Samuel F. Wright

Captain, JAGC, USN (Ret.)
Director, Service Members Law Center
(800) 809-9448, ext. 730
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Law Review 1196


November 2011

NOAA Corps and PHS Corps Officers Are Treated Unfairly by OPM

By Captain Samuel F. Wright, JAGC, USN (Ret.)

9.0 Miscellaneous

Q:  I am a member of ROA and a Captain (O-6) in the commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  The NOAA Corps is a commissioned corps in the United States Department of Commerce.  I have served full-time in the NOAA Corps for the last 26 years, and I am now approaching the end of my uniformed services career.  I am looking for a federal civilian position for my follow-on career.

In my search for a job, I have used USAJOBS, a system operated by the United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM).  This OPM system treats me most unfairly, as compared to departing members of the Navy, the Coast Guard, or other services.  If I were retiring from the Navy, I could be listed in USAJOBS as if I were a current federal employee, and I would be eligible to be considered for jobs that are limited to current federal employees.  I would also be able to show my Navy service, experience, and accomplishments as qualifications for federal civilian jobs.  I am denied these benefits because I am retiring from NOAA, not the Navy.  Help!

A:  I think that you make an excellent point.  On November 2, 2011, Major General Andrew B. Davis, USMCR (Ret.), ROA’s new Executive Director, sent the attached letter to OPM Director John Berry.  We will keep the readers advised of developments concerning this important issue.

Read Major General Davis' Letter to OPM Director John Berry