I've always believed in the adage "there are good ships and wood ships, but great ships are made from great crews." In keeping with this saying, I'd like to take this opportunity to honor the good work and accomplishments of a few of our shipmates.
First, I have to call attention to a humiliating failure on my part in order to extend my belated congratulations to LTJG Calandria DeCastro while at the same time begging her forgiveness. LTJG DeCastro, a member of my CPC crew, was promoted last month. Embarrassingly, I failed to recognize her on her promotion in the last installment of the Cyberflash. Congratulations Ms. DeCastro! LTJG DeCastro currently serves as Staff Officer at the USCG and NOAA Joint Officer Training Center located at the USCG Academy in New London, Connecticut, and is a critical member of the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center team. LTJG DeCastro is one of the "great ensign trainers" drilling new officer candidates in accountability and discipline. I think I need to stay after school and relearn some of the basic lessons she provides to our officer candidates in attention to detail and discipline.
On a more personal note, I wish to reiterate the congratulations offered by our Deputy Under Secretary for Operations, Benjamin Friedman to Mariel Hughes, Vessel Support Assistant at the Gulf Marine Support Facility in Pascagoula, Mississippi. I had the honor to work with Mariel while assigned to Pisces and although there are many franchise OMAO players keeping our fleet running, I can't think of a more deserving crew member for this honor. Mariel fulfills many roles in supporting our shipmates and helping to keep our marine operations running smoothly, she is critical to keeping fuel in our tanks, food in our reefers, gear in our lockers, getting crews to our ships and keeping them paid, and is a master of logistics, port security and "other duties as assigned." Bravo Zulu Mariel!
I wish to extend my sincere appreciation and congratulations to the Uniform and Awards Board (UAB) Chair CDR Kristie Twining and UAB member LT Jamie Park, CPC Officer Personnel Management Division (OPMD) staff member LTJG Carl Noblitt, and CPC IT support staff member Praveen Kalva for the development, testing, approval, and deployment of the new electronic version of NOAA Form 56-63 "Recommendation for Award." This achievement would not have been possible without CDR Twining's vision and commitment to awards process improvements and her dedication to her fellow officers to improve customer service, and the hard work by LT Park, LTJG Noblitt and Mr. Kalva. More details on the new form are in this installment of the Cyberflash.
Another noteworthy effort by the UAB has been underway for quite some time a stem to stern review and update to NOAA Corps Directives' Chapter 12 Uniforms. There are many people involved in this effort, and I hope I don't miss any of the key players. At the risk of missing specific individuals, I wish to express my appreciation to LT Jamie Park for logistics and overall photo shoot coordination, David Hall for your NOAA Corps photo shoot experience and equipment; Sherrita Irby for tirelessly pushing policy through approval processes and uniform "models" CAPT John Caskey (now retired!), CAPT Phil Hall, CDR Nicole Cabana, LCDR Fionna Matheson, LT Jamie Park, LT Lindsay Morrison, LT Zachary Cress, LTJG Carl Noblitt, and LTJG Calandria DeCastro. Special kudos to LTJG Noblitt who is the only officer I know who owns the complete Formal Dress uniform and is now prepared to represent the NOAA Corps when we receive an invite to attend a formal State dinner at the White House. Thank you everyone who has contributed to the hard work and played a role in the success of this effort to update our Directives to reflect our present day sea bag! I expect the revised Chapter 12 will be approved by the end of this month, just in time for the shift in combination covers for female officers to the ACC. More on this topic below.
A Flag Officer-sized BZ to RDML Gerd Glang, NOAA, Retired, RDML Shep Smith, NOAA and the Office of Coast Survey (OCS) team that made last Friday's formal retirement, promotion, and change of command ceremony a huge success. The ceremony was an extremely well-attended, heart-felt, and fitting farewell to RDML Glang for his leadership of OCS, and an equally excellent launch of RDML Smith as he embarks upon his assignment as the U.S. National Hydrographer and Director, Office of Coast Survey. Fair winds and following seas RDML Glang, and congratulations RDML Smith! Of course, the efficiency and precision (hallmarks of the NOAA Corps inherited from the USC&GS) in the execution of this time-honored nautical tradition would not have been possible without the team effort by our shipmates at OCS. Unfortunately I will likely miss a lot of people who were involved in pulling this event together, so those who I miss please take pride in your contributions and a job well done. BZ to CAPT Richard Brennan and LT Matt Forney, Jill Stoddard, Katy Reis, Kathleen Prugsawan, Neeraj Saraf, Jose Riveria, Kristen Crossett, Dawn Forsythe, Joe Courange, RADM Sam Debow, NOAA, Retired, CAPT Guy Noll, NOAA, Retired, CAPT Jim Crocker, CDR Holly Jablonski, CDR Nicole Cabana, LCDR Madeleine Adler, LT Andrew Ostapenko, LT Adam Reed, LT Anthony Klemm and ENS Marybeth Head. Of course, a huge thank you to RDML Shep Smith and his family for hosting one of the best wetting downs I've had the pleasure of attending. Knowing RDML Smith as well as I do, I know he's been one to set a high bar of performance. His wetting down was no exception. The 11 potato gun salute for RDML Glang was especially poignant and fitting.
On perhaps the most significant note, congratulations to the new Commanding Officer and the relieved Master of NOAA Ship Gordon Gunter - LCDR Lindsay Kurelja and Master Donn Pratt. I'm certain there were many people who worked hard to pull that Change of Command together. There's no doubt in my mind that Mariel was one of the many who contributed their time and effort to the time-honored custom.
What we choose to take the time and effort to honor and celebrate reflects our culture and what we value as a service. These recent milestones, achievements, and accomplishments were the result of hard work and dedication by many people working together to perform and achieve our mission. These events clearly demonstrate to me that we value discipline, accountability, performance, results, our service, and each other. Ferdinand Hassler would be proud. I sure am.
CAPT Amilynn E. Adams, NOAA
|08 September 2016||NOAA Ship Nancy Foster Change of Command|
|17 October 2016||REFTRA Begins|
|20 October 2016||BOTC-128 Billet Night|
|2017||NOAA Corps Centennial Events|
|20 May 2017||NOAA Corps "Century of Service" Gala Ball|
|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|
|LT Eric Younkin||01 Dec 2016|
|ENS Samuel McKay||16 Dec 2016|