Director's Message


It's been an incredibly busy few weeks at CPC. The Annual Review was held at the end of April and promotion boards were held the first week in May. Earlier this week, the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center graduated BOTC-129 from the USCG and NOAA Joint Officer Training Program. The next week will likely prove to be quite busy in another way, due to the preparations for the Centennial Anniversary Gala Dinner. In 8 days from today, those of us in the National Capitol Region and those traveling in from places far and wide will be celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the NOAA Corps at the Reagan Center in downtown Washington, DC.

For those officers wondering when CPC will release the results of the Annual Review and the promotion boards, I assure you we're working as fast as we can to get the promotion packages moving and the Annual Review actions processed. We will notify officers of the approved actions of the Annual Review first. I'm optimistic that we will be able to complete our notifications by the end of next week. As for the promotion boards, this takes substantially longer. We have a two-step process to effect promotions. The first step involves approval of the recommendations. The second step involves approval to effect the promotions. For the approval step, we can notify the officers in each zone after the results have been approved by the Secretary. Based on past experience, I am hopeful that we will be able to make notifications by late June or early July. Please be patient. And please resist trying to calendar surf to identify board members and pump them for information or sleuth the results by trying to read the tea leaves of forthcoming assignments. Such actions are not in keeping with our core values of honor, respect, and commitment. Besides, give it some time - our promotion package takes quite a while to complete its long journey from my desk in CPC to the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office.

Lastly, and most importantly, in the previous installment of the Cyberflash, I spoke about the importance of mental health in my typical ham-fisted, ship-driver's vernacular in an attempt to amplify Commander Rathke's message on such an important topic. I wanted to encourage each of you to not only be mindful of your mental health, but to hopefully seek out mental health counseling as a preventive measure to ensure peak performance. Based on feedback, this message struck a positive chord with quite a few people. One person in particular, retired Commander Roger Hewitt, NOAA, was kind enough to provide me with a fantastic success story of how proactive behavioral health counseling helped him during a particularly challenging sea assignment. He was kind enough to give me permission to use his name (obviously) and reprint the bulk of his email (with light editing) telling his story in this Cyberflash. Roger, thank you for sharing your personal experience. I hope this further reduces the fear and apprehension surrounding mental health treatment.

As we start to hit our stride on approach to the middle of this field season, don't forget to take a second to look out for your NOAA ohana. Take care of each other. And sail, fly, and dive safe. Happy 100th Anniversary to us!!

Semper serviens,

CAPT Amilynn E. Adams, NOAA
Director, CPC

On the Horizon

20 May 2017 NOAA Corps Centennial Anniversary Dinner, Washington, DC
02 June 2017 AOC Ribbon Cutting
23 July 2017 BOTC 130 commences
31 July - 4 Aug 2017 Marine Ops - CO/XO Immersion Week

Approved Resignations, Separations and Retirements

CDR Brian Parker 01 Aug 2017
CDR Peter Siegel 01 Aug 2017
LTJG Sean Luis 18 Aug 2017
LT Jasmine Cousins 01 Sep 2017
LT Michael Marino 01 Sep 2017
LT Andrea Proie 15 Sep 2017
CDR Matthew Wingate 01 Oct 2017
RADM David Score 01 Nov 2017
LCDR Denise Gruccio 01 Nov 2017
LCDR Brian Prestcott 01 Nov 2017

History: The Honor In Our Duty

On the eve of the 100th Anniversary of the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps, it is worthwhile to reflect on the words of President Dwight David Eisenhower on the occasion of the 150th Anniversary of the formation of the United States Coast Survey. Yes shipmates, we have done our duty.


"Mr. Secretary, Distinguished Guests, and My Friends: This morning, early, someone visited my office with a long memorandum. It was a suggested speech for me to make to you this evening, and it was filled with facts about the long and glorious history of the Coast and Geodetic Survey.

Well, the thought crossed my mind: if you don't know more about the history, the traditions, and the operations of the Coast and Geodetic Survey than I do, then we have come to a pretty pass. And certainly I saw no reason for taking your time to tell you things that you knew so much better than I did.

So, in searching my mind for a thought that I might leave with you tonight, I thought back over the years since 1910 when I took the examinations for West Point.

Now I want to talk to you a second about public service. Often in the military services and in the civil services, I have heard people say: 'Well, look what I am giving up here. I have been offered thirty-four thousand dollars a year to go with so and so.'

My reaction has always been one of sadness. I feel that the individual who says that has lost all comprehension of what public service really is. Because in the end I am quite certain that no one can have any greater reward in this life than the consciousness, or the belief - the feeling - that the society of which he is a part approves of what he has done. And I doubt that they worry too much about the number of dollars that are in your estate.

But they do say: 'That man did his duty.'

So I think what I am trying to talk about this evening is: duty. One of the greatest of all Americans, Robert E. Lee, said, 'We would not wish to do less than our duty. We cannot do more.' Others have described it as the most sublime word in the English language.

So, when a whole group - the Coast and Geodetic Survey, can look back over 150 years and have this feeling - and the conviction: we have done our duty, I submit to you there are no words that anyone can bring to you - the most brilliant adjectives ever invented by man - that can say to you more. We shall feel, as I am sure America feels - and as I know I do - that the Coast and Geodetic Survey has done its duty for 150 years to the United States of America. In my mind, that is far more important than, on the basis of your charts and your surveys - the figure they gave me this morning, which I still remember - one hundred billion tons of American freight has come safely into our harbors and along our coasts in a year.

That means nothing, compared to the fact that this great body can proudly say: We have done our duty.

The Navy has a fine word, a fine way, of commending someone who has done something that all of us would think unusual. They merely say: Well done. And in the words of Lee, I don't think - I don't believe - that anyone could wish for more. And so, as I congratulate you on your birthday, and wish you many more Happy Returns, I want to say that I salute you as a body that to America has done its duty, and individually, as members of a very proud organization."

Happy 100th Anniversary "Card" from Oregon

The Governor of Oregon, Kate Brown, has hereby declared May 22, 2017 to be the 100th Anniversary of the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps in Oregon and encourages all Oregonians to join in this observance! Thank you Governor Brown and the people of Oregon for this honor! You can see the full Gubernatorial Proclamation here.

The Value of Therapy

From Roger Hewitt, Commander, NOAA, Retired:

I enjoyed your Cyberflash article on the benefits of therapy. I also wanted to add my endorsement of the value of advice from a mental health practitioner. My experience helped both me and the Corps.

The story starts with my assignment to a ship operating in a remote location with a history of problems. I had been informed that my job was to "fix things." I expected that I would encounter resistance as well as a feeling of isolation. I wanted to best prepare myself and sought the advice of a therapist. At the time, proactive consultations were not part of our medical care and I relied on a recommendation from a friend.

I could hardly expect the therapist to have any knowledge of the challenges of a seagoing XO, but he listened carefully as I outlined the job of the ship's chief cook and bottle washer. He asked some questions and we discussed a few other ways to characterize the job. Most importantly, he provided me with several useful pointers. Over the course of my deployment, these helped me do my job while maintaining my sanity. I'm not sure if I completely fixed things but those who sent me were pleased and I survived.

With the assignment behind me, I re-visited the therapist for a "de-briefing" and re-entry back into a more normal world. I was so impressed with the value provided by a trained, empathetic therapist that I have since advocated seeking professional advice to several people embarking on a new experience and/or decompressing from one just past. There is much to be learned from forcing yourself to describe a situation and then getting feedback from a trained listener.

Your idea of doing it between assignments is a very good one.

PS - OK to use my story and name

Blended Retirement System Calculator

DOD has launched the BETA version of the BRS Comparison Calculator providing BRS opt-in eligible service members their first opportunity to compare retirement systems. The BRS Comparison Calculator team continues to conduct modifications and calculator enhancements to ensure service members have the best experience with using this tool. It is anticipated that a final calculator rollout will be accomplished in the near future. All service members, even those who are not eligible to enroll in the new BRS system, are encouraged to return to to try out the calculator.

Additionally, If you'll have less than 12 years of active service on December 31, 2017, you are eligible to convert from the "legacy" High-3 system to the new Blended Retirement System. Don't put it off, consult with a personal financial counselor now so you can make an informed decision as soon after January 1, 2018 as possible. Service members and/or their dependents can visit their nearest military installation and work with a personal financial counselor to discuss their financial security. Service members can receive free, confidential support from an accredited personal financial counselor by searching online, or contacting Military One Source at 800-342-9647.

From the Desk of the NOAA Liaison to the USCG

The following content from CDR Miller is being provided to highlight the importance of the NOAA and USCG partnership in the Arctic. From Commander Miller, "Last week ADM Paul Zukunft, Commandant of the USCG, spoke about The US's Arctic status and strategy. There was quite a bit related to NOAA and our missions. This is an excellent opportunity to educate yourself on the Arctic and the importance of NOAA's role in it." Video of the Commandant's remarks are here.

From the Desk of the NOAA Liaison to the Oceanographer of the US Navy

On 22 May 2017, the NOAA Corps will celebrate 100 years of service. To promote this milestone, space has been reserved at the Pentagon for NOAA Corps officers to volunteer from 0900 - 1400 to increase awareness of the NOAA Corps mission and share outreach materials with DoD personnel and fellow service members.

Additionally, an informal cake cutting ceremony is planned with RDML Lopez and RDML Gallaudet (Oceanographer & Navigator of the US Navy) from 1045 - 1100. If interested in volunteering, please contact LCDR Mansour at 202-768-1019.

Emotional Intelligence

Studies have shown that effective leaders tend to have higher emotional intelligence quotients (EQ) than less effective leaders. If you want to learn more about the qualities of high EQ people, check out this article.

Attention Retired Officers in Montgomery County, MD

Thanks to the efforts of the concerned retired USPHS and NOAA officers, retired NOAA officers living in Montgomery County, MD are now entitled to property tax relief commensurate with the retired members of our sister services. Comments made by one of the Montgomery County Commissioners on this important tax relief for our retirees are available here.

New NOAA Corps Name Tags

As a reminder, the old style NOAA Corps plastic name tags are being phased out ad will not be authorized for wear beyond 21 MAY 2017. Beginning 22 May 2017, only the new style will be authorized.

Officers can purchase the new name tags from UltraThin. The drop down menu for Name Tag ordering now has the option for NOAA.

Please direct any questions regarding the change in plastic name tags to the Uniform and Awards Board (

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

  • Go to
  • 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"!

Call for BOTC 131 Interviewers

In an effort to help streamline and standardize the BOTC interview evaluation process, the Officer Recruiting Branch is requesting two officers (1 primary/1 alternate), preferably at the O3/04 rank, in each of the following regions to conduct interviews for BOTC 131 candidates from July 1- July 15, 2017 (schedule is flexible):

  • Northeast Region (RI/MA)
  • Southeast Region (Central FL)
  • entral Region (Boulder, CO)
  • Southwest Region (San Diego, CA)
  • Northwest Region (Seattle, WA/Newport, OR)
  • Alaska Region (Anchorage, AK)
  • Hawaii Region (Honolulu, HI)

Interviewers can expect to see an average of 5-10 applicants. The regional interview process has received positive reviews from senior leadership, and having a dedicated group of interviewers will normalize scores and make them more valuable to the BOTC selection board.

If you are interested or would like more information, please contact LT Jared Halonen at by June 2, 2017.

From the Assignment Desk: Hydrographic Training Opportunity

The Office of Coast Survey is seeking applicants for two hydrographic training billets #7206 and #7208, located at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, NH. The successful applicant for billet #7206 will begin training in the fall of 2018 for a three year assignment. The selectee for billet #7208 will first complete approximately one year as 4th officer on the NOAA Ship Ferdinand R. Hassler, and then begin training in the fall of 2019 for a total of a three to four year assignment. Applicants for billet #7208 should be officers currently in their first sea tour, qualification as an OOD is a prerequisite.

Hydrographic training billets are a rigorous technical program and undergraduate level courses in calculus and physics are required. Admission to the program also requires completion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and a successful application for admission to the university. Successful completion of the billet assignment will result in independent, novel research benefiting Coast Survey's mission and leading to a master's degree in Ocean Engineering or Earth Science. This program is one of only two Category A educational programs in the United States certified by the International Federation of Surveyors / International Hydrographic Organization / International Cartographic Association (FIG/IHO/ICA). A strong background in hydrography or seafloor mapping is beneficial but not required. These billets are excellent preparation for operational and management roles in the hydrographic and ocean mapping communities.

Additional information on the program and admission requirements can be found at

If you are interested in this opportunity, submit the following to LCDR Samuel Greenaway ( by COB, May 29, 2017. The Coast Survey Board of Hydrographers will review applications.

  • A written endorsement from current supervisor
  • An application statement outlining qualifying background and research interests
  • A copy of OOD endorsement or a statement from current Commanding Officer indicating completion of OOD qualification may be reasonably expected by fall of 2018 (For billet #7208)