The NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps is the uniformed component of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Officers operate NOAA's survey & research vessels, pilot aircraft, lead field parties, & serve in staff positions throughout NOAA.
Provide officers technically competent to assume positions of leadership and command in the National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Department of Commerce (DOC) programs and in the Armed Forces during times of war or national emergency.
Discipline and flexibility are inherent in the NOAA Corps personnel system. Officers are trained for positions of leadership and command in the operation of ships and aircraft; in the conduct of field projects on land, at and under the sea, and in the air; in the management of NOAA observational and support facilities; as members or leaders of research efforts; and in the managment of various organizational elements throughout NOAA.
The NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps (NOAA Corps) is one of the nation’s seven uniformed services. NOAA Corps officers are an integral part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, and serve with the special trust and confidence of the President.
With 321 officers, the NOAA Corps serves throughout the agency’s line and staff offices to support nearly all of NOAA’s programs and missions. The combination of commissioned service and scientific expertise makes these officers uniquely capable of leading some of NOAA’s most important initiatives.
The NOAA Corps is part of NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO) and traces its roots to the former U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, which dates back to 1807 and President Thomas Jefferson. In 1970, NOAA was created to develop a coordinated approach to oceanographic and atmospheric research and subsequent legislation converted the commissioned officer corps to the NOAA Corps.
The NOAA Corps today provides a cadre of professionals trained in engineering, earth sciences, oceanography, meteorology, fisheries science, and other related disciplines. Corps officers operate NOAA’s ships, fly aircraft, manage research projects, conduct diving operations, and serve in staff positions throughout NOAA.
Benefits of the NOAA Corps to the Nation
The combination of commissioned service with scientific and operational expertise, allows the NOAA Corps to provide a unique and indispensable service to the nation. NOAA Corps officers enable NOAA to fulfill mission requirements, meet changing environmental concerns, take advantage of emerging technologies, and serve as environmental first responders. For example:
-In November 2014, NOAA aircraft flew missions over upstate New York after the record snow falls of up to seven feet and conducted airborne Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) and soil moisture measurements. Airborne SWE measurements are used by NOAA’s National We