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Four Questions for David Hall

"Highlight the NOAA Corps' century of service to the nation"

By Chris Isleib
Director of Public Affairs, U.S. World War One Centennial Commission

With America’s entry into the World War I, a commissioned service of the Coast & Geodetic Survey (C&GS) was formed on May 22, 1917 to ensure the rapid assimilation of C&GS technical skills for defense purposes. During World War II, officers and civilians of the C&GS produced nautical and aeronautical charts, provided critical geospatial information to artillery units, and conducted reconnaissance surveys. Today, the work of the C&GS—and more—is conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps—one of the seven uniformed services of the United States—are the direct descendants of the C&GS of WWI. David Hall, Public Affairs Officer of the Office of Marine and Aviation Operations unit of NOAA, talked with us about the centennial, and the roles and missions of NOAA today.

NOAA plays an important role as a uniformed service. Tell us about it.

NOAA David L HallDavid L. Hall of NOAANOAA Corps officers are an integral part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The NOAA Corps traces its roots to the former U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, which dates back to 1807 and President Thomas Jefferson. Today, the NOAA Corps today provides a cadre of professionals trained in engineering, earth sciences, oceanography, meteorology, fisheries science, and other related disciplines.NOAA Corps officers command NOAA’s oceanographic and seafloor mapping ships, pilot the agency's environmental data-gathering aircraft (including "hurricane hunter" planes), manage research projects, conduct diving operations, and serve in staff positions throughout the agency.

NOAA and the NOAA Corps work every day on land, in the air, and on the sea to keep the nation secure and productive by providing products and services that support maritime domain awareness; help ensure safe passage of commercial and military traffic on our nation’s waterways; warn mariners, aviators, and the public of severe weather; aid search and rescue efforts; and conserve and protect our natural resources.

You played a major role in support if American efforts in WWI. Tell us what you did.

With the entry of the United States into the war in 1917, the commissioned service of the Coast and Geodetic Survey was formed. This allowed for the rapid assimilation of C&GS technical skills for defense purpose. Over half the commissioned officers of the C&GS served with the Army, Navy, or Marine Corps during World War I. They served as artillery orienteering officers, mine-laying officers in the North Sea, troop transport navigators, intelligence officers, and even on the staff to General "Black Jack" Pershing. Following World War I, the C&GS reverted to its role of peaceful surveyor and chart maker of the Nation. The young men who came into the Survey during this period spent years developing expertise in land surveying, sea floor and airways charting, coastline mapping, geophysics, and oceanography. This expertise was combined with the hardships of a lifestyle that was characterized by years in survey field assignments or attached to survey vessels.

NOAA Corps 100 Year GraphicThis is your big year - and You have a big anniversary. Tell us about what you have planned to mark the centennial.
We are celebrating throughout the year by partnering with communities and organizations nationwide to highlight the NOAA Corps' century of service to the nation through special events, exhibits, and more.
Where can we find out more info about NOAA?

You can learn more about NOAA and the NOAA Corps at

Read more about the NOAA centennial on the NOAA Centennial web site:

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