the Secretary will be able to effect these promotions by September 15, 2016. I offer this date with the caveat of having approximately 95% certainty in meeting it. Further delay may be possible. I expect to have greater confidence in the September 15, 2016 anticipated pin-on date very soon. I will be sending a separate message to the individual officers impacted by this delay later next week. Your patience and understanding is greatly appreciated.

On a more jubilant and anticipatory note, there are only 288 days until the NOAA Corps "Century of Service" Gala! I look forward to seeing you there.

OK, with those critical items out of the way, this installment of the Cyberflash is the "0800-1200. OOD: CAPT Adams. u/w as before. 1137 - w/r by " edition of the Cyberflash. For those who haven't stood a watch or made entries in a ship's navigational log, what I'm trying to say here is that I have nothing new or exciting to share in this installment of the Cyberflash. Sure, I have tons of topics and a bunch of content I COULD write about, it's just that this week has had a lot of other higher priorities that have dominated my attention and that of my crew. So, instead of original content (there is some original content) I'm serving up some leftovers from previous editions of the Cyberflash.

At the risk of sounding self-aggrandizing or organizationally conceited, we do tend to push out some pretty important information in these messages and I know that not everyone reads every Cyberflash all the time. Miss an installment and you may have missed an important nugget; like the message about PCS procedures and coordination with Move Management - don't worry, you don't have to Google for it; it's served up again below. In an effort to remedy this problem, and until we get the new website content management procedure up and running, we will begin to give some Cyberflash topics an extended run. The idea here is that repetition will help with dissemination and retention in memory.

A better solution than repetition is on the horizon with a tCPA of approximately the end of this calendar year. Ideally, once we get the new CPC website up and running, the content presented in the Cyberflash will be ingested and updated on the appropriate CPC divisional pages. Official policy will continue to be maintained via traditional methods (NOAA Corps Directives, contact noaacorps.policy@noaa.gov for policy questions), but important procedures, instructions, changes, events, training, assignments etc. will continue to appear here.

Semper serviens,

CAPT Jeremy Adams, NOAA
Director, CPC

On the Horizon

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

History: B-29 Bombers Discover Pathfinder Reef

One of our most illustrious ships was the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey Ship Pathfinder. After launching and commissioning, she went straight into the Navy with C&GS personnel and served in the Pacific, where she was subjected to at least 50 enemy bombing raids and a hit by a kamikaze that killed one crewman. After U.S forces took Saipan and Tinian in the summer of 1944, B-29 bombers returning to these islands from bombing raids passed over a discolored patch of water to the west of the northern Mariana Islands. The Pathfinder was sent to investigate and discovered a reef, which ship's personnel surveyed and named Pathfinder Reef. While doing so, Pathfinder claimed the distinction of anchoring closer to Tokyo than any other United States vessel up to that time.

Correction to TSP Contribution Programming in Direct Access

Effective July 16, 2016, Direct Access programming for Thrift Savings Plan contribution computations has been corrected by the USCG to comply with Federal law and TSP regulations and policy.

Officers may see a decrease in the amount of TSP contributed on their end of July Pay Slip and into the future.

Originally, TSP monthly contribution deductions were being calculated based on an officers full basic pay amount per pay period. This was incorrect as taxes must first be deducted from basic pay, and then TSP contributions are to be taken from the remaining available basic pay.

Election of Traditional TSP (tax deferred): The percentage of money elected is determined by the basic pay amount less FICA Taxes (7.65%) to ensure the amount contributed and sent to TSP is AFTER FICA TAX.

Election of ROTH TSP (tax not deferred): The percentage of money elected is determined from the basic pay amount less FICA Taxes (7.65%) AND any FED/ST TAX to ensure the amount contributed and sent to TSP is AFTER all TAX Liability.

Please direct any questions to Ron Cunningham at ronald.a.cunningham@noaa.gov.

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, EthicsDivision@doc.gov, or visit https://ogc.commerce.gov/collection/ethics-law-and-programs-division. 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!

Status of Forces Survey/Blended Retirement System

Pretty soon (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.

Recommended Training: Blended Retirement System

In order to have more intelligent conversations and offer accurate advice, all officers who are supervisors are strongly encouraged to take Leader Training to Introduce the Blended Retirement System for the Uniformed Services. The course is hosted here: https://jko.jten.mil/courses/brs/leader_training/Launch_Course.html. Once you complete it, please submit your certificate via OPF Fix. Our USCG colleagues, E6 and above, are taking this training. This will ensure we are all on the same page regarding the BRS.

PCS New Procedures

Change in PCS process for storage-in-transit (SIT): If you plan to use storage-in-transit you must request it on your PCS Travel Request form (NF 56-26). SIT may be authorized in conjunction with your household goods (HHG) entitlement when you PCS. Up to 90 days of temporary storage of HHG may be authorized for you to find suitable housing before HHG delivery.

Contact Move Management for HHG weight estimate prior to PCS: Officers with approved forthcoming assignments must contact Move Management prior to submission of the Travel Request Form (NF 56-26) and receipt of PCS Orders. You may contact Move Management up to 90 days before your scheduled move date and begin the process of moving your Household Goods (HHG). Move Management will assist you in obtaining a professional weight estimate of your HHG prior to the actual move. Please contact Move Management at (1-800-723-2394) or email them at mmi.gsa@movemgt.com.