Director's Message


In a recent Cyberflash, I reintroduced you to the Annual Review. Based on feedback received at CPC, it is apparent that a little more information on the details of this tool and how it is used to manage the NOAA Corps would be useful. Perhaps a little more information will even serve to ease the anxiety behind some of the inquiries we've received to date.

Most importantly, and to unequivocally and clearly dispel the most anxiety producing fear, the Annual Review is NOT a witch-hunt or a mandated reduction in the total force. It is not primarily designed to be a process to separate officers. The NOAA Corps is not the Hunger Games and the Annual Review is not the "reaping of tributes." Additionally, statistically speaking, the odds ARE in fact, in your favor. From a historical perspective, only a very small percentage of officers were ever separated following an Annual Review. The last annual review that actually yielded a recommendation for separation did so for only 2 officers. That's less than a 0.63%! Prior to that, the annual review had no such recommendation.

As a sworn officer personnel board, the Annual Review provides a holistic view of the NOAA Corps and results in a wide array of recommended actions that will need to be approved by the Director, NOAA Corps. Being able to look at the organization holistically is significantly beneficial to the organization as we can see that certain supervisors may be grading OERs stricter than others or may not be recommending officers for awards. We can also evaluate if there are additional schools/training that would make officers more successful or give them more tools to be successful in certain billets. It also allows us to see if we as an organization are on the right path for creating successful NOAA Corps officers. In our other types of boards we lack this holistic view and cannot identify problems like this. The vast majority of officers are unlikely to receive any recommendation for personnel action. However, that does not mean that there won't be any personnel actions recommended by the Board. There are a range of actions the board can recommend, which includes adjustment in lineal number (up or down), awards, disestablishment of a billet, involuntary separation/retirement, identification for high-profile assignments, and attendance at advanced schools or training.

The Annual Review board members base their recommendations on information contained in your official personnel folder. This means that the information includes performance (OERs, Awards), assignment history, training, TDY, and professional qualifications and certifications. The Annual Review does not have access to medical information. We have Medical Boards to review medical information.

Perhaps a more helpful way of viewing the Annual Review is to look at it as I do; as a quality assurance audit of our core personnel management processes related to performance. The Annual Review takes a holistic view of the NOAA Corps and serves to detect outliers in performance ahead or behind their peers. These outliers are then recognized for their performance. The Annual Review is a tool to promote organizational excellence and instill discipline and accountability in our service.

Semper serviens,

CAPT Amilynn E. Adams, NOAA
Director, CPC

On the Horizon

05-25 Mar 2017 REFTRA
07 Apr 2017 BOTC 129 Billet Night
01-05 May 2017 CO/XO Immersion

Approved Resignations, Separations and Retirements

LT Loren Evory 01 Apr 2017
ENS Christopher Pickens 01 Apr 2017
LCDR Jason Appler 01 May 2017
LT Jon Andvick 01 May 2017
LT Marc Weekley 01 May 2017
LT Linh Nguyen 01 May 2017
ENS Kaitlyn Seberger 07 Jul 2017
CDR Brian Parker 01 Aug 2017
CDR Peter Siegel 01 Aug 2017
CAPT Robert Kamphaus 01 Aug 2017
CDR Matthew Wingate 01 Aug 2017

History: The Two April 7's in Corps History: The First

April 7, 1863 – The Ironclads Attack Charleston Harbor

April 7, 1863 marked the attack of the ironclads on Charleston harbor defenses in an effort to close the port to blockade runners. This attack was a notable failure as the ironclad rate of fire was too slow to answer the fire of Fort Sumter and the surrounding shore batteries. However, this episode led to one of the most heroic actions of a Coast Survey officer of the Civil War. Prior to the attack, the executive officer of the Coast Survey Steamer Bibb, Robert Platt who had been a southern ship master prior to the war, was appointed an Acting Ensign in the Navy, so that in case he should be taken prisoner he would not be treated as a spy. At the request of both Rear Admiral Du Pont and Captain John Rodgers, Robert S. Platt piloted the U. S. S. Weehawken, the lead Union vessel, into the harbor. Captain Rodgers was on the Weehawken when Platt received a concussion from a shell hitting just above his head. Captain Rodgers helped revive Platt and then held him up to the piloting slits for the remainder of the battle and continued directing the movements of the ship. The attack was a failure as the slow-firing monitors were no matches for the defenses of Charleston. For informing Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles and the President of this fact, Rear Admiral Du Pont was relieved from duty. Although the monitors were formidable machines, they were not invincible. After the war Platt commanded the Coast Survey steamers Bibb, Corwin, Bache, and the schooner Drift. He transferred to the Fish Commission and commanded the steamer Fish Hawk until his retirement Promoted Lieutenant (junior grade), March 3, 1883. Although promoted to the rank of Lieutenant (j.g.) in 1883, he was unjustly deleted from line of promotion. Upon his retirement in 1896, this injustice was rectified by Senate Bill 114 of the first session of the 54th Congress which stated: "The Committee on Naval Affairs, to whom was referred the bill (S.3150) authorizing the President to appoint Lieut. Robert Platt, United States Navy, to the rank of commander…." Commander Robert Platt passed away on December 7, 1910, an ironic date for an outstanding Coast Surveyor, Fish Commission Officer, and Naval Officer.

2017 Career Sea Pay

The USCG Pay & Personnel Center has made the changes to designate all NOAA Ships at Level 5 on the 2017 USCG Career Sea Pay Tables. The R/V Gloria Michelle has been designated at Level 3. Final testing is under way and we expect the changes to become effective for all officers on April 1, 2017. The new rates can be found at

From the Desk of the NOAA Liaison to the USCG

The Navy League's Sea, Air and Space Exposition is happening at the Gaylord National Convention Center on April 3-5. Many of our sister services will be attending. This is a great way to see what is happening in the industry and network with the operational members of our sister services. Registration is free. Register to attend here.

NOAA Finance Processing of Travel Vouchers

NOAA Finance has new processing procedures in regards to PCS travel vouchers. All travel vouchers must be submitted to NOAA Finance before the 21st of each month. The submission of PCS travel vouchers are still the same. You will submit your endorsed orders and your PCS travel voucher (DD Form 1351-2) via email to Once the voucher has been computed and signed it will be sent to NOAA Finance via email in which you will be copied on the email. If it is not ready to be sent to Finance before the 21st, it will be held and then submitted at the end of the month so that it will be ready for Finance to process on the 1st.

Marine Advisor, OMAO Operations – Billet#: 0005

OMAO Operations is looking for a highly motivated officer excited to take on the responsibilities of Marine Advisor to the Deputy Director for Operations, OMAO. OMAO Operations is responsible and has overall authority for all marine and air operations for NOAA programs. OMAO Operations works closely with Marine Operations and the Aviation Operations Center to facilitate project execution, and assists in development of the fleet and aircraft allocation plans. The office develops policies, standards, and procedures which govern the safe, efficient and economical use of NOAA ships and aircraft.

The incumbent acts as a key advisor to the Deputy Director of Operations on all marine program and policy issues. It is the officer's responsibility to assist OMAO Operations to ensure that staff work and resources are properly executed for the timely and effective implementation of the Deputy Director's objectives and policies. The Marine Advisor acts as a focal point within OMAO Operations for marine requirements, program support, and activities. The Marine Advisor assists with many aspects of the Fleet Council and is a member of the Fleet Working Group, as well as acting as NOAA's liaison to external government partners, such as National Science Foundation and Environmental Protection Agency. A successful tour as Executive Officer prepares an officer well for this billet, and the headquarters experience gained is beneficial for an officer pursuing a Commanding Officer billet following this assignment. Additional information can be found by reading the billet description located on the CPC website. This assignment is expected to be vacant in September and will be discussed at the upcoming OAB. Update your assignment preferences or contact the Assignment Coordinator if interested.