Message from the Director

Fellow NOAA Corps officers,

This past Monday I had the honor of swearing in BOTC 132 in New London, CT. It was the first time I have had the authority to do so and the satisfaction I received from it was exactly what I had expected. The opportunity to deliver the oath of office to the future of the NOAA Corps is one of the reasons I strove to be the CPC Director. The experience did not disappoint. It was fascinating to get acquainted with the newest members of the NOAA Corps and discover how they learned about and what motivated them to join the NOAA Corps. I was impressed to hear that service to the Nation was a mutual cause shared by the entire class.

The NOAA Corps recruiting force (at CPC and in the field), CPC staff, and BOTC board members all contribute a tremendous amount of work to find quality officers and execute their accession to service. I was proud to hear the stories these new officers told regarding the support, interest, assistance, and enthusiasm they encountered from other NOAA Corps officers throughout the recruiting period. These stories highlighted how NOAA Corps officers, both active and retired, take the meaning of the NOAA Corps Core Value of Commitment seriously. The ability to bring onboard the best and brightest is only accomplished through this organizational commitment. Thank you all.

CAPT Devin Brakob, NOAA
Director, Commissioned Personnel Center

On the Horizon

13 Aug 2018 Officer Assignment Board
19 Sep 2018 CO/XO Command Advisory Working Group
11 Oct 2018 BOTC 132 Billet Night
14 Oct - 01 Nov 2018 REFTRA 85
20 Nov 2018 BOTC 132 Graduation

Approved Resignations, Separations and Retirements

LT Jessica Senzer 10 AUG 2018
LT Adam Ruckman 24 AUG 2018
LT Gavin Chensue 31 AUG 2018
LTJG Kathryn Richwine 05 SEP 2018
LT Kyle Salling 07 SEP 2018
CAPT Robert Kamphaus 01 OCT 2018
LT Daniel Langis 01 OCT 2018
LCDR David Cowan 26 OCT 2018
LCDR Brian Prestcott 01 Nov 2018
LTJG Sarah Chappel 30 Nov 2018
CAPT Scott Sirois 01 Dec 2018

History: The NAUTILUS

We are all aware of Captain Nemo's submarine Nautilus and also the first nuclear powered submarine, the USS NAUTILUS (SSN-571) . The first NAUTILUS ship was owned by the United States Navy and was a twelve gun schooner that served from 1803 to 1812 when it was captured by the British in the War of 1812.

The second NAUTILUS ship was owned by the United States Coast Survey. It was a schooner 76 feet in length with a beam of 19 feet and a draft of 7 feet. Costing only $10,000 to build, this ship was constructed for the Coast Survey and was the first ship built specifically for hydrographic surveying in the United States. The Coast Survey ship NAUTILUS conducted surveys until 1847 when it went into naval service during the Mexican War. Following the war, it was returned to the Coast Survey in July 1848. NAUTILUS was in service until 1859 and worked primarily on the East Coast and Chesapeake Bay areas. One of its commanding officers, Samuel P. Lee rose to the rank of Rear Admiral during the Civil War.

Welcome aboard BOTC 132!

On Monday, July 23, 2018, CAPT Brakob administered the NOAA Corps Oath of office to the 11 new officers of Basic Officer Training Class 132. Congratulations to the following men and women on their Commission:

Alejandro J. AmezcuaWashoe Valley, NV
Andie M. Cuiffo West Islip, NY
Marc J. Gramley North Canton, OH
Jaime M. Hendrix Oceano, CA
Gabriella E. McGann San Clemente, CA
Nicole B. Morgan Galveston, TX
Nicolas B. Osborn San Marcos, CA
Eben T. SmithSitka, AK
Thomas A. Smith Manassas Park, VA
John D. Stephens Durham, NC
Julia M. WaldsmithHouston, TX

The class hails from all over the United States with diverse backgrounds in fields such as Aeronautics, Geology, Biology, Meteorology, Oceanography, Environmental Science, and Marine Biology, just to name a few.

The students are underway in the intense Indoctrination phase of the program, where the staff will train them in such areas as self-discipline, officer bearing, time management, attention to detail, and proper wear of the uniform. They are looking forward to beginning the academic portion of the program, kicking off with Basic Seamanship next week, while simultaneously building upon their leadership and management skills.

Dates to look forward to include Billet Night on October 11, 2018, and Graduation on November 20, 2018.

Thanks to everyone for their assistance in processing these individuals. Welcome aboard BOTC 132!

Terminal Leave

The current NOAA Corps Directives, NCD06106, states "Terminal Leave will not normally be granted in conjunction with non-retirement separation." That does not preclude officers who are preparing for non-retirement separation (for example, resignation) from requesting terminal leave; the Director, NOAA Corps has the authority to approve such requests. NCD Chapter 6 is currently under revision and the updated version will be removing this precedence and including non-retirement separation orders in addition to retirement orders for routine approval of terminal leave. Please direct any questions to Charise Stewart at

FEMA's Surge Capacity Force

In true Semper Serviens fashion, many NOAA Corps officers have inquired about eligibility to join FEMA's Surge Capacity Force in response to RDML Gallaudet's July 9th announcement. CPC is supportive of this endeavor and officers may submit interest via the questionnaire that was in the announcement. Please note, however, that prior to being deployed in the aftermath of a disaster, officers must have full support from their first and second line supervisor as well as their Line Office Liaison, with the understanding that the officer will be committed to an unwavering 45 days of deployment duty with FEMA. This support and understanding shall be documented by a memorandum submitted (via email) by the officer to the Director, CPC, through their first line supervisor, second line supervisor, and program's Line Office Liaison before an officer responds to any FEMA deployment requests.

It is understood that as officers we want to help. Yet, we are critical members of our program and must first support our assigned program and platforms. In many cases these duties include response operations. Although current mission needs might take precedence over an individual officer's participation in the Surge Capacity Force, NOAA Corps as a whole remains manned and ready to support national-level events as we have done in the past.

Command Advisory Working Group: CO and XO Assignments

A CAWG is scheduled for September 19, 2018, to make recommendations for Commanding Officer and Executive Officer assignments. Any officer within 2 years of rotation could be considered for these ship assignments. CPC is requesting OPF updates specifically for this CAWG be submitted by September 5, 2018. Please ensure your assignment preferences are updated to reflect your latest interest and reach out to ship and Marine Center COs to discuss possible CO and XO assignments. For any questions, please contact LCDR Stephen Kuzirian at or by phone at 301-713-7694.

2017 ACO Awards

The following officers were recently recognized with ACO Awards for 2017:

LT Laura Dwyer ACO JOTY Award:

Lieutenant Laura Dwyer was awarded the 2017 NOAA Association of Commissioned Officers Junior Officer of the Year Award for her display of outstanding leadership and technical acumen as a Division Officer of a Navy Underwater Vehicle Platoon for the Naval Oceanography Mine Warfare Command. As the leader of the Command's newly established 1st Platoon, LT Dwyer built a platoon of 12 sailors from its inception and increased the Command's capability to support Navy mine warfare operations worldwide by 25%. Her exceptional leadership, mission planning, and technical support in this role resulted in being awarded a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for outstanding support. Upon identifying qualification shortfalls within her platoon, she earned qualifications as Unmanned Underwater Vehicle operator and coxswain to expand the capability and flexibility of her team. LT Dwyer's exceptional accomplishments and leadership example have led to a strengthened partnership between NOAA and the Navy with an increased desire for more and continued integration.

LTJG Michael Ball ACO Science Award:

Lieutenant (junior grade) Michael Ball was awarded the 2017 NOAA Association of Commissioned Officers Science Award for providing exemplary service simultaneously to the Office of Marine and Aviation Operations Northeast Marine Support Facility as Port Operations Manager, and the National Marine Fisheries Service as Operations Specialist for the Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) Protected Species Branch. In both of these roles, LTJG Ball demonstrated exceptional scientific service in support of the NEFSC by broadening line office and inter-agency partnerships, making sound operational decisions, and planning ahead to ensure continuity of operations.

Promotion Requirement Training on CLC

The 2018 renewal of the Promotion Requirement Training curricula in the Commerce Learning Center (CLC) is complete. As you are aware from the September 22, 2017 Cyberflash, many of the courses were removed or replaced by the vendor (Skillsoft) in CLC. Due to this change, CPC took the opportunity to refresh all three Promotion Requirement curricula. If you did not finish the entire curriculum before the April 30, 2018 deadline, your progress will be reset and will be based on the new curriculum. Classes completed in the old curriculum which were not replaced will still count towards your progress. Ensigns who have already completed the FEMA courses, please forward your FEMA certificates to in order to receive credit for these classes.

If you have any questions, please contact or call (301) 713-7736.