Message from the Director

Often, at CPC, it seems the majority of work that crosses my desk is negative, frustrating or exhausting. I sometimes forget to focus on the rewarding interactions and experiences. Luckily, though, there are enough of those positive instances to encourage me to return to the office each day.

Last week I was able to attend the graduation ceremony for BOTC 130. I was honored to be there and it was quite impressive to watch our ensigns celebrate their graduation with their US Coast Guard classmates. Having been at CPC when we moved our training center to the USCG Officer Candidate School, I am proud to see how far the relationships and training have advanced.

It's also pleasant to be reminded of NOAA Corps officer camaraderie. Following up on the Cyberflash October 20, 2017 article "ACO Making a Difference", I am happy to report that the shadow box has found its home. CDR Tuell was exceptionally touched. He sent the following and gave me permission to share with all of you:

Dear Captain Lynch,

I am writing to express my sincere appreciation to you, Captain Adams, and everyone at CPC and ACO who helped to recreate my shadow box. The one given to me on my retirement day is somewhere on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. I surely never expected to have another!

Just before Thanksgiving, my good friend Miles Croom made the long drive from St. Petersburg to Madison to present me with the new one. It is absolutely beautiful! I am amazed and deeply humbled that he did this. He explained that CPC and the ACO gave considerable help, so I thank you for that. I imagine someone on your staff had to dig through old paper records, as part of my time in the Corps preceded desktop computers.

Miles and I took the opportunity to spend a couple of fantastic days together and you can bet we spent most of that time talking about our years in the NOAA Corps. It was a wonderful experience - and the ribbons and qualification insignia in the shadow box helped to bring back great memories. Because I had lost all of my NOAA memorabilia in Katrina, this new shadowbox is something I will treasure forever.

The NOAA Corps is an amazing organization. I am very proud of the 20 years I spent in the uniform and am thankful I had the opportunity to serve my country as a Commissioned Officer, manager, sailor, scientist, and engineer. The experiences I had, and the work ethic I learned, have served me well since retirement and have helped me to build a successful second career. But 17 years after taking-off the uniform I can say with certainty that my comrades in the Corps were the best, smartest, hardest-working folks I have ever met. Some of them are darn good friends, too.

Please share my deepest gratitude and salute to the entire NOAA Corps - both active duty and retired.

Best regards -grady

Grady H. Tuell, Ph.D. Commander NOAA (Retired)

In closing, as the new officers prepare to enter the fleet excited and motivated, it's important for us to remember and foster that invigorating feeling, remain positive through the tough times, and be grateful for the friends and mission we have.

Be kind to yourself and all those entrusted to your care.


CAPT Anne K. Lynch, NOAA
Director, CPC

On the Horizon

04 - 08 Dec 2017 CO/XO Conference
08 - 12 Jan 2018 Mid Grade Week One

Approved Resignations, Separations and Retirements

CDR Mark Sweeney 01 Dec 2017
LT Reni Rydlewicz 01 Dec 2017
ENS Kaitlyn Seberger 15 Dec 2017
LT Alexander Johnston 29 Dec 2017
CAPT William Odell 01 Jan 2018
LCDR Jonathan French 01 Feb 2018
LCDR Madeleine Adler 01 Mar 2018
LT Anna-Elizabeth Villard-Howe 01 Mar 2018
LCDR Jennifer Pralgo 01 Mar 2018

BOTC 130 Graduation

Congratulations to BOTC 130 and OCS 1-18! The class graduated on Tuesday, November 21 after seventeen weeks of hard work.


The students of BOTC 130 taking the Oath of Office at the OCS 1-18/BOTC 130 Graduation Ceremony.


ENS Hayley Betker and ENS Taylor Krabiel proudly represent the NOAA Corps in the Final Drill Down Competition.

Please help us in recognizing the following award recipients:

Distinguished Honor Graduate: ENS Brian S. Caldwell
Professional Mariner Award: ENS Brian S. Caldwell
Academic Award: ENS Kevin A. Tennyson
Health and Physical Readiness Award: ENS Hayley A. Betker
Leadership in Writing Award: ENS Nicolas S. DeProspero


Congratulations to ENS Hayley Betker, the recipient of the first-ever Health and Physical Readiness Award, sponsored by First Command.

Bravo Zulu to these individuals for demonstrating excellence throughout BOTC!

The students are currently completing their Bridge Resource Management training and will be headed to the fleet on December 1. They are eager to join their ships and aircraft and put their professional training to use. Congratulations BOTC 130!

Blended Retirement - Final Countdown

One month until BRS goes live, are you ready?

CPC has added a BRS section to our website for you to get the information you need to help in making your decision. Visit us at https://www.corpscpc.noaa.gov/brs/brs.html.

Here you will find background information on BRS as well as a newly installed video showing the process of how to opt-in come January 1st.

TSP Webinar Reminder

Call for BOTC 132 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 132 candidates from January 22 - February 15, 2018 (schedule is flexible):

  • Northeast Region (RI/MA)
  • Southeast Region (Central FL)
  • Southern Region (Pascagoula, MS)
  • Central 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 Jared.R.Halonen@noaa.gov by January 5, 2018.

History: C&GS Aid in the Battle of the Bulge

December 16th marks the 73rd Anniversary of the beginning of one of the greatest and most decisive battles of the Second World War - the Battle of the Bulge. Although little known, Coast and Geodetic Survey officers played a crucial part both in this battle and the Allied advance through Europe as artillery surveyors with the Field Artillery Observation Battalions (FAOBs). The job of these battalions was two-fold: 1) provide surveyed locations and initial azimuths for aiming American artillery; and 2) determine the location of enemy artillery units through sound and flash ranging for counter-battery fire. This work often brought them to locations "in advance of the infantry."

One such surveyor was Charlie Schanck, who volunteered for transfer to the Army even though he was over 40 years old and had a nice comfortable position in Coast and Geodetic Survey Headquarters. After an initial training period, he disembarked in France in mid-December, 1944. By December 20 he was part of a FAOB at Dahlem, Luxembourg, in the thick of the Battle of the Bulge. He described his survey work thusly:

"As you know any comparison with the quality of the work we do and Coast Survey work is out of the question, but so are the conditions under which we do it. We have been working in about 2 feet of snow with the temperature in the teens and low twenties. One day we ran 12 kilometers of traverse in a snowstorm into a city that had been encircled three or four days earlier [this was probably Bastogne as Dahlem was only 40 miles south of that famous city], and counted numerous interdiction shell holes along the road en route home that hadn't been there when the survey was made. I have seen range poles cut in half and tripods slivered and have watched an 88 shell burst within 60 feet of myself, instrument man and recorder, leaving us all unscathed but spraying the ground generously two hundred feet beyond us. Yes, it is quite different from C&GS work."

For combat service, Charlie Schanck retired with the honorary rank of Rear Admiral (LH) as did a number of other C&GS officers who served with the FAOBs. Text accompanying their various awards including Bronze Star, Silver Star, Legion of Merit, and Croix de Guerre can be found at https://www.history.noaa.gov/hallofhonor/ww2medals.html. For World War II personal accounts, visit https://www.history.noaa.gov/ww2_personal.html.

New Combined Federal Campaign Online Pledge System

Have you considered taking part in the 2017 Combined Federal Campaign? One very significant change in the CFC campaign this year, for the first time ever federal employees have the option to not only donate monetarily, but to also donate your time and volunteer at the charity of your choice. Please view the links below to learn how you can donate financially or physically and visit www.CFCNCA.org to #ShowSomeLove!

CFC 2017 Donation Portal overview
CFC 2017 How to Donate
CFC 2017 Volunteering

If you have a current pledge established via Allotment, be advised that the payment to your charity of choice will end as of December 31, 2017. Updated features allow easy commitment of funds directly through your financial institution and Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) donations can now be made online - No need to involve your military or civilian servicing personnel office (SPO).

Please review ALCOAST message 340/17 (IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR CFC ALLOTMENTS) for more information on the new CFC Donor Pledging System.

The address for the CFC Donor Pledging System is https://cfcgiving.opm.gov/welcome. You should review the list of Combined Federal Campaign Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) to learn about establishing an account and making a pledge.

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"!