Director's Message


A few Cyberflashes ago, I put out a request for officers to let me know when they have been patiently waiting for transactional services but have not received timely processing/payment. Since that time, it seems that this message has been construed to mean "send your leave chits and Refusal of Quarters memo to CAPT Adams." While I'm happy to see my shipmates take leave (we track it anyway) and newly reported officers start their entitlement to basic allowance for housing, the Director, CPC does not process personnel actions, pay-related or otherwise, for the NOAA Corps. We've got an app for that. Just kidding, I wish we did. We have a payroll unit comprised of Carol Holley and Ron Cunningham embedded in the USCG's Pay and Personnel Center in Topeka, KS for pay and entitlement processing ( I'm more than happy to take calls of frustration on whatever HR-related topic you're struggling with, but please – use CPC Division Chiefs for your routine questions that can't be answered via our website or the NOAA Corps Directives. I love hearing from my shipmates in the field, but lately it seems like folks think that I actually have the capability of processing their actions. By the way, when addressing the mailer to send in your OER, please use "Chief, OCMD" as the recipient.

Speaking of shipmates in the field, this time of year is special for many people. There must be something primal and instinctual in our species that so many religions have special celebrations at or around the winter solstice. Generally, all these observances share a common theme - people coming together with loved ones in celebration. I wish to offer my appreciation and gratitude to our shipmates aboard the NOAA Ship Ronald H Brown - CAPT Robert Kamphaus, the wardroom, the professional mariners, and scientific crew – who arrived at anchor this morning off Easter Island and will be there conducting scientific crew changes and resupply from December 23rd to 28th instead of spending time with their loved ones ashore. Additionally, LTs Blaauboer and Clark on N48 and LTs Dorms and Carrier on N57 are deployed supporting SERW and SE AMAAPS projects respectively. Depending on weather, they may or may not be flying this Sunday, but will definitely not have the opportunity to be home for Christmas. LTs – keep a sharp lookout for a reindeer-powered flying sled and a rotund jolly pilot on Saturday evening. Of course, there are others who are standing the watch away from family this year –NWS meteorologists, the NSOF watch, NDBC's command center, and OAR baseline observatory personnel come to mind as well.

As I alluded to in the last Cyberflash, there is definitely a sense of family amongst those who put to sea in ships or to the sky in planes. In some ways, a biological family and the NOAA family are quite similar – you really don't have much say over who gets to be a member and each is as diverse and inclusive as we are allow them to be. So this Christmas (or this Sunday if you don't recognize the Christian holiday) give a thought or a prayer to the personal sacrifice of our shipmates who are away from their biological families keeping their finger on the pulse of the planet. Or better yet, send Captain Kamphaus or the LTs on N48 and N57 an email of thanks for standing the watch this Christmas as a way to recognize those who have stood or are standing the watch during their important December celebrations such as Ashura, the Feast of St. Nicholas, Bodhi, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, the Feast of Our Lady Guadalupe, Krampusnacht, Las Posadas, Christmas, Hannuka, Yalda, Yule, Zarathrushtra, Kwanzaa, Modraniht, Saturnalia, Saint Lucia Day, Three Kings Day, Omisoka, Pancha Ganapati, Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, Chalica, Sadeh, etc., etc. (thank you Google.)

In closing I bid you Happy Holidays and Happy New Year. Congratulations on another impressive year of science and service. Be safe and be well.

Semper serviens,

CAPT Amilynn E. Adams, NOAA
Director, CPC

On the Horizon

08 Jan 2017 BOTC 129 Begins
12 Jan 2017 NOAA Ship Rainier Change of Command
23-27 Jan 2017 OMAO Mid-Grade Week Two
30 Jan - 3 Feb 2017 XO Immersion
05-25 Mar 2017 REFTRA
06 Apr 2017 Billet Night (Tentative)

Approved Resignations, Separations and Retirements

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
LT Amber Payne 01 Mar 2017
LT Loren Evory 01 Apr 2017
ENS Christopher Pickens 01 Apr 2017

History: A Failure to Communicate

Even following one of the darkest days of United States history, there was room for a little humor – if only one-sided. On December 8, 1941, Lieutenant John Carlos Bose, USC&GS, executive officer of the C&GS Ship WESTDAHL, was ashore in Anacortes, Washington, in the San Juan Islands. The island was abuzz with the news of Pearl Harbor and a young army officer had been sent to Anacortes to locate a battery of field artillery to protect the approaches to Puget Sound. The young officer, ascertaining that Bose was a C&GS officer, approached Bose and stated, "Sir, I am in command of battery of field artillery. Can you give me information about a good location to place the guns?"

After thinking about it a bit, Bose pointed out a spot he thought ideal and said, "Captain, this site belongs to the town, so, you shouldn't have any trouble with property owners. Furthermore, from here, your guns can command the straits." The captain, a rawboned young man, evidently not from the coast, replied, "I don't want to command the streets. I just want to be able to shoot across the water."

Changes to Sea Pay Starting January 1, 2017

correction: Currently the NOAA Corps pays career sea pay based on Level III of the USCG's Career Sea Pay Tables. Starting in January, the USCG will adopt a five-table career sea pay system. The new system is designed to provide financial recognition and incentive for Coast Guard members who serve on some of their most arduous platforms, in some of the most undesirable and inhospitable places on the planet. For example, Coasties serving on an a black‐hull tug-and-barge unit servicing aids to navigation on the Western Rivers or the Great Lakes will receive pay in accordance with the lower levels (Level I) while Coasties assigned to a high-endurance cutter conducting patrols in the Bering Sea will receive sea pay in accordance with the highest level (Level V.) At this time, a final decision has not been approved; however CPC has conducted an analysis and has recommended that NOAA Corps officers aboard all of our NOAA Ships receive sea pay in accordance with Level V, as our operations and mission are closely aligned with the operational profile of the Level V cutters.

NOTE: Ensigns with no prior service and less than 2 years of sea time will see a decrease in sea pay to $5 per month. Senior officers will see a small to no increase in sea pay depending on total time served at sea. The largest increases are paid across the O-2 to O-4 range with two to six years of sea duty. More information and the new tables can be found here.

End of Year Package (EOYP) 2016

End of Year Package (EOYP) is open for business. Access to and tracking of the EOYP is currently ongoing. All officers are expected to complete no later than COB 28 February 2017. The responsibilities and features of the EOYP are very similar to last year's with a few improvements based on feedback from the 2015 Survey. This year will also provide an optional and anonymous survey at the conclusion, with the goal of CPC receiving constructive feedback on the process and recommendations for continued improvement.

For any questions, please email LT Laura Gibson at

LT Morrison, LT Noblitt Ashore. LT Gibson, LT Halonen Arriving!

Now, aboard CPC, Lieutenants departing and Lieutenants arriving!" CPC has recently bid farewell to LT Lindsay Morrison and LT Carl Noblitt. LT Morrison served with distinction as Staff Officer, Officer Personnel Management Division (OPMD) and is now on her way ashore to pursue a new land-based career outside of NOAA. Thank you LT Morrison for your dedication and support to the NOAA Corps and good luck in your future pursuits! Additionally, CPC was fortunate enough to benefit from the short-term assignment of LT Noblitt as a second Staff Officer, OPMD during a time when this CPC division was drastically under staffed. His contributions not only served to help right the CPC ship during a time when the office was below safe manning, he spearheaded many initiatives and his contributions were far-reaching and greatly appreciated by many. LT Noblitt has detached from CPC and is proceeding to the great ship Pisces as Operations Officer. Fair winds and following seas to both of these fine officers.

Earlier this month, LT Laura Gibson reported aboard and assumed the duties of Staff Officer, OPMD. Welcome aboard LT Gibson! Earlier this week, CPC welcomed LT Jared Halonen to the Recruiting Unit as Field Recruiter. Welcome aboard Lieutenants! …now get to work!!

SGLI Traumatic Injury Protection Program (TSGLI)

Know your benefits if you are injured.

For any questions, please email LT Laura Gibson at you are currently insured under full-time SGLI, you are automatically covered by Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection (TSGLI). TSGLI coverage applies to NOAA Corps.

For more information on TSGLI, including a full list of losses eligible for TSGLI payment, visit

From the Assignment Desk

Monitor National Marine Sanctuary (MNMS) is looking for an officer excited to take on the challenges that come with operational coordination for a growing Sanctuary. Currently comprised of a 1 square mile column of water containing the remains of the iconic Civil War Ironclad Monitor, MNMS is currently in the process of expanding its operational commitments and responsibilities. This expansion is set to include additional historical sites in the Mid-Atlantic area, particularly off the coast of North Carolina. The expansion of Maritime Heritage boundaries at MNMS will result in increased demand for research, monitoring, and oversight activities in and around the Sanctuary.

While stationed at MNMS, the officer will have an opportunity to gain knowledge and experience in small boat handling, diving, managing contracts and in-depth experience with planning and project management. Additional information can be found by reading the billet description located on the CPC website. This assignment is currently vacant and will be discussed at the upcoming February OAB. Update your assignment preferences or contact the Assignment Coordinator if interested.

Marine Operations Coordinator, MNMS – Billet # 7605