Message from the Director

Good afternoon, fellow NOAA Corps officers,

Recently I was chatting with an old pilot buddy regarding the concept of good judgement versus bad judgement and I wanted to share a few thoughts. We recalled flying together years ago while I was a junior co-pilot, on a mission over the north Atlantic looking for the elusive Right Whale and, sure enough, some bad weather was coming in at our arrival airport. Decisions had to be made regarding the continuation of the mission; press on or return to base. It was the classic "teachable moment" as I was in favor of a few more miles of survey line. The crusty commander looked over at me and asked, in his thick New England accent, 'so, how is that report going to read?' It took me a moment to realize just what he was asking me - how would I put into words my decision making process if an incident occurred and we didn't land back where we had planned. Would I even be around to write the report if the situation deteriorated drastically? Upon reflection of this, we made the call to abort the mission and 'return to the barn,' so to speak. I've used this concept of 'good judgment' quite often in both my career and personal life. Before making a decision that may appear (or truly be) risky, consider the verbiage that will be used to describe a situation where things didn't go your way and your decisions didn't quite hit the mark. I'll leave you with a slightly modified quote from astronaut Frank Borman that many aviators are familiar with (and I am sure many mariners relate to):
"A superior pilot uses their superior judgement to avoid situations which require the use of their superior skill."

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
LTJG Vanessa Oquendo 01 Nov 2021
CAPT Anne Lynch 01 Dec 2021
CAPT Catherine Martin 01 Dec 2021
LT Lauren Jarlenski 05 Jan 2022

BOTC 138 Charts Course to Graduation

FRBs - BOTC 138 practices fast rescue boat handling while preparing to come alongside the 65' USCGA Training Vessel HONOR.

T-boats - Ensign Foxen maneuvers a training vessel to recover a float during a man overboard drill.

BOTC 138 and USCG OCS 1-22 have reached the Transition Phase of the program. In addition to more liberty opportunities following the academic day, this phase of the program allows the students the ability to feel more like junior officers in the fleet then officer candidates. While the barracks life may be getting easier, the academics are not. With just over two weeks left until their November 8th graduation, BOTC 138 is wrapping up RADAR and ARPA classwork before beginning a week of shiphandling. In addition to classroom and simulator time, the members of 138 will be getting underway time with Navigation Response Team 5 and UCONN Avery Point's Project Oceanology research vessel.


Members of REFTRA 91 battle to save the USS Buttercup during damage control training at NAVSTA Newport.

REFTRA 91 began their three week training in New London, CT on October 11th, the first in-person REFTRA since the fall of 2019. The class of 11 is made up of 3 CO's, 6 XO's and 2 OPS officers heading back out to sea. The class has been busy with a multitude of administrative briefings in addition to damage control, advanced survival, and fire training. Despite the long training days, members of REFTRA 91 were able to hold a social event with BOTC 138 to allow the newest members of the fleet to meet members of their respective wardrooms. Additionally, BOTC 138 was able to sit in on a number of Peer to Peer presentations held by REFTRA 91. The third and final week of training will be held at the United States Maritime Resource Center in Middletown, RI and consist of ECDIS and Bridge Resource Management.

Updated OMAO EEO Policy

Updated OMAO EEO Policy

Delay in Distributing Awards

CPC regrets to inform everyone that we are out of stock for NC Achievement medal sets and unable to restock the inventory until after the end of the current Continuing Resolution (CR) appropriations legislation. We are, additionally, reviewing the authorization to purchase award medal sets which may further delay this planned purchase.

CPC will distribute all backlogged certificates once RDML Hann is Senate confirmed as the Director, NOAA Corps, to include available NCAM medal sets when available. Current CPC policy will direct that all award packages be addressed and shipped directly to individual officers during the Agency's COVID-19 response.

For additional questions or concerns, please contact the Officer Personnel Management Division (OPMD) Staff Officer, LT Moulton, at

BOTC 138 Mentoring Program

As a follow-up to the message in the 08 October Cyberflash, the call for mentors for BOTC 138 officers is still open. A huge thank you to the 7 officers that have volunteered to-date! These mentoring relationships will afford our newest Ensigns a valuable fresh perspective about life in the NOAA Corps from an officer outside their immediate and chain of command.

We are looking for officers in the rank of LTJG and LT that would like to volunteer to serve as a mentor 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 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 mentor for BOTC 138, please contact

COVID Boosters

Please note that at this time there is no federal mandate for COVID booster vaccinations. As of time of writing the posture on vaccinations remains that all officers within NOAA Corps must maintain full vaccination status, by either completion of two mRNA vaccines (Moderna, or Pfizer), or one Johnson and Johnson vaccination.

Receiving an additional (booster) vaccine will not change your full vaccination status or medical duty status. If you do receive a booster, please upload the updated card to your eOPF for submission to your medical record.

If you believe you qualify for a booster, please review your eligibility and risk factors with your primary care provider, Medical Affairs can provide guidance but your PCM is best situated to assess if a booster is appropriate for you. Also, please visit the CDC website for more information on boosters:

FY21 Special Leave Accrual (SLA) - Update on Regular Leave Lost

CPC continues to work with the USCG Pay and Personnel Center (PPC) in response to the loss of earned leave in excess of 60 days that was to be carried over as result of the approved SLA authorization. The FY21 SLA was signed and sent over to PPC prior to the end of September however it has become apparent that an error occurred and the carryover days were not retained. This error has affected all officers and can be seen on your mid-month LES under the LEAVE SUMMARY section. Note that the FY21 SLA set a maximum Leave Balance of 90 days and that any days above that number should be considered a loss. CPC will continue to communicate updates on this issue as they develop. There is no need to send individual messages or files to NOAA Corps Payroll; however, please reach out to the Chief, Officer Personnel Management Division (OPMD), Ms. Katherine Raymond at, for additional questions or concerns.

NJAC Webinar Series

The NOAA Corps Junior Officer Advisory Committee (NJAC) is continuing its webinar series that was started in 2020. Each quarter the NJAC will be hosting a webinar focused on issues directly related to junior officers or other topical subjects. Topics in the past have ranged from awards and promotion processes to aviation applications to NOAA Corps medical standards. If you have any questions about this upcoming webinar or have suggestions for future webinars please direct all comments to

Project Management and NOAA

Many billets in the NOAA Corps, as well as jobs in the civilian realm, involve managing projects. A project management professional (PMP) is someone who holds specialized training in how to do this on a large scale. It can be a useful skill and a valuable certification to have. Captain Devin Brakob (ret), Lindsey Averil, and Lieutenant Caroline Wilkinson will speak about the benefits of a PMP certification and the tools that exist within NOAA to help you gain this certification.

Mark Your Calendars

  • What: NJAC Webinar Series - Project Management
  • When: Thursday, October 28 @ 1400-1500ET (1100-1200PT)
  • Who: Targeted to all NOAA Corps Officers or OMAO Employees interested in learning more about Project Management and PMP Certification
  • Meeting Details: Web:
  • Phone: +1 (877) 422-8614 | Meeting extension: 6224861#

HUMANA Information and Changes

Two updates that are helpful for beneficiaries that receive TRICARE benefits through HUMANA.

Veterans Benefits Newsletter October 2021

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Veterans Benefits Newsletter

October 2021

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Veteran reading the 2021 Federal Benefits Handbook for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors

File a Claim for Your Disability Benefits

Interested in learning more about your VA benefits? Check out the 2021 Federal Benefits Handbook for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors, which provides an overview of all VA benefits and services. It’s a one-stop online resource for eligibility requirements and directly links to representatives you can contact about your benefits and services.

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