Remarks at the NOAA Commissioned Corps
95th Anniversary Ball

Washington, DC


Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., Under Secretary of Commerce
for Oceans & Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator

As Delivered

May 19, 2012

Thank you Admiral Bailey.  I am delighted to be here this evening.  

Admiral Stosz:   I am so pleased to have you here with us. 

To our distinguished guests tonight: Welcome!  

I would like to especially thank ACO President LCDR Eric Johnson and the ACO team: Thank you for your time and hard work in preparing for tonight’s festivities.   

I feel very fortunate to have spent a great deal of time with more than a few of you.  May I just say --- YOU ROCK!!!

Tonight we celebrate you - the NOAA Corps and you 95 years of service to the Nation. 

The Corps’ roots are deep and strong.  They build on the earlier foundation of 110 years of delivering nautical charting and geodetic survey information by the Survey of the Coast and the Coast and Geodetic Survey.  An impressive tradition – grounded in science, delivering services to help a growing Nation thrive, be strong and safe. 

As NOAA’s missions grew and expanded, so have your responsibilities:  more complex ships and shipboard systems, aircraft, and unmanned systems. We’ve come a long way.

Ninety-five years of the Corps means 95 years of leadership. How wonderful to have the leaders of past, present, and the future all here together!  There is a wealth of experience, knowledge, and leadership in this room tonight.

Gifted leaders listen, anticipate, inspire, and create order out of chaos.   I’ve seen it at work from many in this room.

Your power lies in your ability to craft a vision and create the momentum, partnerships, and will to tackle daunting challenges and succeed.

We live in a world where partnerships need leadership for success.

Partnerships were on full display during the Deepwater Horizon crisis:  leaders at multiple levels within each agency working together to respond effectively, using science, common sense, experience, and fortified by trust. You listened, anticipated, inspired and created order out of chaos. 

Your leadership and partnerships underpin NOAA science: sustainable fisheries, healthy oceans, and a weather-ready nation. You make this possible.

What else have you made possible? Since my first NOAA Corps Ball 3 years ago, you’ve brought several ships on line.  You’ve put tail Doppler radar in the Gulfstream IV and LIDAR in the King Air. You’ve opened one brand new Marine Operations Center and revitalized another.

As we look to the future, we are thrilled to work with Senator Begich on introducing the NOAA Corps Reauthorization bill. 

Although I have only named a few, these accomplishments reflect your dedication and tireless efforts supporting NOAA’s mission now and in the future.

Honor, Respect, and Commitment.  Your willingness to serve is a testament to the Corps’ core values.

Every day during Deepwater Horizon, I saw your selfless dedication, commitment, and devotion to duty.  

Being an officer of the Corps does not come without costs and sacrifices. I thank you and your families for field seasons away from home and your readiness to respond at a moment’s notice.

On behalf of NOAA and the nation, let me say thank you.  Thank you for the heart and soul you put into your service every day. To your families:  You are the backbone. We couldn’t do it without you.

A salute to the last 95 years of service to NOAA and the nation.

And to RADM Bailey: a very special thank you. Thank you for 32 years of service.  I know that the accomplishments during my tenure did not come without challenges. Thank you for your leadership and for being a leader among leaders.

Tonight, I am pleased to introduce our keynote speaker, RADM Sandra Stosz, Superintendent, USCG Academy.  RADM Stosz is another gifted leader.  We look ahead to new beginnings and partnerships with her and her team. We anxiously look forward to having the NOAA Basic Officer Training Center at the USCG Officer Candidate School - a great example of partnership and leadership.

Welcome RADM Stosz.

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