Message from the Director

Fellow NOAA Corps officers,

I had the privilege of delivering forthcoming assignment letters to the ten officers of BOTC-132 during the recent Billet Night. Due to scheduling issues while I was Chief, Officer Career Management Division, I never had an opportunity to attend Billet Night prior to this one. I must admit the occasion did not disappoint. There was a mixture of excitement and nervousness during the dinner as the Coast Guard candidates and NOAA Corps officers waited to learn where they would be serving their first operational assignments. As each individual was called on stage, their peers would cheer words of encouragement and support, and you could read each of their faces' reaction to the news. It was apparent that OCS 1-19 and BOTC-132 had unified as a group. It was a memorable evening.

The timing of this event works well with one of the topics I've wanted to address in the Director's Message of a Cyberflash. The topic is that of keeping your assignment preferences updated in OPF Online. I have been on several Officer Assignment Boards (OAB) in my career and have seen officer's assignment preferences that had not been updated in several years. This creates a challenge for the OAB to match officer preferences with available billets. OABs deal with a lot of moving parts including billet timing, billet pre-requisites, NOAA Corps needs, and Line Office requirements. The assignment preferences tab in OPF Online is your tool to tell the OAB what you want in your career. Don't miss this opportunity. I recommend that within six months of reporting to a billet, you should update your assignment preferences to indicate what you want in your next assignment. Updating your assignment preferences can be done at any time as your professional or personal goals change. At a minimum, revisit your preferences annually through OPF Online. Although not always possible, the goal of the OAB is to make assignments about 12-18 months out. OABs look to your assignment preferences to accomplish the needs of the Service while trying to keep our officers satisfied with their assignments.

There are multiple means to research and determine your assignment preferences. The CPC website has billet descriptions you can review to narrow down your possibilities and the preference section in OPF Online will do the calendar math for you to narrow your search for availability based on timing. After self-conducted research, the Assignment Coordinator is typically your first stop but officers can also reach out to the billet's Line Office Liaison Officer or call the billet's incumbent officer to get a sense of exactly what the billet entails and how it can fit into your desired career path.

CAPT Devin Brakob, NOAA
Director, Commissioned Personnel Center

On the Horizon

15 Oct - 02 Nov 2018 REFTRA 85
20 Nov 2018 BOTC 132 Graduation
11 Dec 2018 Officer Assignment Board

Approved Resignations, Separations and Retirements

LCDR David Cowan 26 OCT 2018
LCDR Brian Prestcott 01 Nov 2018
LT Kyle Salling 11 Nov 2018
LT Adam Ruckman 15 Nov 2018
LCDR Steven Loy 15 Nov 2018
LT Carmen DeFazio 16 Nov 2018
LCDR Tanner Sims 19 Nov 2018
CAPT Scott Sirois 01 Dec 2018
LT Felicia Drummond 21 Dec 2018
LTJG Sarah Chappel 31 Jan 2019

History: What does the NOAA Emblem Symbolize?

The NOAA emblem is recognized worldwide as a symbol of safety of life at sea and on land, protection of the atmospheric and oceanic environment, and understanding the environment from the surface of the sun to the bottom of the sea. Is there an official description of the meaning of the emblem? Eight days after the swearing in of the first Administrator of NOAA on March 18, 1971, the issue of NOAA Week stated: "The emblem symbolizes NOAA's worldwide role in the environmental sciences and the role of these sciences in defining and determining ecological relationships, promoting better use of our natural resources, and providing a better understanding and predictability of global phenomena." Of this design, Dr. Robert White, the first Administrator of NOAA, remarked: "A white, gull-like form links the atmosphere to the sea or Earth. The Earth and atmosphere and the interrelationships between the two are, of course, major concerns of NOAA. The line defining the top of the gull's wings also resemble the trough of a foaming ocean wave against the blue sky. A creature of sea, land, and air, the gull adds an ecological touch to the Earth-sky motif."

2017 Reserve Officer Association Award

LT Laura Dwyer receiving the Reserve Officer Association Outstanding Junior Officer Award (Naval Services Section) accompanied by CAPT Devin Brakob (Director, Commissioned Personnel Center), CDR Kate Hermsdorfer (Commanding Officer, Naval Oceanography Mine Warfare Center), and CAPT Robert Carmack, USCG (Ret.) (National Vice President, ROA Naval Services Section)

Bravo Zulu to LT Laura Dwyer who was recently recognized with a Reserve Officer Association (ROA) Outstanding Junior Officer of the Year Award for 2017.

LT Dwyer received this 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.

BOTC 132 Ship Assignments Congratulations!

The ensigns of BOTC 132 received their billets alongside their Coast Guard shipmates at Billet Night on Thursday, October 11, 2018. Please join us in congratulating them on the following assignments:

Alejandro J. AmezcuaInitial Flight TrainingLakeland, FL
Andie M. CuiffoNOAA Ship Oregon IIPascagoula, MS
Jaime M. HendrixNOAA Ship Oscar DysonKodiak, AK
Gabriella E. McGannNOAA Ship RainierNewport, OR
Nicole B. MorganNOAA Ship Hi'ialakaiHonolulu, HI
Nicolas B. OsbornNOAA Ship Okeanos ExplorerDavisville, RI
Eben T. SmithNOAA Ship Bell M. ShimadaNewport, OR
Thomas A. SmithNOAA Ship Gordon GunterPascagoula, MS
John D. B. StephensNOAA Ship FairweatherKetchikan, AK
Julia M. WaldsmithNOAA Ship Thomas JeffersonNorfolk, VA

Promotions News

It is with great pleasure that CPC announces the promotion of the following officers:
Effected October 1, 2018:

CAPT Christiaan H. van Westendorp
CAPT William P. Mowitt
CAPT Catherine A. Martin
CAPT Stephanie A. Koes
CAPT Daniel M. Simon
CDR Sean D. Cimilluca
CDR Samuel F. Greenaway
CDR Nathan D. Kahn
CDR Tony Perry, III
CDR Matthew J. Jaskoski
CDR Stephen P. Barry
CDR Olivia A. Hauser
CDR Stephen C. Kuzirian
LCDR Peter R. Freeman
LCDR Samuel A. Urato
LCDR James E. Rosenberg
LCDR Zachary P. Cress
LCDR Robert J. Mitchell
LCDR Tanner A. Sims
LCDR Anthony J. Imberi
LCDR Steven T. Loy
LT Kristin M. Raja
LT David P. Reymore, Jr.
LT Jason P. Baillio
LT Christopher M. Wood
LT Conor M. Maginn
LT Michael J. Ball
LT Dustin R. Picard
LT Joseph L. Brinkley
LT Jacob H. Blaauboer
LT Nathaniel E. Gilman
LTJG Joshua W. Fredrick
LTJG Mason L. Carroll
LTJG Brianna D. Pacheco
LTJG Lee T. Shoemaker
LTJG Brandon W. Tao
LTJG Collin H. Walker
LTJG Chelsea L. Parrish
LTJG Christopher K. Dunn
LTJG Timothy J. Holland
LTJG Sydney M. Catoire

Effected October 2, 2018:

LT Jacob G. Barbaro
LTJG Peter R. Siegenthaler

Congratulations on your well-deserved advancement! All officers promoted should see their pay increase effected on end of month Payslips, retroactive from day of promotion. All officers should make appointments to have a revised CAC issued by a local DEERs office if you haven't already.

SGLI Online Enrollment System (SOES) Flyer

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Aviation Incentive Pay

Aviation Career Incentive Pay was changed earlier in the year to Aviation Incentive Pay. Aviation Incentive Pay tables were updated effective October 1, 2018. See for details.

From the Assignments Desk: Billet #7530 Emergency Response Program Coordinator

The Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) is looking for a highly motivated officer to support the Emergency Response Division (ERD) in coordinating NOAA/NOS delivery of science and information needs during spills of oil or chemicals and during coastal natural disasters.

This billet serves to enable and enhance OR&R's mission and develop partnerships across NOAA and Federal Agencies. It also allows for the development of practical knowledge of the Incident Command System, the National Contingency Plan, the National Response Framework, and how to function within these systems for incident response. Duties include representing NOS at the FEMA's National Response Coordination Center when activated for natural disasters, providing liaison service between the Coast Guard Headquarters Office of Marine Environmental Response and ERD, and managing ERD's strategic and operational planning and reporting processes.

This assignment is expected to be vacant in January 2019. Officers interested in this assignment should update their billet preferences, contact the Assignment Coordinator and/or the outgoing officer, LCDR Chris Skapin, at, or ERD Division Chief Scott Lundgren at, to seek additional details about the assignment.