Director's Message

Shipmates,

Three quick things and then on to the content of this installment of the Cyberflash:

  • Do you remember the anticipation and excitement of finding out where you were being sent for your first assignment after BOTC? Want to renew your service commitment and enthusiasm? Tune in tonight to the live stream of Billet Night for BOTC-129 and OCS 2-17 and vicariously reminisce in the optimism and enthusiasm of this milestone of our newest officers' careers. This is true "reality TV" complete with laughter, excitement, jubilation, and even an occasional crushing disappointment. Billet Night airs tonight starting at approximately 1830. Tune in here.
  • We're only 43 days out from the DC area flagship event of the NOAA Corps 100th anniversary celebrations, the Centennial Anniversary Dinner! The Uniform of the Day for the NOAA Corps Centennial Anniversary Dinner is Dinner Dress White Jacket for O-4 and above, Dinner Dress White for O-3 and below. If you haven't pulled your uniform out of the closet to test for "shrinkage" or even "yellowing," do it this weekend! The Centennial committee has been working extremely hard and this event is shaping up to be quite the jubilee. Honor our 100th anniversary and the hard work of our shipmates by ensuring you appear ship shape and Bristol fashion from head to toe on the evening of May 20, 2017. Your friendly NEX tailor is standing by and eager to assist, but they can't come to you, you need to see them!
  • The Blended Retirement System is coming in 2018. Next year members with less than 12 years of service at the end of 2017 are eligible to transition from the tradition retirement system to the new Blended Retirement System. I've pushed out information on the Blended Retirement System throughout the past year and hope that those who will be eligible are, by this point, at least aware that they will need to make an irrevocable decision on which system they will choose to participate in starting January 1, 2018. I cannot understate the significance of this change or the need to exercise (or gain) personal financial literacy in order to make the best decision regarding your personal financial, career, and life goals. If you are in the cohort of eligible officers, your primary resource and portal for official content to start "getting smart" on this decision is here.

Semper serviens,

CAPT Amilynn E. Adams, NOAA
Director, CPC

On the Horizon

07 Apr 2017 BOTC 129 Billet Night
24-28 Apr 2017 Annual Review
01-05 May 2017 CO/XO Immersion
09 May 2017 BOTC 129 Graduation
09 May 2017 Hurricane Awareness Tour, Ronald Reagan International Airport (DCA)
20 May 2017 NOAA Corps Centennial Anniversary Dinner, Washington, DC
02 June 2017 AOC Ribbon Cutting

Approved Resignations, Separations and Retirements

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 Second

April 7, 1943 The Pathfinder's Finest Hour

In describing the role of the PATHFINDER during and after a Japanese air attack on fleet units at Guadalcanal in 1943, Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Fleet, stated as follows:

"The performance of PATHFINDER on 7 April is noteworthy. Preceding the attack this vessel was conducting survey operations off Berande Point, Guadalcanal. Despite warning of approaching planes and the departure of most of our large ships from the area, her personnel continued hydrography until enemy planes were near. Leaving her ship's boats with one quarter of the crew at their assigned survey duties, the commanding officer then went to maximum speed and maneuvered close aboard AARON WARD. Two planes dived on her and were shot down. Her boats brought off wounded from AARON WARD who were cared for on board during the night. Early next morning these men were disembarked for hospitalization and at 0700, 8 April local time 'the ship resumed its survey operations.' It is a pleasure to report on the efficient and business like conduct of duty under fire of this USC&GS ship operating under my command."

During this attack, PATHFINDER shot down two enemy aircraft. Then Lieutenant Lorin Woodcock, who was out on a survey launch, observed two planes collide overhead. Two parachutes wafted down and Woodcock directed his launch to the closest chute. Fortunately for him, LST 449 beat him to the downed pilot who was Japanese and commenced shooting at his would be captors. As Woodcock and his crew had neglected to carry their standard issue weapons with them, they would have been in quite a pickle if they had pulled that pilot out of the water. As Captain Woodcock said during an interview, "I fought the war with a sextant. I sure was lucky that time." As a footnote to history, President-to-be John F. Kennedy was a junior officer on LST 449. Lieutenant Jerry Jarman was in charge of the forward anti-aircraft guns on the PATHFINDER as it pulled up to the AARON WARD and recalled "looking back at Kennedy's ship while four dive bombers were attacking it. There were so many exploding bombs along with the resulting water spouts that I could not see the LST."

NOAA Sexual Assault Sexual Harrasment (SASH) Helpline

As a reminder and to help maintain good order and morale, the NOAA Sexual Assault/Sexual Harassment (SASH) Helpline was released in December. The NOAA SASH Helpline is part of our commitment to create an inclusive and safe environment by providing outlets to employees experiencing unacceptable behavior in the workplace. The NOAA SASH Helpline provides crisis intervention, referrals, and emotional support to NOAA employees, contractors, and affiliates who are victims and/or survivors of sexual harassment or sexual assault. The helpline is operated by the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization. More information about RAINN is available at: https://www.rainn.org.

Through the NOAA SASH Helpline, RAINN support specialists provide live, confidential, one-on-one support regardless of the place or time of the occurrence. This support is available to all NOAA employees, contractors, and affiliates even if the incident occurs outside of the workplace or is unrelated to work. All services are anonymous, secure, and available worldwide, 24/7. The NOAA SASH Helpline is accessible through a variety of channels, including:

Phone: 1-866-288-6558

Website & Online Chat: https://NOAASASHHelpline.org

Mobile App: NOAA SASH Helpline (available via iOS and Android App Stores)

Text: (202) 335-0265

And remember, the behavior you walk past is the behavior you condone. Don't condone bad behavior, call it out. We all deserve to feel safe regardless of where we work.

Want to add the NOAA Corps Centennial Graphic to your email signature block?

  • Go to https://www.omao.noaa.gov/find/media/images/noaa-corps-centennial-graphic
  • Right-click on image and select "copy" (no need to click on the "Download Image" button)
  • Open Gmail and go to "settings"
  • Under "general" scroll down to "signature"
  • place cursor under name, address and such and right click to "paste" image
  • click on image again and select "medium" to scale
  • scroll to bottom of page and click on "save changes"

Enjoy and congratulations on "celebrating a century of service"!

Aviation Advisory Board

An Aviation Advisory Board will convene in July 2017 to recommend selected officers to the Officer Assignment Board for initial flight training. The NOAA Corps will be selecting officers from the fleet who are interested in transitioning to aviation. Start dates for flight training will be determined based on the needs of the service and rotation dates of the officers selected. Flight experience is encouraged but is not required for this opportunity. Candidates must have less than six years of commissioned officer service prior to the start of flight training.

Requirements for the NOAA Corps Aviation Selection Process:

  • Complete all sections of NOAA Form 56-43 (Application for NOAA Corps Aviation Program).
  • Complete a USCG Class I flight physical.
  • Complete the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT)
  • Complete the Test of Basic Aviation Skills (TBAS). This test must be taken after the AFOQT.
  • Retrieve and include your Pilot Candidate Selection Method (PCSM) score.
  • A recommendation for aviation selection must be included in Section 10 (Potential) of the applicant's Officer Evaluation Report (NOAA form 56-6A), or provide a written endorsement from your current supervisor.

Notify LCDR Patrick Sweeney (assignmentbranch.cpc@noaa.gov) (301) 713-7694, by COB, May 26, 2017, if you are interested in this opportunity. AOC will be responsible for conducting interviews between May and June for all applicants. Completed aviation application packages must arrive at the Commissioned Personnel Center (CPC) by COB, June 30, 2017.

For questions about NOAA aviation careers and the application process, contact LCDR Chris Kerns (christopher.kerns@noaa.gov) (813) 828-4681 or LCDR Ron Moyers (ronald.moyers@noaa.gov) (813) 828-4381.
For questions specific to the AFOQT or TBAS, contact LCDR Ron Moyers.
For questions specific to medical requirements and USCG Class I flight physicals, contact LCDR Paul Hoffman, USPHS, (paul.hoffman@noaa.gov) - (813) 828-4116.

OER Lessons

As CPC finishes up the last OER validations of this past rating period, we have noticed a few recurring issues that continue to crop up. First and foremost we continue to come across OERs not locking after they have been signed. Two years ago, the form on the CPC website was modified to accept digital signatures and lock the document in the process. With no changes to content, the OER form remained the same version as the old form, Rev. 07-07. The only visual differences between the old and new form are red tabs in the signature blocks. To ensure you are using the correct form when preparing a new OER, please download the form from the CPC website.

Other special emphasis areas are:

  • The reporting period must start the day after the closing date on the previous OER.
  • The difference between the beginning of period and date reported must be captured in 'Days not Observed'.
  • Underline or type in all capital letters, the officer's primary duty title.
  • Name of person signing must be included in the 'Name and Signature' blocks (mostly for hand written signatures).
  • Please fill 'Grade' and 'Date' blocks (prior to signing) when using digital signatures, the information is present in the signature but is extremely difficult to read once uploaded to the officer's OPF.
  • If submitting an OER with hand signatures, it must be mailed, digital copies are not accepted.

For more information check the Officer Evaluation System page on the CPC website or contact CPC at oer.cpc@noaa.gov.

Payroll Alert: Validate State Tax Witholding On Your LES

ATTENTION: Hear Ye! Hear Ye! All NOAA Corps Officers!

PLEASE, check your Leave and Earning Statements (LES) to make sure your State tax information is correct, i.e, that is you're getting tax withheld, or not, for the correct State.

If you have pay or allowances (i.e., career sea pay, aviation career incentive pay, family separation allowance, cost of living allowance, etc.) being paid and it should NOT be, please let payroll know immediately so that it can be stopped as soon as possible.