Message from the Director

Fellow NOAA Corps officers,

I would like to take the opportunity this week to highlight the effort and accomplishments of the NOAA Junior Officer Advisory Committee (NJAC) Executive Board over the past year. The mission of this group is to communicate with NOAA junior officers and bring awareness of junior officer concerns to senior NOAA Corps leadership. The NJAC meets monthly to discuss and work to resolve issues important to officers. A representative from the Board meets with me monthly to discuss progress on initiatives as well as updates on ongoing issues. In addition, the Board briefs the Director, NOAA Corps every year.

Highlights of the NJAC for 2019 were:

  • Completed the NJAC Charter.
  • Coordinated with the Uniform and Awards Board (UAB) to host a webinar on uniform and awards issues.
  • Helped to clarify funding of augmentation TDY orders.
  • Provided feedback and suggestions on the update to the promotion training curriculum.
  • Worked with the UAB on possible additions to approved qualification insignia to better align with the other Services.
  • Continued to interact with OMAO Health Services on the development of a site for NOAA Corps officers to use as a source for various mental health initiatives.

For more details you can read the NJAC Winter Newsletter.

If you are interested in getting involved in initiatives like these, or have ideas of your own, please reach out to the NJAC Executive Board at Guidelines of the NJAC can be found in the NJAC Charter.

Directors signature
CAPT Devin Brakob, NOAA
Director, Commissioned Personnel Center

On the Horizon

16 Mar- 03 Apr 2020 REFTRA 88
24 Mar 2020 CO/XO Command Advisory Board
26 Mar 2020 BOTC 135 Billet Night

Approved Resignations, Separations and Retirements

CAPT Keith Roberts 01 Mar 2020
CDR Jonathan Neuhaus 01 Mar 2020
LCDR Jonathan Taylor 01 Mar 2020
LT Matthew Bissell 15 Mar 2020
CDR Ryan Kidder 01 Apr 2020
LT David Reymore 13 May 2020
CAPT Elizabeth Kretovic 01 Jun 2020
LCDR Kevin Doremus 17 Jun 2020
CDR Justin Kibbey 01 Jul 2020
LTJG Tyler Fifield 17 Aug 2020

Welcome Aboard - LCDR Danielle Varwig

On February 11, 2020, LCDR Varwig transferred her commission to the NOAA Corps from the U.S. Air Force. She is originally from New York City and studied mechanical engineering at Penn State University. While there, she attended Air Force ROTC and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 2006. She was stationed at Laughlin Air Force Base in Texas for pilot training and then selected to fly the C-17 out of Travis Air Force Base, California from 2009-2013. While stationed at Travis, she volunteered to fly the MC-12W (a King Air 350 variant) based out of Kandahar, Afghanistan for 7 1/2 months in 2012. Following Travis she was then assigned to Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi, to instruct undergraduate pilot training in the T-6 until 2017. Her last duty station while in the Air Force was at NAS Pensacola instructing combat system officers in the T-6.

NOAA Fleet Recapitalization

NOAA made an official announcement on February 11, 2020, about recapitalizing the NOAA fleet. Recapitalization will begin with two new "Class A" vessels. Designing the vessels is currently underway with construction to be awarded this summer. NOAA has approved the naming for both. Oceanographer will be completed in 2024 and homeported in Honolulu, HI. Discoverer will be completed later in 2024. These ships are the beginning of NOAA's recapitalization effort, which will reshape the nation's science at sea. More details can be found here.

Message from Medical Affairs

Medical Affairs continues the process of making changes to how we request, review, and process medical documentation submitted to us. Some of these changes help to alleviate small time consuming tasks that do not impact your medical readiness.

One of the small tasks that we have identified is the closing out of the case numbers assigned to documents submitted via officers OPF Online. We are currently not closing out these case numbers individually. Our Database Specialist will close out all case numbers at one time in the next couple of months.

We request that officers continue to only use eOPF for submission of medical readiness requirements and kiteworks for all other medical documentation.

Please contact LCDR Sharon Downey at or 301-719-7718 or LT Helen MacGregor at 202-657-8416 if you have any questions.

National ACO Scholarships Call for Applications

The Executive Committee of National ACO Scholarships, Inc. has issued its annual call to high school seniors and college undergrads for applications for scholarship awards for the 2020/2021 academic year. The two-page application form is available on the "Resources" page of the NOAA Officer Family Association website (, under the heading "National ACO Scholarships, Inc." Application forms may also be obtained by contacting Secretary/Treasurer Captain Dave Peterson, NOAA (Ret), by phone at 301-233-8090 or by email at Complete application packages should be sent to the corporation's post office address (on the application form) and should be postmarked this year no later than Wednesday, April 15, 2020.

NOAA Homeland Security Program Office Watch Standers Needed

NOAA's Homeland Security Program Office (HSPO) is looking for officers in the National Capital Region interested in serving as a periodic watch stander with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) National Operations Center. This position facilitates coordination between NOAA, DHS, and other agencies. These individuals serve as backup support to the NOAA Desk Officer providing situational awareness and incident response. Candidates should have a strong weather background and a broad understanding of all NOAA capabilities; training is provided. Additionally, selected officers must be able to obtain at minimum a Secret security clearance (Top Secret/SCI preferred), synthesize information from various sources, develop and deliver briefings to senior leadership, serve two days per month, be on-call several days per month, and provide 24/7 support during periods of heightened security. Supervisor approval will be required. For more information or to express interest please contact CAPT Anne Lynch, at 301-628-5653 or

Command Advisory Board: CO and XO Assignments

The CAB is scheduled on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, to make recommendations for Commanding Officer and Executive Officer assignments. Any officer within two years of rotation could be considered for these ship assignments. Please ensure your assignment preferences are updated to reflect your latest interest, and reach out to ship Commands and the Marine Centers to discuss possible CO and XO assignments. For any questions, please contact CDR Stephen Kuzirian at or by phone at 301-713-7694.