Message from the Director

Good afternoon, fellow NOAA Corps officers,

Thank you for all you are all doing for the Corps, for NOAA, and for the Nation. Your efforts do not go unnoticed and I echo every bit of support and appreciation that RADM(sel) Hann and RDML(sel) Cary pass along during their regular OMAO and operational updates. It is surely impressive.

Changing gears, I wanted to take this time to remind everyone of the life saving benefits of donating blood. As Corps officers, we are young, active, and healthy adults and this gift of blood can truly make a difference in our world. I urge everyone, as able, to look into donating their blood either with the American Red Cross ( or other local/state blood banks. The Red Cross is following FDA blood donation eligibility guidance for those who receive a COVID-19 vaccination. If you receive a vaccine, knowing the name of the manufacturer (e.g. Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson and Johnson) is important in determining your eligibility. In most cases, there’s no deferral time if you receive a vaccine so please don't let this dissuade you for donating. Of course, follow all recommended COVID-19 protocols (wearing a mask, washing your hands, and practising social distancing) if you decide to donate.

I gave blood today and hope you can too.

Stay healthy,

Directors signature
CDR Douglas MacIntyre, NOAA
Director, Commissioned Personnel Center

On the Horizon

May 03 2021 BOTC 137 Graduation

Approved Resignations, Separations and Retirements

CDR Paul Kunicki 01 May 2021
LTJG Lyle Robbins 01 May 2021
LTJG Sarah Donohoe 25 Jun 2021
LTJG Tyler Fifield 30 Jun 2021
LTJG Jackson Vanfleet-Brown 30 Jun 2021
RDML Shepard Smith 01 Jul 2021
LT Calandria DeCastro 01 Jul 2021
LT Michael Silagi 01 Aug 2021
LT Danial Palance 20 Sep 2021

2021 Promotion Zones

RDML Hann has approved an amendment to the 2021 Officer Corps Management Plan and it has been uploaded to the CPC webpage. The zone sizes and number to select were increased by one each for the grades of O-4 and O-5. Not to worry, those officers impacted by this update were provided ample notice and this does not come as a surprise. The Promotion Boards for the grades of O-2, O-3 and O-4 will convene next week and we will schedule the O-5 and O-6 Boards as soon as possible once the current O-5/O-6 Promotion Approval Package has been signed by the President.

The zones are as follows:

To be Captain (select 6 of 10)
Héctor L. Casanova through Sarah K. Duncan

To be Commander (select 12 of 16)
Megan A. Raymond through Bryan M. Begun

To be Lieutenant Commander (select 8 of 10)
Colleen J. Conley through Benjamin E. VanDine

To be Lieutenant (select 6 of 7)
Joshua W. Fredrick through Jeffrey D. Calderon

To be Lieutenant (junior grade) (select 16 of 16)
Haley L. Glos through Katherine M. Mitchell

Family Separation Allowance Entitlement Changes

Due to the COVID mitigation practice of restricting mariners to ships, the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) made a change to 37 U.S. Code § 427 - the eligibility requirements for Family Separation Allowance (FSA). The new FSA language is below with the language added by the 2021 NDAA italicized and bolded.

(a)(1) In addition to any allowance or per diem to which he otherwise may be entitled under this title a member of a uniformed service with dependents is entitled to a monthly allowance equal to $250 if—

  • (B) he is on duty on board a ship away from the home port of the ship (or under orders to remain on board the ship while at the home port) for a continuous period of more than 30 days; or

The most obvious scenario that applies to officers stationed aboard NOAA ships is if the ship pulls into home port in the middle of a "clean bubble" and the officers are restricted to the vessel. In this scenario, the 30 day clock that counts toward FSA would continue to run during the inport and would end when the officer is allowed to disembark the ship in their home port (i.e.- at the end of the "clean bubble").

There are areas where NOAA's practical application of this FSA change diverges from DoD and DHS. The US Navy and US Coast Guard restrict their personnel to the ship in advance of a deployment, and thus their 30 day FSA clock would start when they board the ship and are restricted aboard. NOAA's procedure is to conduct our shelter-in-place in a location not onboard the ship. We have consulted with the Office of General Council, and the legal determination is that the change to the law specifies restriction to a ship, and restriction to a hotel does not count. Therefore, for NOAA Corps Officers, the 30 day FSA clock will start when an officer begins restriction aboard the ship and will end when the officer is allowed to disembark the ship in their home port.

  • Example 1: LT Gumby is stationed aboard Gordon Gunter. CO, GU orders all hands to begin SIP protocols at a hotel in Pascagoula on 01 APR. LT Gumby SIPs at home with his family in Pascagoula. LT Gumby boards and is restricted to the ship the evening of 07 APR. GU gets u/w on 08 APR, comes into Pascagoula to change plankton scientists from 22-24 APR. All hands are restricted to the vessel during this inport. GU gets u/w again on 24 APR and returns to Pascagoula on 18 MAY. All hands are allowed to disembark the vessel on 18 MAY. LT Gumby would be entitled to FSA from 07 APR - 18 MAY.
  • Example 2: LT Gumby is on her land assignment and volunteers to augment for 2 legs aboard Okeanos Explorer. CO, EX orders all hands to begin SIP protocols at a hotel in Newport, RI on 01 APR. LT Gumby travels to Newport, RI on 31 MAR to begin SIPs in the contract hotel on 01 APR. She boards EX and is restricted to the ship the evening of 07 APR. EX gets u/w on 08 APR, comes into Newport to change ROV scientists from 22-24 APR. All hands are restricted to the vessel during this inport. EX gets u/w again on 24 APR and returns to Newport on 18 MAY. All hands are allowed to disembark the vessel on 18 MAY and LT Gumby is able to travel back to her duty station. LT Gumby would be entitled to FSA from 31 MAR - 18 MAY.
  • NOAA's COVID Mitigation protocols are governed by Marine Operations and Marine Health Services. Please refer to the "Marine Health Services COVID-19 Outbreak Management Plan" and the Marine Operations "COVID-19 Prevention and Response Plan" for more information on specific COVID mitigation protocols aboard NOAA Ships. These documents can be found on AO Docs at this link.

    This new legislation does not affect the FSA claim and approval process. FSA Guidelines can be found at and the FSA Worksheet can be found at Please submit completed FSA worksheets to

    If you have any questions about your FSA entitlement, please reach out to Katherine Raymond (Chief, Officer Personnel Management Division) at

BOTC 137 Charts Course to Graduation

Members of BOTC 137 come alongside USCG Training Boat Honor during Fast Rescue Boat Training.
Credit- CAPT Michael Levine

BOTC 137 is nearing the finish line and recently achieved the Transition Phase of the program. This phase allows the students more liberties than earlier stages of the program and challenges them to act more like Junior Officers than Officer Candidates. Academically, 137 will be completing coursework in shiphandling and ARPA before the May 3rd graduation. Following graduation, the class will head to USMRC in Middletown, RI to complete their BOTC curriculum with training in Introduction to Watchkeeping, Bridge Resource Management, and ECDIS.

ENS Healy practices maneuvering a vessel within a wind turbine zone at USMRC

Johnson and Johnson Vaccine

As you are likely aware, the CDC and FDA have instated a temporary pause on the use of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine in the USA out of “an abundance of caution" due to the 6 cases of a rare but severe type of blood clot among recipients. There is not enough data to clearly define the cause behind these clots, but the CDC and FDA advise keeping this safety pause in place until all reviews are complete, and to allow for medical providers to plan for recognition and management of these potential adverse events.

While we are taking this seriously, the following are some facts shared by the CDC and FDA which put this information into context:

  • The 6 reported cases were among more than 6.8 million Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses administered in the US already.
  • All 6 cases occurred among women between ages 18-48.
  • Symptoms occurred 6-13 days after vaccination.

If you are scheduled to receive the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine, please work with your vaccine provider to reschedule your appointment to receive another COVID-19 vaccine authorized for use.

We encourage all of our NOAA Corps officers to continue to seek and receive vaccine appointments for Pfizer and Moderna, which are currently considered to be safe and effective.

If you received the J & J vaccine in the last three weeks, and are experiencing symptoms, please contact your medical provider or reach out to your OMAO Medical Officer to talk with you about your specific situation.

You can contact medical affairs at if you have any questions or concerns.

Please stay safe, and continue to visit the CDC Vaccine website for the latest updates.

TRICARE Active Duty Dental Program (ADDP) Remote Training Opportunity

United Concordia is pleased to announce that they will offer quarterly webinar training opportunities on the benefits of the ADDP for remote active duty service members (ADSMs). These webinars will provide current program administrators and eligible remote ADSMs with an opportunity to learn about eligibility, obtaining private sector care and other pertinent information. Use one of the following options to receive training:

  • View the Remote Webinar Schedule to see available webinar dates and times. Follow the instructions on the page to register for the webinar you wish to attend. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis and is limited due to system capacity.
  • If your firewall prohibits you from accessing virtual webinars, contact your Government Relations Liaison to request assistance accessing the webinar slides and to receive the dial-in number.
  • If you are unable to attend a scheduled webinar, you can request an additional webinar by completing the online Education and Training Request Form on the ADDP website.

Please visit the ADDP website as other relevant program information is continually updated.