Message from the Director

Fellow NOAA Corps officers,

CAPT Jeffrey Taylor will be officially passing the Officer Career Management Division (OCMD) Chief baton to CDR Ryan Wattam today. CAPT Taylor had drafted departing remarks for an article in the Cyberflash this week but I thought it was such an encouraging message that I asked him to expand on it some and use it as a "guest" Director's Message this week. Thank you for your service to CPC CAPT Taylor and welcome aboard CDR Wattam!

From CAPT Jeffrey Taylor, Departing OCMD Chief

Today my tenure as Chief, Officer Career Management Division comes to an end. CDR Ryan Wattam assumes the position. I have truly enjoyed my time at CPC. It has been interesting to say the least. I arrived in January of 2019 during the historic government shutdown, and I depart during the maximum telework policy necessary to keep us all safer from the coronavirus. Speaking with officers throughout the Corps has been my favorite part of the job. I made trips to AOC with the intent of getting an idea of how to give career advice to our aviation community members. I gained a greater understanding and appreciation for what our aviators do. I attended BOTCs and REFTRAs to represent CPC. My one to one talks with officers of all ranks assured me our organization is in great hands and has a bright future. I am impressed and appreciate the hard work that each and every one of you do. I had many goals when I arrived and I am happy to say some were accomplished:

Supporting mentoring - I have benefitted throughout my career from having great mentors. Most of mine are retired, however I still call them for advice and guidance. I am a huge proponent of informal mentoring. There is something special about an organic relationship with no other intent but helping someone else succeed. I recently took part in NOAA's formal mentoring program and in my capacity I was able to encourage others to do so as well. This program will aid the long term health of the NOAA Corps.

Removing the backlog of missing OERs throughout the organization - As I like to remind people, OERs are not just for promotion purposes but also a valuable means of providing feedback for performance improvement. Without feedback even great officers will just maintain their performance level. We all have areas we can improve upon. The evaluation system is an integral part in increasing performance. During the past year and a half there has been a dramatic decline in the number of overdue OERs. Great work!

Creating a culture where receiving thanks for hard work is the norm and not surprising - The hard work each and every one of you do every day is commendable. I make it a point to say thank you when meeting with officers for continuing to step up to challenges, for doing their part to remain available for operational assignments, and for constant process improvements that make the NOAA Corps a career to be proud of. My sincere hope is that everyone I thank knows it is my genuine sentiment. Maybe that small act can change our culture.

I had other objectives, but unfortunately time has run out and I will have to count on others to carry the torch. To those of you who have reached out for advice, I am still available if you need anything. Just because I am moving on doesn't mean you can no longer consider me a resource. Please extend the support you gave me to CDR Wattam. And please continue all of your hard work. As always, I thank you for your continued service.

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

On the Horizon

03 Jun 2020 Officer Assignment Board
19 Jul 2020 BOTC 136 commences

Approved Resignations, Separations and Retirements

LT David Reymore 13 May 2020
CAPT Elizabeth Kretovic 01 Jun 2020
CAPT David Zezula 01 Jul 2020
CDR Nicole Cabana 01 Jul 2020
CDR Justin Kibbey 01 Jul 2020
LT Nikita Manougian 01 Aug 2020

In Memoriam: Captain David J. Goehler, NOAA (Ret)

The NOAA Commissioned Personnel Center regrets to report the passing of Captain David J. Goehler, NOAA (Ret). He retired from the NOAA Corps at the grade of captain in 1990 after over 20 years of honorable commitment to the Service. He was known among his colleagues for his friendly demeanor and integrity; he approached every task with confidence, diligence, and authenticity. Captain Goehler will be missed by his devoted wife, family, and friends.

More information can be found here.

BOTC 135 Updates

Caption: (L to R) ENS Petzy, ENS Letts, and ENS Spruill pose for a picture with their awards following a short awards ceremony at USMRC on May 4th.

BOTC 135 completed their training on May 5th, wrapping up their final class, Bridge Resource Management, at the United States Maritime Resource Center in Middletown, RI. Congratulations to all members of BOTC 135 as they eagerly wait to join their ships.

Please help us in recognizing the following award recipients for BOTC 135:

  • ENS Abby W. Letts - Distinguished Honor Graduate
    The award is presented to the NOAA Corps officer candidate who has attained the highest overall average in academics, service aptitude, and personal and professional qualities upon graduation.
  • ENS Luke T. C. Petzy - Professional Mariner Award
    The award is presented to the NOAA Corps officer candidate with the highest academic average in maritime studies who also demonstrated a high level of practical knowledge aboard various underway training platforms.
  • ENS Jessica S. Spruill - Academic Award
    The award is presented to the NOAA Corps officer candidate who has attained the highest academic average during the course of study.
  • ENS Alice B. Beittel - Health and Physical Readiness Award
    The award is presented to the NOAA Corps officer candidate who demonstrates the highest level of commitment to the HPR program throughout their time at BOTC.
  • ENS Christine R. Sealing - Leadership in Communication Award
    The award is presented to the NOAA Corps officer candidate whose essays and presentations demonstrated excellence in communication.

NOAA Association of Commissioned Officers annual Junior Officer of the Year, Science, and Engineering awards

The NOAA Association of Commissioned Officers (ACO) administers the annual Junior Officer of the Year, Science, and Engineering awards. The ACO recognizes the wide range of accomplishments and contributions of NOAA's uniformed personnel, and encourages all commands consider nominating officers for these honors. Nominations for the 2019 awards are due by May 27, 2020.

Nomination Procedure: A nomination for a NOAA ACO award shall consist of at least two pages. The first page shall be a cover memo addressed to the National ACO, stating the name, grade, billet title, and job description of the nominated officer. The following page(s) shall be the personal comments of the nominator, which reflect the basis for the nomination. Nominations should include a detailed description of the officer's duties and accomplishments, and the positive impact of those achievements on the Agency and the Service. All commands and field offices are encouraged to submit officer nominations for these awards. Candidates for Junior Officer of the Year must be nominated by a supervisor in their chain of command, while the Science and Engineering award nominations may be made by the supervisor or any commissioned officer.

Submit nominations via e-mail to, by COB May 27, 2020. In the nomination email please have the supporting files attached as .PDF or readable by Microsoft Word.

The subject line of the nomination email should be "Junior Officer of the Year Nomination", "Science Award", or "Engineering Award" as appropriate. This will assist the selection committee with accurate tracking and sorting of the nominations. Junior officers with civilian supervisors are encouraged to forward them this information. For more information on the awards, please refer to the NOAA Corps Directives on Awards (Chapter 12 part 7).

NOAA Corps Uniform & Awards Board (UAB) 2019 End of Year Report

Ever wonder just what the UAB is up to each year? Here's a breakdown for 2019.

Payroll - Submitting Leave Forms

  • When submitting Leave Forms, please make sure all fields 1 thru 15c are completed before sending to payroll. The officer must provide a complete leave address with zip code in item 5 of the Leave Form. This requirement is the result of a recent change to Direct Access and leave can't be processed without it.
  • Please submit a Leave Form once the officer returns from leave, not weeks or months after. This has become a problem causing some officers' leave not being properly accounted for. We (payroll) understand how valuable leave is to you and don't want any of you to be slighted in any way.


Marine Operations and the Commissioned Personnel Center are currently working on an augmentation policy. We commonly hear from the field that there is a lack of qualified officers needed to provide relief for officers in operational assignments for quality of life leave or emergencies. In the coming months, expect to see a formalized policy released. In the meantime, officers at all ranks are encouraged to augment.

There are many reasons to augment:

  • Help out your fellow officers
  • Maintain qualifications
  • Experience a platform you may be interested in as a permanent assignment

Commands are encouraged to utilize augmenters at the most junior level possible to allow permanently assigned officers the opportunity to fleet up and gain valuable experience. Funds for augmentation are available through many resources. Please do not let a lack of funds discourage you from an augmenting opportunity.

Officer Assignment Board - O-4/O-5 Shore Assignments

An Officer Assignment Board (OAB) for O-4/O-5 shore assignments will be held on Wednesday, June 3, 2020. The OAB will be prepared to look at potential O-4/O-5 officers and assignments up to 18 months from now. If you are due to rotate to a shore/ground assignment in the next 18 months, please ensure your assignment preferences are up to date, discuss potential assignments with the appropriate liaison officer, and contact the assignment coordinator, CDR Stephen Kuzirian, with any questions at 301-713-7694 or

From the Assignments Desk: #7720 - Atlantic Field Ops - Hydro Support Officer

NOS' Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS) is seeking a dedicated ENS or LTJG to take up the duties of the Atlantic Field Operations Hydro Support Officer in the Field Operations Division (FOD), Atlantic Operations Branch (AOB), in Chesapeake, VA. This is a rare opportunity for an officer without prior hydrographic experience to support the hydrographic mission and obtain valuable experience as a field operations officer. This is a mobile assignment, therefore the individual must be willing to travel for 1-3 week periods to AOB's water level stations located throughout the East Coast, Great Lakes, and US Territories in the Caribbean.

The individual is highly encouraged to become a NOAA Diver and Dive Master. There is also opportunity to assume the role of 'Unit Dive Supervisor'. AOB personnel develop plans, prepare cost estimates, review and accept deliverables for CO-OPS contracts, participate in cross-divisional CO-OPS teams, and serve as CO-OPS liaisons to external partners, stakeholders, and the public. The billet's main work will focus on hydrographic and remote sensing operational support through the installation of water level control gauges in hydro and remote sensing project areas. The billet requires a balance of technical, leadership, and management skills, and affords significant opportunity to further develop all three. Significant on the job training is provided.

This is a high-priority billet and will need to be filled in December of 2020. A full billet description is available on the CPC website. Also, more information about CO-OPS can be found at this link: Officers interested in the billet should contact the incumbent officer LTJG Joshua Fredrick (, and the billet supervisor David Lane ( Please inform the Assignment Coordinator of your interest as well.

From the Assignments Desk: # 7605: ONMS Marine Operations Coordinator

Are you looking to contribute to one of NOAA's most well-recognized and dynamic programs? You can learn directly from senior leaders and managers while working for the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS). ONMS' mission is to serve as the trustee for the nation's system of marine protected areas, to conserve, protect, and enhance their biodiversity, ecological integrity and cultural legacy.

This newly reprogrammed O-4 billet is intended to provide officers with excellent leadership development opportunities at NOAA headquarters. The officer will work with staff from across the sanctuary system, and ensure ONMS is well coordinated in the planning and execution of fleet and aircraft resources, engaged in emerging opportunities with un-crewed systems, and that ONMS coordinates effectively with OMAO and other line offices on associated issues to maximize mission success.

Specific areas of the officer's focus will include: Fleet Allocation Process, ONMS Small Boats, Vessel Operations Council, ONMS Dive Operations Council, and leading the engagement, planning and partnership development for unmanned systems (UxS) and technology development in all ONMS management areas.

It is expected that the officer will have served successfully as Executive Officer on a NOAA vessel or equivalent position for aircraft platforms to be eligible for this work. The billet is ONMS' highest level offering. Those officers who have previously worked for ONMS or who have served on a platform that supports ONMS missions are particularly encouraged to apply. Interested officers rotating between September 2020 and May 2021 should contact the supervisor and Chief of the Conservation Science Division, Mitchell Tartt, at, the incumbent, CDR Sean Cimilluca at, or the Assignment Coordinator for more information.