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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps
NOAA Commissioned Corps

Flag of the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps

Seal of the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps (top)
Flag of the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps (bottom)
Country United States
Branch NOAA Flag.svg National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Service history
Active May 22, 1917-present[1][2][3]
Size 379 officers[4]
19 ships, 14 aircraft[5]
Part of Flag of the United States Department of Commerce.png U.S. Department of Commerce
Colors          Blue, White
Battles
Commanders
Commanders VADM Michael S. DevanyRADM David A. ScoreRDML Anita LopezVADM Henry A. Karo
RADM William L. Stubblefield
RADM Evelyn J. Fields
RADM Samuel P. De Bow, Jr.
Current commander Director, NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps[7]Director, NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps[7]}
Command Sergeant Major Deputy Director, NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps[8]Deputy Director, NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps[8]
Insignia

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps[9] and known informally as the NOAA Corps, is one of seven federal uniformed services of the United States and operates under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a scientific agency within the Department of Commerce. The NOAA Corps is one of two uniformed services, the other is the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, that consist only of commissioned officers, with no enlisted or warrant officer ranks.

HistoryEdit

The NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps, established on May 22, 1917, as the Coast and Geodetic Survey Corps due to the events of World War I, and then as the Environmental Science Services Administration (ESSA) Corps from 1965 to 1970,[9][10] traces its roots back to the former U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, which dates to 1807 under President Thomas Jefferson. Coast and Geodetic Survey officers were commissioned so that under the laws of war, they could not be executed as spies if they were serving as surveyors on a battlefield. The first flag officer in the USC&GS Corps was Rear Admiral Raymond S. Patton when he was promoted from Captain to Rear Admiral in 1936. When the Coast and Geodetic Survey was transferred to the newly established Environmental Science Services Administration 13 July 1965 (per Reorganization Plan 2 of 1965), the corps was redesignated the Environmental Science Services Administration Corps (ESSA Corps). The first director of the ESSA Corps was Rear Admiral James C. Tison. Vice Admiral H. Arnold Karo was the first Deputy Administrator of ESSA. Karo was promoted to Vice Admiral 13 July 1965 to help lead in the establishment of the new ESSA. Vice Admiral Karo was the highest-ranking officer in the history of the USC&GS/ESSA/NOAA Corps. The ESSA was transferred to newly established National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 3 October 1970 (per Reorganization Plan 4 of 1970), and the corps was redesignated the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Corps (NOAA Corps). The first director of the NOAA Corps was Rear Admiral (Upper Half) Harley D. Nygren. The NOAA Corps is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States and has over 300 commissioned officers and no enlisted or warrant officer ranks. The number of Rear Admiral billets in the NOAA Corps decreased from five to two between 1985 and 2010.

The NOAA Corps today provides a cadre of professionals trained in engineering, earth sciences, oceanography, meteorology, fisheries science, and other related disciplines. Officers operate ships, fly aircraft, manage research projects, conduct diving operations, and serve in staff positions throughout NOAA.

Directors of the NOAA Corps and predecessor organizationsEdit

Image Rank Name Tenure Notes
Ernest Lester Jones Captain Ernest Lester Jones 1915 – 1929 First Director, Coast and Geodetic Survey[11]
Rear Admiral Raymond Stanton Patton 1929 – 1937 [11]
Rear Admiral Leo Otis Colbert 1938 – 1950 [11]
Rear Admiral Robert Francis Anthony Studds 1950 – 1955 [11]
Admiral KARO NOAA obit Rear Admiral Henry Arnold Karo 1955 – 1965 Last Director, Coast and Geodetic Survey. Promoted to vice admiral in 1965 and served as Deputy Administrator, ESSA from 1965 to 1967.[11]
Rear Admiral James C. Tison, Jr Rear Admiral James C. Tison, Jr 1965 – 1968 First Director, ESSA Corps[11]
Rear Admiral Don A. Jones 1968 – 1970 Last Director, ESSA Corps. Served as Director, National Ocean Survey 1970 – 1972.[11]
Harley D. Nygren Rear Admiral Harley D. Nygren 1970 – 1980 First Director, NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps.[12]
Rear Admiral Kelly E. Taggart 1980 – 1986 [13]
Rear Admiral Francis D. Moran 1986 – 1990 [14]
Rear Admiral Sigmund R. Petersen 1990 – 1995 [15]
RAdm William L. Stubblefield Rear Admiral William L. Stubblefield 1995 – 1999 [16]
Evefields Rear Admiral Evelyn J. Fields 1999 – 2003 [17]
75px Rear Admiral Samuel P. De Bow, Jr. 2003 – 2007 [18]
Radmjbailey Rear Admiral Jonathan W. Bailey 2007 – 2012 [19]
RADM Devany 2012 Rear Admiral Michael S. Devany 2012 – 2014 Promoted to vice admiral on January 2, 2014 and currently serves as Deputy Under Secretary for Operations, NOAA.[20]
RADM David Score Rear Admiral David A. Score 2014 – Present [21]

Commissioned officersEdit

The NOAA Corps uses the same commissioned officer ranks as the United States Navy and Coast Guard. While the grade of admiral has been established as a rank in the NOAA Corps,[22][22] the rank has not been authorized for use by Congress.[23] Current NOAA Corps ranks rise from ensign to vice admiral,[23] pay grades O-1 through O-9 respectively. NOAA Corps officers are appointed via direct commission and receive the same pay as other members of the uniformed services. They cannot hold a dual commission with another service but inter-service transfers are sometimes permitted.

Commissioned officer ranks and abbreviations of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps
Vice Admiral
Rear Admiral Rear Admiral
(lower half)
Captain
O-9 O-8 O-7 O-6
US NOAA O9 insignia US NOAA O8 insignia US NOAA O7 insignia US NOAA O6 insignia
VADM RADM RDML CAPT
Commander Lieutenant
Commander
Lieutenant Lieutenant
(junior grade)
Ensign
O-5 O-4 O-3 O-2 O-1
US NOAA O5 insignia US NOAA O4 insignia US NOAA O-3 insignia US NOAA O2 insignia US NOAA O1 insignia
CDR LCDR LT LTJG ENS

UniformsEdit

For formal service uniforms, the NOAA Corps wears the same Service Dress Blues and Service Dress Whites as the Navy, but with NOAA Corps insignia in place of Navy insignia. For daily work uniforms, the NOAA Corps wears the same Operational Dress Uniform (ODU) as the Coast Guard, but with NOAA Corps insignia in place of Coast Guard insignia.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. "NOAA History A Sea Odyssey". http://www.history.noaa.gov/legacy/corps.html. 
  2. "History of the NOAA Corps". http://www.noaacorps.noaa.gov/about/history1.html. 
  3. "The Roots of the NOAA Corps". http://www.history.noaa.gov/legacy/corps_roots.html. 
  4. "33 USC 3005: Number of Authorized Commissioned Officers". http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/usc_sec_33_00003005----000-.html. 
  5. "New Commander to Direct NOAA’s Aircraft Operations". http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2009/20090714_commander.html. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 History of the NOAA Commissioned Corps
  7. Note: Also concurrently serves as Director, Office of Marine and Aviation Operations
  8. Note: Also concurrently serves as Deputy Director for Operations, Office of Marine and Aviation Operations
  9. 9.0 9.1 Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1970, reprinted with amendments in 5 U.S.C. app. at 1557-61. Section 3(d) states: "The Commissioned Officer Corps of the Environmental Science Services Administration shall become the Commissioned Officer Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration."
  10. Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1965, reprinted in 5 U.S.C. app. at 1517
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 "Leaders of Coast Survey". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/staff/docs/Leaders_of_Coast_Survey.pdf. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  12. "C&GS Biographies". Profiles in Time NOAA History. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. http://www.history.noaa.gov/cgsbios/bion3.html. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  13. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=45524
  14. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=37470
  15. http://www.apnewsarchive.com/1990/Nation-s-Smallest-Service-to-Get-New-Leader/id-b53461e84e2d07795dc5c2b00c93816d
  16. http://www.publicaffairs.noaa.gov/pr95/may95/stubble.html
  17. http://www.publicaffairs.noaa.gov/releases99/july99/noaa99052.html
  18. http://www.publicaffairs.noaa.gov/releases2006/oct06/noaa06-r827.html
  19. http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:H.RES.792:
  20. "RADM Michael S. Devany , NOAA Director, NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps Director, NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations". US Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. http://www.omao.noaa.gov/pdffiles/Devany_Bio_New.pdf. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  21. "Rear Adm. David A. Score to lead NOAA Corps and Office of Marine and Aviation Operations". US Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2014/20140102_score.html. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  22. 22.0 22.1 [1] 10 USC 201. Pay grades: assignment to; general rules
  23. 23.0 23.1 [2] S.2388 - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps Amendments Act of 2012

External linksEdit

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