Message from the Director

Good afternoon, fellow NOAA Corps officers,

Happy Fiscal New Year! As we enter FY2022, I want to take a moment and talk about your Family Care Plan. Don't have a Family Care Plan or don't know what it is? Don't worry, keep reading as this is an easy thing to develop and could be vitally important.

It is strongly recommended that NOAA Corps officers create and maintain a Family Care Plan with every new assignment to ensure individual readiness. It is recommended that officers establish/ update their plan after a change in family circumstances, or a change in personal status. Family Care Plans are designed to enhance officer and dependent readiness by facilitating the care and support of the officer’s dependent family during planned and unplanned absence of the officer. Basic components of a family care plan include, but are not limited to:

  • Officer’s permanent duty station and supervisory points of contact (POC), including names, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses; and agency liaison and Commissioned Corps POCs and corresponding contact information.
  • Dependent family member information, and any special needs or accommodations these dependent family members require, as well as short (less than or equal to 30 days) and long (over 30 days) term care plans and who will provide care/coverage for each dependent family member.
  • Emergency or alternate caregivers who could assume responsibility for dependent family members if the officer was deployed emergently or incapacitated.
  • Consideration of logistical needs, such as transporting the officer’s dependent family member(s) to and from school, daycare, or other healthcare-related facilities.
  • Consideration of legal and financial arrangements, such as regular bill payment, unexpected costs that might arise from accident or injury while the officer is unavailable, and other legal documents such as Power of Attorney, advanced directives, or Will and Testament.

Your Family Care Plan should reside with you and be shared with your family and/or support team; in a safe location that is also readily available. Now is the time to make a plan, when you don't need it, as you don't want a family member scrambling if it ever becomes necessary.

"If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail." -Benjamin Franklin

Stay healthy,

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

On the Horizon

01 Dec 2021 Officer Assignment Board
09 Dec 2021 Aviation Advisory Board (Initial Flight)
Jan 2021 Ops Working Group)

Approved Resignations, Separations and Retirements

LT Kristin Raja 31 Oct 2021
CAPT Anne Lynch 01 Dec 2021
CAPT Catherine Martin 01 Dec 2021
LTJG Vanessa Oquendo 04 Jan 2022
LT Vanessa Oquendo 05 Jan 2022

BOTC 138 Billet Night

Members of BOTC 138 and USCG OCS class 1-22 chart the position of the ship during a transit into Norfolk, VA.

OC Weeks shoots a bearing using an alidade on the starboard bridge wing of the USCG Eagle during a transit into Norfolk, VA.

Having recently completed a two-week training trip aboard the USCGC Eagle, and a week of rules of the road training, the students are thrilled to finally know where they are headed after their November 8th graduation date. Billet night was held on September 29th. In addition to staff members from both the NOAA and USCG side, many NOAA guests were in attendance including CAPT Cary and members of both CPC and the NOAA Ship Pisces, resulting in approximately 6% of the service in attendance. With four weeks remaining in the program, BOTC 138 will be spending time at the United States Maritime Resource Center in Middletown, RI for a few days of RADAR and ARPA training. Additionally, BOTC 138 will be cruising the Thames River and Long Island Sound conducting fast rescue boat training and shiphandling training aboard a research vessel from Project Oceanology at UCONN- Avery Point.

ENS Foxen celebrates his selection for the NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson.

ENS Conerly smiles to the live stream caera upon opening his envelope sending him to the NOAA Ship Gordon Gunter.

ENS Carrington Conerly NOAA Ship Gordon GunterPascagoula, MS
ENS Michael Doneghey NOAA Ship Oscar Elton SetteHonolulu, HI
ENS Forrest Foxen NOAA Ship Thomas JeffersonNorfolk, VA
ENS Anna Gaskill NOAA Ship Oscar DysonKodiak, AK
ENS Heather Gaughan NOAA Ship PiscesPascagoula, MS
ENS Mikal Montgomery NOAA Ship Henry BigelowNewport, RI
ENS Desda Sisson NOAA Ship Nancy FosterCharleston, SC
ENS Daniel Stofka NOAA Ship Rueben LaskerSan Diego, CA
ENS Gemma Venuti NOAA Ship Ron BrownCharleston, SC
ENS Bonnie Vierra NOAA Ship RainierNewport, OR
ENS Justin Weeks NOAA Ship Oregon IIPascagoula, MS

Changes to TRICARE coverage for COVID testing

Changes to COVID testing coverage by TRICARE
Here’s what you need to know:

Does TRICARE cover COVID-19 tests?
During the pandemic there was a waiver allowing service members and dependents to receive testing from any available service. That has now changed.

TRICARE will cover your COVID-19 test and waive the cost of the office visit if a TRICARE-authorized provider or a provider at a military hospital or clinic deems your test to be medically necessary. This means that the test is recommended as appropriate, reasonable, and adequate for your condition. A provider must also administer your test at a TRICARE-authorized lab or facility for TRICARE to cover it. To find a TRICARE network provider who can perform a COVID-19 test, visit Find a Doctor to search the provider directory. Or find a military hospital or clinic near you.

TRICARE also covers an at-home COVID-19 test if it’s medically necessary as determined by a TRICARE-authorized provider. You must use an FDA-approved test and a TRICARE-authorized provider must order or refer you for the test. Keep in mind, if you buy an at-home test without medical necessity, TRICARE won’t cover it.

For health and safety reasons, don’t show up at a hospital or clinic and ask for a test. Instead, please contact your healthcare provider. They’ll order a test for you based on your exposure risk, symptoms, travel history, or other factors based on their clinical judgment and CDC guidelines.

At the time of writing, this information is current. Visit or TRICARE COVID Guidance for the most current COVID-19 information.

BOTC 138 Buddy / Mentoring Program

The buddy / mentoring program that has been run since BOTC 135 has been widely successful, and many participants have expressed a desire to see this initiative carried forward with future BOTC classes. Feedback we have received from the previous pairings is that these relationships have afforded the Ensigns a valuable fresh perspective about life in the NOAA Corps from an officer outside their immediate and chain of command.

As BOTC 138 officers have just received their ship assignments, we are looking for officers in the rank of LTJG and LT that would like to volunteer to serve as a mentor / buddy for a BOTC 138 Ensign. Ideally, we will look to pair the Ensigns with an officer that served on the same ship or assignment during their first assignment following BOTC. BOTC 138 officers have received orders to the following units:

  • NOAA Ship Gordon Gunter
  • NOAA Ship Oscar Elton Sette
  • NOAA Ship Rainier
  • NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson
  • NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson
  • NOAA Ship Pisces
  • NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow
  • NOAA Ship Nancy Foster
  • NOAA Ship Reuben Lasker
  • NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown
  • NOAA Ship Oregon II

Selected mentors / buddies would be expected to engage with the Ensign they are paired with during the later stages of BOTC, and would ideally continue this relationship after the Ensign has reported to their first assignment.

If you are interested in becoming a buddy / mentor, please contact

NJAC Liaisons to the Commissioned Personnel Center

The NOAA Corps Junior Officer Advisory Committee (NJAC) Executive Board is looking for one junior officer (O1-O3) to serve as one of two NJAC Liaisons to CPC. All eligible officers are encouraged to apply regardless of duty station. The two NJAC Liaisons will meet virtually once a month with the CPC Director to discuss NJAC business. The NJAC CPC Liaison position is a 2.5-hour commitment per month (1.5 hour NJAC meeting, 30 minute CPC Director meeting, and 30 minutes of meeting preparation) and will need supervisory approval. This opportunity will allow you to show your dedication to the Service, engage in important conversations with Senior Leadership, and be the change you want to see in the NOAA Corps! Please email the NJAC Executive Board at by October 15, 2021 if interested or for more information. A short paragraph statement of interest may also be included.

Initial Uniform Allowance processing

Payroll is working closely with the Coast Guard to complete the programming portion of Direct Access that will allow NOAA officers to be paid their Initial Clothing Allowance. Once the programming is completed, payroll will begin paying the allowance to those currently authorized.

From the Assignments Desk: Billet #4060 – Operations Officer, National Water Center (NWS)

NOAA’s Office of Water Prediction (OWP) is looking for a motivated and knowledgeable officer to serve as its Operations Officer at the National Water Center in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. OWP collaboratively researches, develops and delivers timely and consistent, state-of-the-science national hydrologic analyses, forecast information, data, guidance, and equitable decision-support services to inform essential emergency management and water resources decisions across all time scales.

This position will provide a great opportunity to work directly for a director of a major National Weather Service Center. You will attend staff meetings where you will be privileged to organizational level decision making and update leadership on airborne operations. The billet offers versatility to make the billet your own, including the opportunity to pursue COR certification with enough time to complete your assignment as a COR II. Responsibilities include:

  • Execute OWP portion of OBS portfolio budget ($650k)
  • Ensure Airborne Gamma Detection Sensor packages valuing approximately $1M are maintained and ready for use by the Snow Survey mission.
  • Managing the Center’s property inventory as Property Accountability Officer (PAO)
  • Issue Common Access Cards (CAC) as a Trusted Agent (TA) for the National Water Center
  • Successful execution of Snow Survey mission without significant interruption or delays

Familiarity with light aircraft operations and a background in either hydrologic science, meteorology, or water resources are encouraged but not required. This billet is a good opportunity for anyone wanting to get some breath of experience working for the NWS. Officers interested in the billet should contact LCDR Ryan Belcher at