Director's Message


I assigned "homework" in the last installment of the Cyberflash. If you recall, I promised a Google survey to solicit and compile your thoughts and feelings on the NOAA Corps 100th Anniversary, what it means to you, and how we can best recognize this milestone, our accomplishments, and our collective future as an organization. I now ask that you take a moment and provide your thoughts here.

With the unprecedented rancor in this past election season behind us, Veteran's Day upon us, and Thanksgiving around the corner, I feel inclined to pause and reflect on the things that I believe we can all be thankful for and take pride in as Americans:

  • The selfless service of the Veterans who have gone before us to defend our freedoms and preserve our way of life,
  • The rule of law in our Charters of Freedom; The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights (the 1st Amedment is one of my favorites), and the other 17 Amendments to the Constitution (not so much the 18th, but definitely the 21st)
  • The special trust and confidence placed in us by the President (and thus by election, by the people of the United States of America) to continue to serve our great Nation as those before us have done,
  • The peaceful transfer of power between Presidential administrations.

With the elections behind us, I'd like to share one of the things that I've learned from my ride on this big blue marble – kindness matters. It was evident in the tone of President-elect Trump's victory speech and that of Secretary Clinton's remarks where she emphasized the need to work together toward a more perfect union. So be kind to one another. Listen to one another. Respect diversity of opinion. Be grateful for our political process, "spirited" debates (maybe not the ones on social media), and the freedoms and bounty we enjoy as Americans. And while you're at it, thank a veteran for having taken that time-honored and solemn oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies foreign and domestic, for doing it freely without mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and for well and faithfully discharging their duties in service to our Nation. It is their selfless service that makes these gifts of freedom possible for us.

Semper serviens,

CAPT Amilynn E. Adams, NOAA
Director, CPC

On the Horizon

21 Nov 2016 BOTC 128/OCS Dinner Dance
22 Nov 2016 BOTC 128 Graduation
05-09 Dec 2016 AOC Annual Safety Conference
05-09 Dec 2016 Fleet Leadership Summit
09-13 Jan 2017 OMAO Mid-Grade Week One
23-27 Jan 2017 OMAO Mid-Grade Week Two
2017 NOAA Corps Centennial Events
20 May 2017 NOAA Corps "Century of Service" Anniversary Dinner

Approved Resignations, Separations and Retirements

LTJG Kasey Sims 30 Nov 2016
LT Eric Younkin 01 Dec 2016
ENS Samuel McKay 16 Dec 2016
LT Lindsay Morrison 30 Dec 2016
LT Timothy Smith 01 Jan 2017
LCDR Guinevere Lewis 31 Jan 2017
ENS Lander Ver Hoef 28 Feb 2017

Remembering Our NOAA Corps Ancestors on Veteran's Day

While observing Veterans Day, pause to remember those in NOAA Corps and the Coast and Geodetic Survey Commissioned Service who have served in the Armed Forces as well as in our organization. We have had heroes among us - Captain William Deane who captured 50 enemy soldiers single-handedly during World War II; the officers and crews of the PATHFINDER, HYDROGRAPHER, and OCEANOGRAPHER who served from the Aleutians to Guadalcanal during World War II enduring bombing raids and all of the hazards of naval warfare; our artillery surveyors in both Army and Marines who contributed to the destruction of thousands of enemy artillery weapons; and our navigators who took Army amphibious units through enemy infested waters from New Guinea through the Philippines. During World War I our officers served as artillery orienteers, troop ship navigators, and helped clear the Northern Mine Barrage after the signing of the Armistice. Our founder, Colonel Ernest Lester Jones led an Army intelligence unit that compiled thousands of photographs detailing enemy locations. Ultimately, his life was cut short as a result of poison gassing endured during the "War to End All Wars." In both of the World Wars, and the Civil War prior to our becoming a commissioned service, our professional ancestors served honorably, often in front of the front lines as surveyors and hydrographers. Since becoming NOAA Corps, many officers have transferred from other services after having served on land, sea, and air in our armed conflicts. Give these officers special thanks either on Veterans Day or the next time you see them.

Status of Forces Survey

Bravo Zulu to the NOAA Corps members who completed the Status of Forces Survey. In an appreciative update from the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) staff received by CPC, the NOAA Corps was noted to be at the head of the pack in terms of response rate.

Response rates as of November 2, 2016:

  • NOAA: 54.1% (165 of 305)
  • PHS: 44.1% (1,137 of 2,581)
  • Coast Guard: 28.1% (2,843 of 10,103)
  • TOTAL (including DoD/Armed Services): 15.7%

If you haven't completed your survey, please take a moment to do so. There was a final e-mail reminder sent on November 9th to complete your survey (personnel were selected randomly) and the survey will close on November 18th.

Erroneous Tricare Billings

Thanks to one of our retired Admirals for sharing the following information regarding an experience with erroneous billing for services received from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center which may impact other officers. CPC is unaware of any other instances of erroneous billing, however a bill from Walter Reed Medical Center was received saying it was a second notice subject to collection if not paid promptly. The erroneous bill was for treatment which was NOT received in 2015. Upon investigation, the Admiral discovered that WRNMMC had changed its accounting software and the records for USPHS and NOAA Corps officer accounts did not transfer correctly. WRNMMC is aware of the problem and are working to correct it. If you receive a bill from WRNMMC, officers are cautioned to investigate it first using the contact numbers listed on the invoice.

Performance Feedback Article

Given the time of year, why not prepare yourself with a quick and worthwhile read "How to Give Feedback to People Who Cry, Yell, or Get Defensive."

Diversity and Inclusion Article

Another quick and worthwhile read on diversity, "Diverse Teams Feel Less Comfortable — and That's Why They Perform Better." The conclusion alludes to one of many points made at the NOAA Diversity Summit…diversity without inclusion is worthless.

P-3 Pilot Arriving!

LT Adam Ruckman was commissioned in to the NOAA Corps at the Aircraft Operations Center at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida on November 1, 2016. LT Ruckman joins our ranks as our newest P-3 pilot. Welcome aboard Lieutenant Ruckman!

OPMD Staff, Arriving!

CPC is extremely pleased to announce the arrival of our newest Officer Personnel Management Division staff member, Charise Stewart. Charise reported aboard about 2 weeks ago and is currently coming up to speed on the NOAA Corps, "taking it all in" as she adapts from her previous experience (active duty and civilian) within the US Army personnel command. She looks forward to engaging with NOAA Corps customers very soon!

Medical Compliance

The rate of NOAA Corps officers not medically qualified due to lapsed documentation has dropped even further. Less than 6 months ago, non-compliance stood at a completely shocking and utterly unacceptable 33%. Today, the rate has dropped to approximately 7%. The Chief, Medical Administration Branch (MAB) is currently drafting Letters of Administrative Censure for those officers who remain medically disqualified due to lapsed documentation. These letters are an informal disciplinary measure addressed in NCD 07201 and will be forwarded to Captain Adams for her signature. Officers who have failed to manage their medical readiness are highly encouraged to complete any outstanding requirements. Officers with questions about medical qualifications are encouraged to contact LT Sharon Downey, Chief, Medical Administration Branch at, 301-713-7718.

Note – Medical information must still be sent to CPC manually via secure file transfer, secure fax, your OPF Add Document function (select Document Type "Medical/Dental"), or mail with medical forms contained in an interior sealed envelope marked "Officer Medical Information, Chief, MAB eyes only."

Call for BOTC 130 Interviewers

In an effort to help streamline and standardize the BOTC interview evaluation process, the NOAA Corps Recruiting Office is requesting two officers (1 primary/1 alternate), preferably at the O3/04 rank, in each of the following regions to commit to conducting interviews for BOTC 130 candidates from February 1-15, 2017 (schedule is flexible):

  • Northeast Region (RI/MA):
  • Southeast Region (Tampa/St. Petersburg FL):
  • Central Region (Boulder, CO):
  • Southwest Region (San Diego, CA):
  • Northwest Region (Seattle, WA):
  • Alaska Region (Anchorage, AK):
  • Hawaii Region (Honolulu, HI):

These areas were selected based on convenience of applicants being able to travel to these locations while also creating a decent geographical spread. Interviewers can expect to see on average of 5-10 applicants per cycle. While we realize this is a large commitment, the regional interview process conducted last cycle received positive reviews from senior leadership and having a dedicated group of interviewers will normalize scores and make them more valuable to the selection board.

For those officers that can volunteer, the Recruiting Office will be hosting a webinar before interviews begin in February. The focus of this webinar will be on the interview process to include context behind interview questions, what to ask and not to ask an applicant, and other items related to recruiting. There is also the possibility of funding an online interviewing skills class for those selected.

If you are interested, please contact LT Jeffrey Pereira at by December 15, 2016.

"Ask-CPC" WebinarAsk CPC Webinar - Officer Evaluation System (OES)

CPC hosted an "Ask-CPC" Webinar covering the Officer Evaluation System (OES) on the afternoon of 31 October, 2016. Thanks for the 32 officers who called in. For those that were not able to call in the webinar has been uploaded to the CPC website. You can access the actual event or just the Powerpoint presentation. Both are located at You can also get there by selecting "How to Guidance" under the Procedure/Manuals tab (left hand side) of the CPC website. The Powerpoint presentation is located in the upper right corner of the webpage. The Webinar (presentation and audio) is available in the bottom right. Any additional OES questions can be directed to the Officer Career Management Division.


ODU SWO (Deck Officer) Tape
For those of you getting your ODU's squared away, a SWO Tape is an authorized insignia however not a required insignia of the ODU uniform. Please note the Coast Guard UDC currently has an inventory of the sew-on insignias and the object identifier is NOAA B/B SEW ON DECK OFFICER. When stock is low the waiting time is 4-6 weeks so order in advance!

Awards Quick Reference

Service Medals and Ribbons (NSSR, NCPS, NCAS, NCMS [Mobile Duty], NCIS, NRSR, and USCG Arctic Service Medal):
Route through CPC with appropriate memorandum to the Director of CPC or Service Authorization Worksheet.

For NOAA Corps Awards (NCDR, NCAM, NCCM, NCMS [Meritorious], NCOV, and NRDM):

Route through the UAB via the email Beginning this month the UAB will only be accepting the new version of the award nomination form. Please refer to the "how to" NOAA Form 56-63 link for information on filling out the new form.

Other Awards include the Department of Commerce Medals (Gold, Silver, and Bronze), Administrators Award, ACO awards (Officer of the Year, Science, Engineering), Unit Citations, Antarctica Service Medal, and the SAME Colbert and SAME Karo awards:

DOC/Administrators Award:

link for award process (Click Here.)

Nomination Procedure for ACO awards:
A nomination for a NOAA ACO award shall consist of at least two pages. The first page shall be a cover memo addressed to the National ACO, stating the name, grade, billet title, and job description of the nominated officer. The following page(s) shall be the personal comments of the nominator, which reflect the basis for the nomination. Nominations should include a detailed description of the officer's duties and accomplishments, and the positive impact of those achievements on the Agency and the Service. All commands and field offices are encouraged to submit officer nominations for these awards. Candidates for Junior Officer of the Year must be nominated by a supervisor in their chain of command, while the Science and Engineering award nominations may be made by the supervisor or any commissioned officer. All nominations are submitted to the National ACO.
For Unit Citations, link to form here.

Antarctica Service Medal and Ribbon:
Issued by NSF.

SAME Awards:
Reviewed by the Service Chief of SAME.