BOTC 138 has achieved Senior Status!
Chartwork - OC Conerly works the triangles during a navigation exercise at the United States Maritime Resource Center.
After 8 weeks of grueling physical and academic challenges, the class transitioned to Senior Status along with their USCG OCS 1-22 shipmates. This transition does not make for an easier rest of the program. The staff has now deemed the students proficient in the day to day operations which means the students will take more ownership of the program to include running daily personnel and room inspections.
The past two weeks have been busy for BOTC 138, wrapping up coursework in Advanced Fire Fighting and Electronic Navigation in addition to another trip to the Rhode Island Fire Academy for more hands-on training. The class will set sail on the USCGC EAGLE on September 13th until September 24th with a port call in Norfolk, VA from the 17th-19th. The vessel will be tied up next to the Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterfront Hotel. There will be tours Friday afternoon, all day Saturday, and Sunday morning, so if you are in the area, stop by and introduce yourself to the soon to be newest officers of the NOAA Corps and Coast Guard. Upon their return to New London, the class will begin Rules of the Road training while they anxiously await Billet Night on September 29th. A link will be provided at a later date for the livestream of the event.
Special Leave Accrual; 2021 Extension / Update
On April 16, 2020, the Department of Defense authorized the Special Leave Accrual (SLA) in recognition of the impact of the Department’s response to COVID-19 on service members' ability to take leave and properly manage their leave balances for the remainder of fiscal year 2020. On April 28, 2020, the Director of NOAA Corps issued a letter to authorize the same benefits for officers and retain such unused leave until the end of fiscal year 2023.
On September 8, 2021, RDML Hann signed the authorization to extend the SLA with an updated maximum carryover limits of 90 days as of September 30, 2021. The maximum carryover for fiscal year 2020 was set at 120 days. In general, no officers who were on active duty in the NOAA Corps had more than 90 days (3 years earned leave) as of September 30, 2020. Each officers that possessed more than 60 days of leave was allowed to retain those days up to September 30, 2023. This update allows officers to retain up to 90 days of earned leave up to September 30, 2024. Any days earned after September 30, 2021 are not protected by this authority and are subject to expire under the normal end of fiscal year 60-day rules. There are few exceptions that include interservice transfers from the department of defense that were commissioned during fiscal year 2021 and granted an authorization by their previous service.
If an officer had a leave balance in excess of 60 days (e.g. 90 days; 30 days over annual carryover limit) on September 30, 2021, the SLA authority will allow the officer to carryover the 30 additional days until September 30, 2024. Those 30 days of earned leave will be marked as “carryover balance” on your payslip. If that same officer has 100 days of annual leave on September 30, 2021, the officer will lose 10 days of leave under this 2020 authorization.
Officers can view their SLA balance on their payslips (Leave & Earning Statement) in Direct Access (PeopleSoft) in the lower box of the leave summary section at the line titled, "End Special Leave Carryover Balance". Please actively plan for and use your leave throughout each fiscal year to the extent that you are able to do so. While use of leave is highly encouraged, the granting of leave is still subject to supervisors’ approval and mission requirements. Therefore, please understand that a single last-minute request for excessive amounts of consecutive days may not be granted based on mission requirements.
Changes in the Joint Travel Regulations (JTR)
There has been a change in the JTRs about Temporary Lodging Expense (TLE) extensions up to 60 days.
TLE may be temporarily increased for up to 60 days for a PCS move to a new Permanent Duty Station (PDS) in CONUS if the location was jointly approved by the Service Secretaries because the new PDS in CONUS is in a Presidentially declared disaster area or is experiencing a sudden increase in the number of Service members assigned there. The Secretaries set the dates when the additional days for TLE are effective. For expedited TLE increases due to the housing shortage, see the Expedited TLE Extension Approval Process.
Due to the fact that NOAA Corps Officers do not generally report to military (DoD/USCG) housing offices when reporting to their new PCS location, this process may take longer to gather data from that locality area. Once again in order to be approved for an extension of TLE it must be approved by majority vote from the Per Diem, Travel, and Transportation Allowance Committee (PDTATAC) and then signed by all the Principals of the Uniformed Services. You can also find this information in the JTR in Chapter 5 050601.
If you have any additional questions you may contact Jerrard Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update: New Grooming Standards Policy
In the Cyberflash message on July 16, 2021, I indicated that the Director, NOAA Corps, had recently approved proposed changes to the NOAA Corps Directives, Chapter 12 - Uniform and Awards, Part 3 - Special Circumstances. While this is true, updates to NOAA Corps Directives require additional review and approval by the Department of Commerce and it can be a lengthy process. CPC is working as quickly as we can to prioritize the review and updating of Chapter 12 of the Directives and are targeting December 2021 for the publication of the newly revised Chapter 12.
We recognize the importance of updating our grooming standards in order for the NOAA Corps to become a more inclusive workforce, and to better align with the grooming standard updates being recently adopted by the other uniformed services. We appreciate your patience while the updated Chapter 12 routes for final approval.
CPC Recorded Webinars
OCMD has hosted a number of very informative webinars in recent months that we recorded for later reference. These webinars have been aimed at shedding light on some CPC processes that might not be widely understood by those officers that are not directly involved in these processes. I invite you to take some time to view them if the topics interest you.
Promotion Process Webinar (recorded 15 DEC 2020)
- Officer Corps Management Plan (OCMP) and how it relates to promotions
- Precept Letters - Where to find them and what is their significance
- Promotion Board Composition
- What is considered in promotion boards (OPF files)
- Evaluation criteria and initial ranking of officer being considered for promotion
- Board discussion and selection of officers to be promoted
- Board results approval process and pinning-on
Officer Evaluation Reports Webinar (Recorded 08 JUL 2021)
- General OER process and guidance. The audience for this was civilian supervisors, but officers would also find this information useful.
OCMP Formulation and Promotion Timelines Webinar (Recorded 25 AUG 2021)
- Officer Corps Management Plan (OCMP) Formulation
- Promotion Package Timelines (after the promotion board recommends selections)
- Continuation Board overview
- New guidance on promotion of ENSs to LTJG