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                                                      Calendar No. 561
116th Congress     }                                    {       Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session        }                                    {      116-273
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     


 NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION COMMISSIONED OFFICER 
                      CORPS AMENDMENTS ACT OF 2019

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

           COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION

                                   on

                                S. 2981









[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]










  September 30 (legislative day, September 29), 2020.--Ordered to be 
                                printed 
                                
                             _________
                              
                 U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE
                 
99-007                   WASHINGTON : 2020
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
       SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION
                     one hundred sixteenth congress
                             second session

                 ROGER F. WICKER, Mississippi, Chairman
JOHN THUNE, South Dakota             MARIA CANTWELL, Washington
ROY BLUNT, Missouri                  AMY KLOBUCHAR, Minnesota
TED CRUZ, Texas                      RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, Connecticut
DEB FISCHER, Nebraska                BRIAN SCHATZ, Hawaii
JERRY MORAN, Kansas                  EDWARD J. MARKEY, Massachusetts
DAN SULLIVAN, Alaska                 TOM UDALL, New Mexico
CORY GARDNER, Colorado               GARY C. PETERS, Michigan
MARSHA BLACKBURN, Tennessee          TAMMY BALDWIN, Wisconsin
SHELLEY MOORE CAPITO, West Virginia  TAMMY DUCKWORTH, Illinois
MIKE LEE, Utah                       JON TESTER, Montana
RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin               KYRSTEN SINEMA, Arizona
TODD C. YOUNG, Indiana               JACKY ROSEN, Nevada
RICK SCOTT, Florida
                       John Keast, Staff Director
               David Strickland, Minority Staff Director























                                                      Calendar No. 561
116th Congress     }                                    {       Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session        }                                    {      116-273

======================================================================



 
 NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION COMMISSIONED OFFICER 
                      CORPS AMENDMENTS ACT OF 2019

                                _______
                                

  September 30 (legislative day, September 29), 2020.--Ordered to be 
                                printed

                                _______
                                

       Mr. Wicker, from the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
                Transportation, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 2981]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, to 
which was referred the bill (S. 2981) to reauthorize and amend 
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 
Commissioned Officer Corps Act of 2002, and for other purposes, 
having considered the same, reports favorably thereon with an 
amendment and recommends that the bill (as amended) do pass.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of S. 2981, the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps 
Amendments Act of 2019, is to reauthorize both the National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer 
Corps Act of 2002 and the Hydrographic Services Improvement Act 
of 1998.

                          Background and Needs

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 
Commissioned Officer Corps (NOAA Corps) is one of the seven 
uniformed services of the United States.\1\ The 321 officers of 
the NOAA Corps make up only about 3 percent of NOAA's 
personnel, but as the operators of NOAA's ship and aircraft 
fleet, they are critical to the Administration. Their unique 
combination of scientific and operational expertise coupled 
with a high degree of flexibility and deployability allow them 
to serve throughout the Administration's line and staff offices 
and support nearly all of NOAA's programs and missions.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\The United States has seven uniformed services, of which five 
are armed services (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and the Coast 
Guard) and two which are not armed (the U.S. Public Health Service and 
the NOAA Corps).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Like other uniformed services, Corps officers spend much of 
their careers away from family and friends, operating NOAA 
ships and aircraft that are frequently deployed up to 8 or 9 
months a year.\2\ Corps officers also work regularly with other 
services, commanding Navy underwater unmanned vehicle platoons, 
training with Navy scientific aircraft squadrons, and deploying 
on United States Coast Guard (USCG) cutters. The Corps and the 
USCG now have joint Officer Candidate School classes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\While the Navy and Coast Guard usually have a maximum operating 
tempo of 180 days a year, NOAA ships typically are deployed up to 240 
days a year (when fully funded).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Yet unlike other uniformed services, or even other Federal 
agency employees, time in the NOAA Corps is not considered a 
Federal service for purposes of being hired into competitive 
service positions elsewhere in the Federal Government. As a 
result, while the demand for NOAA Corps officers is increasing, 
the capacity of the Corps is not increasing, and workplace 
benefits are less desirable than in other career tracks. 
Reforming the Corps' authority to create parity with other 
Federal careers is necessary. This legislation aims to update 
the Corps' statutory structure to address modern workforce 
requirements.

                         Summary of Provisions

    S. 2981, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration Commissioned Officer Corps Amendments Act of 
2019, would include many provisions from previously Senate-
passed NOAA Corps reauthorizations legislation, including the 
following:
   Giving the Corps new tools to improve recruiting and 
        retention to improve diversity in the Corps and allow 
        for retention of highly skilled Corps officers, 
        especially female officers, including the following:
   A pre-commissioning educational assistance program 
            for students who agree to serve in the NOAA Corps 
            (similar to a USCG pre-commissioning program);
   Authority for an education loan repayment program 
            for students with critical skills;
   An education loan interest repayment program for 
            officers in the first 3 years of active duty; and
   Authorizes a sabbatical program modeled on a 
            successful USCG program to allow officers to leave 
            the service (and receive no pay or benefits) for a 
            few years for personal reasons, such as starting a 
            family.
   More closely aligning the Corps with other services, 
        improving the ability to both support NOAA missions and 
        be a useful national asset, including the following:
   Creation of a new officer candidate rank for 
            officers entering duty for a period of initial 
            training;
   A requirement for officers to meet USCG physical 
            fitness standards; and
   The authority to require a period of obligated 
            service after initial training.

                          Legislative History

    S. 2981 was introduced on December 4, 2019, by Senator 
Sullivan (for himself and Senator Schatz) and was referred to 
the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the 
Senate. On December 11, 2019, the Committee met in open 
Executive Session and, by voice vote, ordered S. 2981 reported 
favorably with an amendment (in the nature of a substitute).
    Bills reauthorizing the NOAA Corps and aligning both the 
officers' obligations and benefits with officers in other 
services have been passed by the Senate in the 112th, 113th, 
and 114th Congresses. Specifically, the NOAA Corps Amendments 
Act of 2012 passed the Senate by unanimous consent in the 112th 
Congress (S. 2388), the NOAA Corps Amendments Act of 2013 
passed the Senate by unanimous consent in the 113th Congress 
(S. 1068), and the NOAA Sexual Harassment and Assault 
Prevention Act passed the Senate by unanimous consent in the 
114th Congress as part of the Maritime Administration 
Authorization and Enhancement Act for Fiscal Year 2017 (S. 
2829). The provisions in S. 2829 related to reducing the number 
of, and improving response to, cases of sexual harassment and 
assault at NOAA became law as part of the National Defense 
Reauthorization Act of 2017, but the remaining provisions were 
not incorporated.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\Public Law 114-328.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                            Estimated Costs

    In accordance with paragraph 11(a) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate and section 403 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee provides the 
following cost estimate, prepared by the Congressional Budget 
Office:

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]


    The bill would
           Waive the Antideficiency Act to allow the 
        National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 
        to enter into long-term leases and colocation 
        agreements with governmental and nonprofit entities
           Establish service requirements for NOAA 
        commissioned officers and require officers who fail to 
        meet those requirements to reimburse NOAA for training 
        costs
           Authorize NOAA to pay some education 
        expenses for commissioned officers or people committing 
        to serve as commissioned officers after completing a 
        college degree
    Estimated budgetary effects would primarily stem from
           The costs of leases and colocation 
        agreements
           The costs of education assistance for 
        certain commissioned officers
           The amount of reimbursements received from 
        NOAA officers who failed to meet service requirements
    Areas of significant uncertainty include
           Estimating the number and timing of leases 
        and colocation agreements NOAA would enter into under 
        the bill
    Bill summary: S. 2981 would authorize the National Oceanic 
and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to enter into long-term 
leases and colocation agreements with government and nonprofit 
entities without a fiscal year limitation. The bill also would 
modify personnel policies for NOAA's commissioned officer 
corps.
    Estimated Federal cost: The estimated budgetary effect of 
S. 2981 is shown in Table 1. The costs of the legislation fall 
within budget function 300 (natural resources and environment).

                                                    TABLE 1.--ESTIMATED BUDGETARY EFFECTS OF S. 2981
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                By fiscal year, millions of dollars--
                                           -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                             2020    2021    2022    2023    2024    2025    2026    2027    2028    2029    2030   2020-2025  2020-2030
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Increases in Direct Spending
 
Estimated Budget Authority................       0       4       4       4       4       4       4       4       4       4       4         20         40
Estimated Outlays.........................       0       0       1       2       3       4       4       4       4       4       4         10        29
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Components may not sum to totals because of rounding.
Implementing the bill also would increase spending subject to appropriation by less than $500,000 annually and by a total of $1 million over the 2021-
  2025 period.

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that S. 
2981 will be enacted early in fiscal year 2021.
    Direct spending: CBO estimates that enacting S. 2981 would 
increase direct spending by $29 million over the 2020-2030 
period.
    Lease and Colocation Agreements: Section 502 would waive 
the Antideficiency Act, allowing NOAA to enter into 
noncompetitive leases or colocation agreements without regard 
to the availability of appropriations.\1\ The section also 
would authorize NOAA to enter into such leases or agreements 
with state or local governments or nonprofit organizations, 
including universities, for up to 30 years.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\ Colocation agreements establish a relationship between a tenant 
and a customer of the tenant engaging in collaborative activities in 
the tenant's space. In this case, NOAA could be the tenant or the 
customer, although in most cases CBO expects that NOAA would be the 
customer.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Under current law, NOAA uses more than 90 buildings around 
the country, including office buildings, warehouses, 
laboratories, and data centers, which are leased at an average 
cost of about $160,000 annually by the General Services 
Administration (GSA). NOAA also partners with universities to 
complete scientific research. Using information from NOAA, CBO 
expects that the agency would use the authority provided under 
S. 2981 to enter into leases or colocation agreements with 
partners at university facilities to complete long-term, 
collaborative research.
    Based on similar authority provided to other agencies, CBO 
expects that some leases and colocation agreements would 
contain terms for NOAA's university partners or third parties 
to build or renovate facilities for specialized uses. Some of 
those projects would be considered governmental because they 
would be largely subject to NOAA's control and because NOAA 
would be a major user of the services supported or provided by 
those facilities. Thus, in CBO's view, transactions related to 
development and construction under that authority should be 
considered governmental with their costs recorded in the 
budget. Furthermore, by waiving the Antideficiency Act with 
respect to entering into agreements, spending for those 
activities would not be limited by annual appropriations; thus, 
those costs would be considered direct spending.
    Using information from GSA on the costs of NOAA's current 
leases, CBO estimates that the lifetime cost of each lease or 
colocation agreement would be $5 million, on average. Using 
information about NOAA facilities that currently house 
collaborative research and that require physical improvements, 
CBO expects that under the bill NOAA would enter into eight 
such agreements over the 2021-2030 period. For this estimate, 
the budget authority for those agreements is distributed evenly 
across the 2021-2030 period because CBO cannot predict when 
NOAA would enter into those agreements. CBO estimates that 
spending on the additional leases and colocation agreements 
would total $30 million over the 2020-2030 period. Estimated 
outlays follow spending patterns for similar activities.
    Service Requirements for the Commissioned Officer Corps: S. 
2981 would establish requirements for people enlisting in 
NOAA's commissioned officer corps. Under the bill, any officer 
who fails to meet those requirements would be obligated to 
repay NOAA an amount equal to the costs incurred by NOAA for 
training plus any financial assistance for education expenses 
that the officer received. Using information from NOAA on the 
cost of such training, CBO estimates that such repayments would 
total about $1 million over the 2020-2030 period.
    Spending Subject to Appropriation: The bill would authorize 
NOAA to pay some expenses related to the costs of education for 
people serving in the commissioned officer corps or who commit 
to serve after completing a college degree. Using information 
about the number of officer candidates recruited each year, CBO 
expects that around 30 current and former students would 
receive such assistance over the 2021-2025 period. On the basis 
of information from the Department of Education on the costs of 
postsecondary education that would be eligible for assistance 
under the bill, the current subsistence allowances provided by 
other uniformed services, and anticipated inflation, CBO 
estimates that implementing S. 2981 would cost $1 million over 
the 2020-2025 period. Such spending would be subject to the 
availability of appropriated funds.
    Uncertainty: CBO's estimate of direct spending under S. 
2981 is uncertain because both the number and the timing of 
lease and colocation agreements that NOAA would enter into 
would depend on NOAA's future decisions. If NOAA entered into 
more or fewer than the eight agreements anticipated for the 
2020-2030 period, the bill's costs could be higher or lower 
than estimated.
    Pay-As-You-Go considerations: The Statutory Pay-As-You-Go 
Act of 2010 establishes budget-reporting and enforcement 
procedures for legislation affecting direct spending or 
revenues. The net changes in outlays that are subject to those 
pay-as-you-go procedures are shown in Table 2.

  TABLE 2.--CBO'S ESTIMATE OF THE STATUTORY PAY-AS-YOU-GO EFFECTS OF S. 2981, THE NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION COMMISSIONED OFFICER
         CORPS AMENDMENTS ACT OF 2019, AS ORDERED REPORTED BY THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION ON DECEMBER 11, 2019
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                By fiscal year, millions of dollars--
                                           -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                             2020    2021    2022    2023    2024    2025    2026    2027    2028    2029    2030   2020-2025  2020-2030
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               Net Increase in the Deficit
 
Pay-As-You-Go Effect......................       0       0       1       2       3       4       4       4       4       4       4         10         29
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Increase in long-term deficits: CBO estimates that enacting 
S. 2981 would not increase on-budget deficits by more than $5 
billion in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods 
beginning in 2031.
    Mandates: None.
    Previous CBO estimate: On October 22, 2019, CBO transmitted 
a cost estimate for H.R. 2406, the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps 
Amendments Act of 2019, as ordered reported by the House 
Committee on Natural Resources on September 18, 2019. 
Provisions in titles I through IV of S. 2981 (relating to the 
Commissioned Officer Corps) are similar to provisions of H.R. 
2406 and CBO's estimates of their costs are the same.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Robert Reese; 
Mandates: Brandon Lever.
    Estimate reviewed by: Susan Willie, Chief, Natural and 
Physical Resources Cost Estimates Unit; H. Samuel Papenfuss, 
Deputy Director of Budget Analysis; Theresa Gullo, Director of 
Budget Analysis.

                      Regulatory Impact Statement

    Because S. 2981 does not create any new programs, the 
legislation will have no additional regulatory impact, and will 
result in no additional reporting requirements. The legislation 
will have no further effect on the number or types of 
individuals and businesses regulated, the economic impact of 
such regulation, the personal privacy of affected individuals, 
or the paperwork required from such individuals and businesses.

                   Congressionally Directed Spending

    In compliance with paragraph 4(b) of rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides that no 
provisions contained in the bill, as reported, meet the 
definition of congressionally directed spending items under the 
rule.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis


Section 1. Short title; table of contents.

    This section would provide that the bill may be cited as 
the ``National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 
Commissioned Officer Corps Amendments Act of 2019''.

Section 2. References to National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
        Administration Commissioned Officer Corps Act of 2002.

    References for amendments or repeal would be considered to 
be made to a section or provision of the NOAA Corps Act of 
2002.

                      TITLE I--GENERAL PROVISIONS


Section 101. Strength and distribution in grade.

    This section would establish the commissioned grades for 
officers in the NOAA Corps, and authorizes the Secretary to 
determine the proportion of officers assigned to ranks below 
lieutenant commander. This section would require the Secretary 
to annually determine the number of officers authorized for 
service in each grade, but would protect officers from 
demotion, pay cuts, or separation from the service as a result 
of the Secretary's determination.

Section 102. Recalled officers.

    Occasionally, the NOAA Corps needs to recall officers from 
retired status for temporary duty, such as for disaster 
response (e.g., Hurricane Katrina, Deepwater Horizon) or to 
serve on personnel boards. It cannot do so if it is at 
authorized strength, reducing its ability to have a surge 
capacity.
    This section would require that, in determining the number 
of officers in each grade, officers serving in positions of 
importance and responsibility\4\ and officers recalled from 
retirement for temporary duty (for example, during a disaster 
response), or officers detailed outside of the Administration 
would not be counted in, or against, the total number of 
authorized officers in the NOAA Corps.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\33 U.S.C. 3028.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Section 103. Obligated service requirement.

    The NOAA Corps currently does not have any legislative 
authority to bind officers to service by contract or 
obligation. Theoretically, an officer could receive training 
(costs up to $100,000, depending on type of training) and 
resign from the Corps shortly thereafter. The other Services 
require an obligated service for appointment, training, 
promotion, etc. of officers to ensure they receive an adequate 
return on investment in these categories. This section would 
authorize the Secretary to bind NOAA Corps officers to an 
obligation of service. It also would authorize the Secretary to 
seek reimbursement from officers who do not meet their 
obligated service requirements, would characterize that as a 
debt owed to the United States, and would not allow such debt 
to be discharged in a personal bankruptcy entered into less 
than 5 years after execution of a service obligation. This 
section would allow the Secretary to waive an obligation of 
service requirement for an officer that is not qualified for 
service.

Section 104. Training and physical fitness.

    This section would authorize the Secretary to carry out 
training programs and to require officers to maintain a state 
of physical fitness substantially equivalent to that required 
for officers in the USCG.

Section 105. Aviation accession training programs.

    This section would authorize the Secretary to establish and 
maintain an aviation training program for NOAA Corps. It would 
describe the types of educational institutions where this type 
of program could take place. It would describe the requirements 
for students to be eligible for membership in the training 
program and allow appointment of students to the NOAA Corps on 
completion of the program. It would allow for financial aid for 
the students. It would specify repayment conditions for 
students who fail to complete the program or accept commission.

Section 106. Recruiting materials.

    This section would authorize the Secretary the use of 
products created as recruiting and advertising materials (such 
as videos or pamphlets).

Section 107. Technical correction.

    This section would correct a definition of active-duty NOAA 
Corps officers.

                    TITLE II--PARITY AND RECRUITMENT


Section 201. Education loans.

    The NOAA Corps does not have the same education loan 
repayment recruiting incentives as the other Services. This is 
particularly an issue when trying to increase Corps diversity 
-- many other organizations use these types of incentives to 
recruit minority students with a science and engineering 
background. This section would authorize the Secretary to 
create an education loan repayment program for certain 
qualified NOAA Corps officers.

Section 202. Interest payments.

    This section would authorize the Secretary to create an 
interest payment program for student loans of certain active-
duty NOAA Corps officers.

Section 203. Student pre-commissioning program.

    This section would authorize the Secretary to provide 
financial assistance to support tuition and other education-
related costs of a currently enrolled student if the student 
agrees to serve for a certain number of years as a NOAA Corps 
officer upon completion of his or her educational program.

Section 204. Limitation on educational assistance.

    This section would limit the total amount expended by the 
Secretary for educational assistance programs (sections 201, 
202, and 203) for NOAA Corps officers to the amount saved by 
the creation of the officer candidate rank (section 306).

Section 205. Applicability of certain provisions of title 10, United 
        States Code, and extension of certain authorities applicable to 
        members of the Armed Forces to commissioned officer corps.

    This section would extend the following, additional title 
10 authorities to the NOAA Corps: prohibition on unauthorized 
wearing of a uniform; rules regarding wearing religious apparel 
in uniform; exemption for serving on certain juries; 
administration of the oath; benefits and services for separated 
members; family programs; notary service; mental health 
resources; and educational assistance. It also would give 
authority to allow the Secretary to accept certain voluntary 
services, such as the implementation of an Ombudsman program. 
Ombudsman programs are intended to improve communication 
between the command and the family members of service members 
within the command.

Section 206. Applicability of certain provisions of title 37, United 
        States Code.

    This section would extend the following, additional title 
37 authorities to the NOAA Corps: accession bonuses for 
officers with critical skills; housing allowances while on 
field or sea duty and housing allowances for dependents of 
deceased members; personal spending allowances; recruiting 
expenses; and funeral honors duty allowances.

Section 207. Prohibition on retaliatory personnel actions.

    This section would amend 10 U.S.C. 1034 to include members 
of the NOAA Corps in whistleblower protections provided to 
members of the military.

Section 208. Application of certain provisions of competitive service 
        law.

    This section would amend 5 U.S.C. 3304 to allow former NOAA 
Corps officers to be eligible for consideration to competitive 
service positions.

Section 209. Employment and reemployment rights.

    This section would amend 38 U.S.C. 4303 to extend the 
definition of uniformed services to include NOAA Corps officers 
for the purposes of employment and reemployment rights granted 
by chapter 43 of title 38.

Section 210. Treatment of commission in commissioned officer corps for 
        purposes of certain hiring decisions.

    This section would define that an officer who has served in 
the NOAA Corps for at least 3 years be deemed in a career or 
career-conditional position. An officer will therefore be 
qualified to apply for positions limited to individuals 
currently employed within the Administration.

           TITLE III--APPOINTMENTS AND PROMOTION OF OFFICERS


Section 301. Appointments.

    This section would prescribe criteria for the appointment 
of officers to NOAA Corps, and also allow for officers to be 
reappointed at the same grade they held when they separated 
from the NOAA Corps. It would allow officers to temporarily 
separate and pursue personal goals (like starting a family) or 
other opportunities outside the service, while providing a 
mechanism for their return to active duty. This section would 
authorize officers to be commissioned from the following 
sources: officer training school; military service academies; 
and licensed officers of the merchant marine with at least 2 
years of service on a U.S. vessel. Finally, this section would 
require the Secretary of Commerce to coordinate with the 
Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of the Department in 
which the Coast Guard is operating to promote inter-service 
transfers of officers and would give preference to inter-
service transfers in recruiting new NOAA Corps officers, as 
appropriate.

Section 302. Personnel boards.

    This section would specify that the membership of personnel 
boards may include officers serving in or above the grade of 
the officers under consideration by the board, and may include 
recalled, retired officers. The current law does not allow 
retired or active officers below the pay grade of commander to 
serve on personnel boards, and makes it very difficult to form 
personnel boards, due to the Corps' inherent small size. This 
would help to ensure the diversity of the boards. This section 
would provide a NOAA Corps officer with the option to be 
excluded from consideration for promotion at the officer's 
request if that officer is pursuing professional or educational 
goals, has a personal qualifying circumstance, it is in the 
best interest of the Administration, or the officer was 
previously not selected.

Section 303. Positions of importance and responsibility.

    This section would establish the Director of the NOAA Corps 
as a Senate confirmed position. This section would revert an 
officer who has served in a grade above captain to a lower 
grade at the beginning of terminal leave, unless appointed or 
assigned to a higher grade. It would limit the total number of 
officers serving on active duty in the grade of rear admiral 
(lower half) or above to less than five, with a limit of one 
vice admiral.

Section 304. Temporary appointments.

    This section would establish a mechanism for junior 
officers to be temporarily appointed by the President alone.

Section 305. Officer candidates.

    This section would authorize the Secretary to create an 
officer candidate rank for individuals who are in training 
before receiving their commission. Currently, officers entering 
the NOAA Corps for initial training are directly commissioned 
as officers (Ensigns) on their first day. All other services 
have a period where the individual is an officer candidate 
before receiving a commission. This section would give NOAA the 
authority to create an officer candidate rank, with reduced 
pay. This would result in current savings of approximately 
$115,000 annually, which could be used to pay for officer pre-
commissioning and education programs established elsewhere in 
this bill.

Section 306. Procurement of personnel.

    This section would authorize the Secretary to make 
expenditures in order to recruit NOAA Corps officers.

Section 307. Career intermission program.

    This section would authorize the Secretary to create a 
program to allow officers to be inactivated from active service 
to meet personal or professional needs and to return to active 
service once these needs are met, with a written agreement from 
the Secretary. This section would outline the terms to be 
included in that agreement.

            TITLE IV--SEPARATION AND RETIREMENT OF OFFICERS


Section 401. Involuntary retirement or separation.

    This section would enable deferral of involuntary 
retirement or separation due to medical conditions for officers 
of any rank. Currently, the NOAA Corps can defer involuntary 
separation of lieutenant commanders and below, but it cannot 
for commanders and captains.

Section 402. Separation pay.

    This section would clarify that separation pay may not be 
paid to an officer discharged after two missed promotion 
opportunities if he or she is not genuinely seeking a 
promotion.

 TITLE V--OTHER NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION MATTERS


Section 501. Charting and survey services.

    This section would require the Secretary of Commerce to 
enter into a contract or contracts for the procurement of not 
less than two multi-year charters for hydrographic services 
survey vessels with particular emphasis on the need to reduce 
the backlog of unfulfilled needs for charting and surveys in 
the Arctic.

Section 502. Leases and co-location agreements.

    This section would allow the Administrator of NOAA to 
execute non-competitive leases and co-location agreements for 
real property and incidental goods and services with 
governments and Tribes for periods of not more than 30 years.

Section 503. Satellite and data management.

    This section would require the Administrator of NOAA to 
consider ocean exploration when evaluating satellite systems 
architecture. It would allow transactional authority for 
observational systems and other uses. It would extend this 
authority until 2030.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
material is printed in italic, existing law in which no change 
is proposed is shown in roman):

UNITED STATES CODE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


TITLE 5--GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION AND EMPLOYEES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


PART III--EMPLOYEES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Subpart B--Employment and Retention

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 33--EXAMINATION, SELECTION, AND PLACEMENT

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



Subchapter I--Examination, Certification, and Appointment

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



                           [5 U.S.C. 3304(f)]

Sec. 3304. Competitive service; examinations

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (f)(1) Preference eligibles or veterans who have been 
separated from the armed forces and members of the commissioned 
officer corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration (or its predecessor organization the Coast and 
Geodetic Survey) separated from such uniformed service under 
honorable conditions after 3 years or more of active service 
may not be denied the opportunity to compete for vacant 
positions for which the agency making the announcement will 
accept applications from individuals outside its own workforce 
under merit promotion procedures.
  (2) If selected, a preference eligible [or veteran], veteran, 
or member described in paragraph (1) shall receive a career or 
career-conditional appointment, as appropriate.
  (3) This subsection shall not be construed to confer an 
entitlement to veterans' preference that is not otherwise 
required by law.
  (4) The area of consideration for all merit promotion 
announcements which include consideration of individuals of the 
Federal workforce shall indicate that preference eligibles and 
veterans who have been separated from the armed forces and 
members of the commissioned officer corps of the National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (or its predecessor 
organization the Coast and Geodetic Survey) separated from such 
uniformed service under honorable conditions after 3 years or 
more of active service are eligible to apply. The announcements 
shall be publicized in accordance with section 3327.
  (5) The Office of Personnel Management shall prescribe 
regulations necessary for the administration of this 
subsection. The regulations shall ensure that an individual who 
has completed an initial tour of active duty is not excluded 
from the application of this subsection because of having been 
released from such tour of duty shortly before completing 3 
years of active service, having been honorably released from 
such duty.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


TITLE 10--ARMED FORCES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Subtitle A--General Military Law

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


PART II--PERSONNEL

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 53--MISCELLANEOUS RIGHTS AND BENEFITS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



                           [10 U.S.C. 1044a]

Sec. 1044. Authority to act as notary

  (a) The persons named in subsection (b) have the general 
powers of a notary public and of a consul of the United States 
in the performance of all notarial acts to be executed by any 
of the following:
          (1) Members of any of the [armed forces] uniformed 
        services.
          (2) * * *
          (3) * * *
          (4) * * *
  (b) Persons with the powers described in subsection (a) are 
the following:
          (1) * * *
          (2) * * *
          (3) * * *
          (4) All other members of the [armed forces] uniformed 
        services, including reserve members when not in a duty 
        status, who are designated by regulations of the [armed 
        forces] uniformed services or by statute to have those 
        powers.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 81--CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



                            [10 U.S.C. 1588]

Sec. 1588. Authority to accept certain voluntary services

  (a) Authority To Accept Services.--Subject to subsection (b) 
and notwithstanding section 1342 of title 31, the Secretary 
concerned may accept from any person the following services:
          (1) Voluntary medical services, dental services, 
        nursing services, or other health-care related 
        services.
          (2) Voluntary services to be provided for a museum or 
        a natural resources program.
          (3) Voluntary services to be provided for programs 
        providing services to members of the [armed forces] 
        uniformed services and the families of such members, 
        including the following programs:

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (b) * * *
  (c) * * *
  (d) * * *
  (e) * * *
  (f) * * *
  (g) Secretary Concerned for Acceptance of Services for 
Programs Serving Members of NOAA Corps and Their Families.--For 
purposes of the acceptance of services described in subsection 
(a)(3), the term ``Secretary concerned'' in subsection (a) 
shall include the Secretary of Commerce with respect to members 
of the commissioned officer corps of the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


PART III--TRAINING AND EDUCATION

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 107--PROFESSIONAL MILITARY EDUCATION

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



                            [10 U.S.C. 2153]

Sec. 2153. Capstone course: newly selected general and flag officers

  (a) Requirement.--Each officer selected for promotion to the 
grade of brigadier general or, in the case of the Navy or the 
commissioned officer corps of the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration, rear admiral (lower half) shall be 
required, after such selection, to attend a military education 
course designed specifically to prepare new general and flag 
officers to work with the [other armed forces] other uniformed 
services.
  (b) Waiver Authority.--(1) Subject to paragraph (2), the 
Secretary of Defense or the Secretary of Commerce, as 
applicable, may waive subsection (a)--

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


TITLE 37--PAY AND ALLOWANCES OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 3--BASIC PAY

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 203. Rates

  (a)(1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (e)(1) * * *
  (f)(1) An officer candidate enrolled in the basic officer 
training program of the commissioned officer corps of the 
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is entitled, 
while participating in such program, to monthly officer 
candidate pay at monthly rates equal to the basic pay of an 
enlisted member in the pay grade E-5 with less than two years 
of service.
  (2) An individual who graduates from such program shall 
receive credit for the time spent participating in such program 
as if such time were time served while on active duty as a 
commissioned officer. If the individual does not graduate from 
such program, such time shall not be considered creditable for 
active duty or pay.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 7--ALLOWANCES OTHER THAN TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                         [37 U.S.C. 414(a)(2)]

Sec. 414. Personal money allowance

  (a) Allowance for Officers Serving in Certain Ranks or 
Positions.--In addition to other pay or allowances authorized 
by this title, an officer who is entitled to basic pay is 
entitled to a personal money allowance of--
          (1) $500 a year, while serving in the grade of 
        lieutenant general or vice admiral, or in an equivalent 
        grade or rank;
          (2) $1,200 a year, in place of any other personal 
        money allowance authorized by this section while 
        serving as Surgeon General of the Public Health Service 
        or the director of the commissioned officer corps of 
        the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration;

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


TITLE 38--VETERANS' BENEFITS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


PART I--GENERAL PROVISIONS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 1--GENERAL

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



                         [38 U.S.C. 101(21)(C)]

Sec. 101. Definitions

  For the purposes of this title--
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (21) The term ``active duty'' means--
                  (A) * * *
                  (B) * * *
                  (C) full-time duty as a commissioned officer 
                in the commissioned officer corps of the 
                National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 
                or its predecessor organization the Coast and 
                Geodetic Survey (i) on or after July 29, 1945, 
                or (ii) before that date (I) while on transfer 
                to one of the Armed Forces, or (II) while, in 
                time of war or national emergency declared by 
                the President, assigned to duty on a project 
                for one of the Armed Forces in an area 
                determined by the Secretary of Defense to be of 
                immediate military hazard, or (III) in the 
                Philippine Islands on December 7, 1941, and 
                continuously in such islands thereafter, or 
                (iii) at any time, for the purposes of chapter 
                13 of this title;

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


PART III--READJUSTMENT AND RELATED BENEFITS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


   CHAPTER 43--EMPLOYMENT AND REEMPLOYMENT RIGHTS OF MEMBERS OF THE 
UNIFORMED SERVICES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



Subchapter I--General

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



Sec. 4303. Definitions

  For the purposes of this chapter--
  (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (16) The term ``uniformed services'' means the Armed Forces, 
the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard when engaged 
in active duty for training, inactive duty training, or full-
time National Guard duty, the commissioned corps of the Public 
Health Service, the commissioned officer corps of the National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, System members of the 
National Urban Search and Rescue Response System during a 
period of appointment into Federal service under section 327 of 
the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance 
Act, and any other category of persons designated by the 
President in time of war or national emergency.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


  AN ACT TO REAUTHORIZE THE HYDROGRAPHIC SERVICES IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 
                      1998, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

[Pub. L. 107-372, as amended by Pub. L. 110-386]

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SECTION 1. TABLE OF CONTENTS.

  The table of contents for this Act is as follows:
     * * * * * *

 TITLE II--NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION COMMISSIONED 
                              OFFICER CORPS

Sec. 201. Short title.

                     Subtitle A--General Provisions

Sec. 211. Commissioned officer corps.
Sec. 212. Definitions.
Sec. 213. Authorized number on the active list.
Sec. 214. Strength and distribution in grade.
[Sec. 215. Authorized number for fiscal years 2003 through 2005.]
Sec. 215. Number of authorized commissioned officers.
Sec. 216. Obligated service requirement.
Sec. 217. Training and physical fitness.
Sec. 218. Aviation accession training programs.
Sec. 219. Use of recruiting materials for public relations.

            Subtitle B--Appointment and Promotion of Officers

[Sec. 221. Original appointments.]
Sec. 221. Original appointments and reappointments.
Sec. 222. Personnel boards.
Sec. 223. Promotion of ensigns to grade of lieutenant (junior grade).
Sec. 224. Promotion by selection to permanent grades above lieutenant 
          (junior grade).
Sec. 225. Length of service for promotion purposes.
Sec. 226. Appointments and promotions to permanent grades.
Sec. 227. General qualification of officers for promotion to higher 
          permanent grade.
Sec. 228. Positions of importance and responsibility.
[Sec. 229. Temporary appointments and promotions generally.]
Sec. 229. Temporary appointments.
Sec. 230. Temporary appointment or advancement of commissioned officers 
          in time of war or national emergency.
Sec. 231. Pay and allowances; date of acceptance of promotion.
Sec. 232. Service credit as deck officer or junior engineer for 
          promotion purposes.
Sec. 233. Suspension during war or emergency.
Sec. 234. Officer candidates.
Sec. 235. Procurement of personnel.
Sec. 236. Career flexibility to enhance retention of officers.
     * * * * * *

                     Subtitle E--Rights and Benefits

Sec. 261. Applicability of certain provisions of title 10, United States 
          Code.
Sec. 261A. Applicability of certain provisions of title 37, United 
          States Code.
Sec. 262. Eligibility for veterans benefits and other rights, 
          privileges, immunities,and benefits under certain provisions 
          of law.
Sec. 263. Medical and dental care.
Sec. 264. Commissary privileges.
Sec. 265. Authority to use appropriated funds for transportation and 
          reimbursement of certain items.
Sec. 266. Presentation of United States flag upon retirement.
Sec. 267. Education loan repayment program.
Sec. 268. Interest payment program.
Sec. 269. Student pre-commissioning education assistance program.
Sec. 269A. Treatment of commission in commissioned officer corps as 
          employment in Administration for purposes of certain hiring 
          decisions.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


TITLE II--NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION COMMISSIONED 
                           OFFICER CORPS ACT

SEC. 201. SHORT TITLE.

  This title may be cited as the ``National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps Act of 
2002''.

Subtitle A--General Provisions

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                        [33 U.S.C. 3002 et seq.]

SEC. 212. DEFINITIONS.

  (a) * * *
  (b) Additional Definitions.--In this title:
          (1) Active duty.--The term ``active duty'' means 
        full-time duty in the active service of a uniformed 
        service.
          (2) Grade.--The term ``grade'' means a step or 
        degree, in a graduated scale of office or rank, that is 
        established and designated as a grade by law or 
        regulation.
          (3) Officer.--The term ``officer'' means an officer 
        of the commissioned corps.
          (4) Officer candidate.--The term ``officer 
        candidate'' means an individual who is enrolled in the 
        basic officer training program of the Administration 
        and is under consideration for appointment as an 
        officer under section 221(a)(2)(A).
          [(4)](5) Flag officer.--The term ``flag officer'' 
        means an officer serving in, or having the grade of, 
        vice admiral, rear admiral, or rear admiral (lower 
        half).
          [(5)](6) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the 
        Secretary of Commerce.
          [(6)](7) Administration.--The term ``Administration'' 
        means the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
        Administration.

SEC. 213. * * *

[SEC. 214. STRENGTH AND DISTRIBUTION IN GRADE.

  [(a) Relative Rank; Proportion.--Of the total authorized 
number of officers on the lineal list of the commissioned 
corps, there are authorized numbers in permanent grade, in 
relative rank with officers of the Navy, in proportions as 
follows:
          [(1) 8 in the grade of captain.
          [(2) 14 in the grade of commander.
          [(3) 19 in the grade of lieutenant commander.
          [(4) 23 in the grade of lieutenant.
          [(5) 18 in the grade of lieutenant (junior grade).
          [(6) 18 in the grade of ensign.
  [(b) Computation of Number in Grade.--
          [(1) In general.--Subject to paragraph (2), whenever 
        a final fraction occurs in computing the authorized 
        number of officers in a grade, the nearest whole number 
        shall be taken, and if the fraction is one-half the 
        next higher whole number shall be taken.
          [(2) Limitation on increase in total number.--The 
        total number of officers on the lineal list authorized 
        by law may not be increased as the result of the 
        computations prescribed in this section, and if 
        necessary the number of officers in the lowest grade 
        shall be reduced accordingly.
  [(c) Preservation of Grade and Pay, Etc.--No officer may be 
reduced in grade or pay or separated from the commissioned 
corps as the result of a computation made to determine the 
authorized number of officers in the various grades.
  [(d) Filling of Vacancies; Additional Numbers.--Nothing in 
this section may be construed as requiring the filling of any 
vacancy or as prohibiting additional numbers in any grade to 
compensate for vacancies existing in higher grades.
  [(e) Temporary Increase in Numbers.--The total number of 
officers authorized by law to be on the lineal list during a 
fiscal year may be temporarily exceeded so long as the average 
number on that list during that fiscal year does not exceed the 
authorized number.]

SEC. 214. STRENGTH AND DISTRIBUTION IN GRADE.

  (a) Grades.--The commissioned grades in the commissioned 
officer corps of the Administration are the following, in 
relative rank with officers of the Navy:
          (1) Vice admiral.
          (2) Rear admiral.
          (3) Rear admiral (lower half).
          (4) Captain.
          (5) Commander.
          (6) Lieutenant commander.
          (7) Lieutenant.
          (8) Lieutenant (junior grade).
          (9) Ensign.
  (b) Grade Distribution.--The Secretary shall prescribe, with 
respect to the distribution on the lineal list in grade, the 
percentages applicable to the grades set forth in subsection 
(a).
  (c) Annual Computation of Number in Grade.--
          (1) In general.--Not less frequently than once each 
        year, the Secretary shall make a computation to 
        determine the number of officers on the lineal list 
        authorized to be serving in each grade.
          (2) Method of computation.--The number in each grade 
        shall be computed by applying the applicable percentage 
        to the total number of such officers serving on active 
        duty on the date the computation is made.
          (3) Fractions.--If a final fraction occurs in 
        computing the authorized number of officers in a grade, 
        the nearest whole number shall be taken. If the 
        fraction is one-half, the next higher whole number 
        shall be taken.
  (d) Temporary Increase in Numbers.--The total number of 
officers authorized by law to be on the lineal list during a 
fiscal year may be temporarily exceeded if the average number 
on that list during that fiscal year does not exceed the 
authorized number.
  (e) Positions of Importance and Responsibility.--Officers 
serving in positions designated under section 228(a) and 
officers recalled from retired status shall not be counted when 
computing authorized strengths under subsection (c) and shall 
not count against those strengths.
  (f) Preservation of Grade and Pay.--No officer may be reduced 
in grade or pay or separated from the commissioned officer 
corps of the Administration as the result of a computation made 
to determine the authorized number of officers in the various 
grades.

[SEC. 215. NUMBER OF AUTHORIZED COMMISSIONED OFFICERS.

  [Effective October 1, 2009, the total number of authorized 
commissioned officers on the lineal list of the commissioned 
corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 
shall be increased from 321 to 379 if--
          [(1) the Secretary has submitted to the Congress--
                  [(A) the Administration's ship 
                recapitalization plan for fiscal years 2010 
                through 2024;
                  [(B) the Administration's aircraft 
                remodernization plan; and
                  [(C) supporting workforce management plans;
          [(2) appropriated funding is available; and
          [(3) the Secretary has justified organizational needs 
        for the commissioned corps for each such fiscal year.

SEC. 215. NUMBER OF AUTHORIZED COMMISSIONED OFFICERS.

  (a) In General.--The total number of authorized commissioned 
officers on the lineal list of the commissioned officer corps 
of the Administration shall not exceed 500.
  (b) Positions of Importance and Responsibility.--Officers 
serving in positions designated under section 228 and officers 
recalled from retired status or detailed to an agency other 
than the Administration--
          (1) may not be counted in determining the total 
        number of authorized officers on the lineal list under 
        this section; and
          (2) may not count against such number.

SEC. 216. OBLIGATED SERVICE REQUIREMENT.

  (a) In General.--
          (1) Regulations.--The Secretary shall prescribe the 
        obligated service requirements for appointments, 
        training, promotions, separations, continuations, and 
        retirements of officers not otherwise covered by law.
          (2) Written agreements.--The Secretary and officers 
        shall enter into written agreements that describe the 
        officers' obligated service requirements prescribed 
        under paragraph (1) in return for such appointments, 
        training, promotions, separations, continuations, and 
        retirements as the Secretary considers appropriate.
  (b) Repayment for Failure to Satisfy Requirements.--
          (1) In general.--The Secretary may require an officer 
        who fails to meet the service requirements prescribed 
        under subsection (a)(1) to reimburse the Secretary in 
        an amount that bears the same ratio to the total costs 
        of the training provided to that officer by the 
        Secretary as the unserved portion of active duty bears 
        to the total period of active duty the officer agreed 
        to serve.
          (2) Obligation as debt to united states.--An 
        obligation to reimburse the Secretary under paragraph 
        (1) is, for all purposes, a debt owed to the United 
        States.
          (3) Discharge in bankruptcy.--A discharge in 
        bankruptcy under title 11 that is entered less than 
        five years after the termination of a written agreement 
        entered into under subsection (a)(2) does not discharge 
        the individual signing the agreement from a debt 
        arising under such agreement.
  (c) Waiver or Suspension of Compliance.--The Secretary may 
waive the service obligation of an officer who--
          (1) becomes unqualified to serve on active duty in 
        the commissioned officer corps of the Administration 
        because of a circumstance not within the control of 
        that officer; or
          (2) is--
                  (A) not physically qualified for appointment; 
                and
                  (B) determined to be unqualified for service 
                in the commissioned officer corps of the 
                Administration because of a physical or medical 
                condition that was not the result of the 
                officer's own misconduct or grossly negligent 
                conduct.

SEC. 217. TRAINING AND PHYSICAL FITNESS.

  (a) Training.--The Secretary may take such measures as may be 
necessary to ensure that officers are prepared to carry out 
their duties in the commissioned officer corps of the 
Administration and proficient in the skills necessary to carry 
out such duties. Such measures may include the following:
          (1) Carrying out training programs and correspondence 
        courses, including establishing and operating a basic 
        officer training program to provide initial 
        indoctrination and maritime vocational training for 
        officer candidates as well as refresher training, mid-
        career training, aviation training, and such other 
        training as the Secretary considers necessary for 
        officer development and proficiency.
          (2) Providing officers and officer candidates with 
        educational materials.
          (3) Acquiring such equipment as may be necessary for 
        training and instructional purposes.
  (b) Physical Fitness.--The Secretary shall ensure that 
officers maintain a high physical state of readiness by 
establishing standards of physical fitness for officers that 
are substantially equivalent to those prescribed for officers 
in the Coast Guard.

SEC. 218. AVIATION ACCESSION TRAINING PROGRAMS.

  (a) Definitions.--In this section:
          (1) Administrator.--The term ``Administrator'' means 
        the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and 
        Atmosphere and the Administrator of the National 
        Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
          (2) Member of the program.--The term ``member of the 
        program'' means a student who is enrolled in the 
        program.
          (3) Program.--The term ``program'' means an aviation 
        accession training program of the commissioned officer 
        corps of the Administration established pursuant to 
        subsection (b).
  (b) Aviation Accession Training Programs.--
          (1) Establishment authorized.--The Administrator, 
        under regulations prescribed by the Secretary, shall 
        establish and maintain one or more aviation accession 
        training programs for the commissioned officer corps of 
        the Administration at institutions described in 
        paragraph (2).
          (2) Institutions described.--An institution described 
        in this paragraph is an educational institution--
                  (A) that requests to enter into an agreement 
                with the Administrator providing for the 
                establishment of the program at the 
                institution;
                  (B) that has, as a part of its curriculum, a 
                four-year baccalaureate program of professional 
                flight and piloting instruction that is 
                accredited by the Aviation Accreditation Board 
                International;
                  (C) that is located in a geographic area 
                that--
                          (i) experiences a wide variation in 
                        climate-related activity, including 
                        frequent high winds, convective 
                        activity (including tornadoes), periods 
                        of low visibility, heat, and snow and 
                        ice episodes, to provide opportunities 
                        for pilots to demonstrate skill in all 
                        weather conditions compatible with 
                        future encounters during their service 
                        in the commissioned officer corps of 
                        the Administration; and
                          (ii) has a climate that can 
                        accommodate both primary and advanced 
                        flight training activity at least 75 
                        percent of the year; and
                  (D) at which the Administrator determines 
                that--
                          (i) there will be at least one 
                        student enrolled in the program; and
                          (ii) the provisions of this section 
                        are otherwise satisfied.
          (3) Limitations in connection with particular 
        institutions.--The program may not be established or 
        maintained at an institution unless--
                  (A) the senior commissioned officer or 
                employee of the commissioned officer corps of 
                the Administration who is assigned as an 
                advisor to the program at that institution is 
                given the academic rank of adjunct professor; 
                and
                  (B) the institution fulfills the terms of its 
                agreement with the Administrator.
          (4) Membership in connection with status as 
        student.--At institutions at which the program is 
        established, the membership of students in the program 
        shall be elective, as provided by State law or the 
        authorities of the institution concerned.
  (c) Membership.--
          (1) Eligibility.--To be eligible for membership in 
        the program an individual must--
                  (A) be a student at an institution at which 
                the program is established;
                  (B) be a citizen of the United States;
                  (C) contract in writing, with the consent of 
                a parent or guardian if a minor, with the 
                Administrator, to--
                          (i) accept an appointment, if 
                        offered, as a commissioned officer in 
                        the commissioned officer corps of the 
                        Administration; and
                          (ii) serve in the commissioned 
                        officer corps of the Administration for 
                        not fewer than four years;
                  (D) enroll in--
                          (i) a four-year baccalaureate program 
                        of professional flight and piloting 
                        instruction; and
                          (ii) other training or education, 
                        including basic officer training, which 
                        is prescribed by the Administrator as 
                        meeting the preliminary requirement for 
                        admission to the commissioned officer 
                        corps of the Administration; and
                  (E) execute a certificate or take an oath 
                relating to morality and conduct in such form 
                as the Administrator prescribes.
          (2) Completion of program.--A member of the program 
        may be appointed as a regular officer in the 
        commissioned officer corps of the Administration if the 
        member meets all requirements for appointment as such 
        an officer.
  (d) Financial Assistance for Qualified Members.--
          (1) Expenses of course of instruction.--
                  (A) In general.--In the case of a member of 
                the program who meets such qualifications as 
                the Administrator establishes for purposes of 
                this subsection, the Administrator may pay the 
                expenses of the member in connection with 
                pursuit of a course of professional flight and 
                piloting instruction under the program, 
                including tuition, fees, educational materials 
                such as books, training, certifications, 
                travel, and laboratory expenses.
                  (B) Assistance after fourth academic year.--
                In the case of a member of the program 
                described in subparagraph (A) who is enrolled 
                in a course described in that subparagraph that 
                has been approved by the Administrator and 
                requires more than four academic years for 
                completion, including elective requirements of 
                the program, assistance under this subsection 
                may also be provided during a fifth academic 
                year or during a combination of a part of a 
                fifth academic year and summer sessions.
          (2) Room and board.--In the case of a member eligible 
        to receive assistance under paragraph (1), the 
        Administrator may, in lieu of payment of all or part of 
        such assistance, pay the room and board expenses of the 
        member, and other educational expenses, of the 
        educational institution concerned.
          (3) Failure to complete program or accept 
        commission.--A member of the program who receives 
        assistance under this subsection and who does not 
        complete the course of instruction, or who completes 
        the course but declines to accept a commission in the 
        commissioned officer corps of the Administration when 
        offered, shall be subject to the repayment provisions 
        of subsection (e).
  (e) Repayment of Unearned Portion of Financial Assistance 
When Conditions of Payment Not Met.--
          (1) In general.--A member of the program who receives 
        or benefits from assistance under subsection (d), and 
        whose receipt of or benefit from such assistance is 
        subject to the condition that the member fully satisfy 
        the requirements of subsection (c), shall repay to the 
        United States an amount equal to the assistance 
        received or benefitted from if the member fails to 
        fully satisfy such requirements and may not receive or 
        benefit from any unpaid amounts of such assistance 
        after the member fails to satisfy such requirements, 
        unless the Administrator determines that the imposition 
        of the repayment requirement and the termination of 
        payment of unpaid amounts of such assistance with 
        regard to the member would be--
                  (A) contrary to a personnel policy or 
                management objective;
                  (B) against equity and good conscience; or
                  (C) contrary to the best interests of the 
                United States.
          (2) Regulations.--The Administrator may establish, by 
        regulations, procedures for determining the amount of 
        the repayment required under this subsection and the 
        circumstances under which an exception to repayment may 
        be granted. The Administrator may specify in the 
        regulations the conditions under which financial 
        assistance to be paid to a member of the program will 
        not be made if the member no longer satisfies the 
        requirements in subsection (c) or qualifications in 
        subsection (d) for such assistance.
          (3) Obligation as debt to united states.--An 
        obligation to repay the United States under this 
        subsection is, for all purposes, a debt owed to the 
        United States.

SEC. 219. USE OF RECRUITING MATERIALS FOR PUBLIC RELATIONS.

  The Secretary may use for public relations purposes of the 
Department of Commerce any advertising materials developed for 
use for recruitment and retention of personnel for the 
commissioned officer corps of the Administration. Any such use 
shall be under such conditions and subject to such restrictions 
as the Secretary shall prescribe.

           Subtitle B--Appointment and Promotion of Officers

[SEC. 221. ORIGINAL APPOINTMENTS.

  [(a) In General.--
          [(1) Grades.--Original appointments may be made in 
        the grades of ensign, lieutenant (junior grade), and 
        lieutenant.
          [(2) Qualifications.--Under regulations prescribed by 
        the Secretary, such an appointment may be given only to 
        a person who--
                  [(A) meets the qualification requirements 
                specified in paragraphs (1) through (4) of 
                section 532(a) of title 10, United States Code; 
                and
                  [(B) has such other special qualifications as 
                the Secretary may prescribe by regulation.
          [(3) Examination.--A person may be given such an 
        appointment only after passage of a mental and physical 
        examination given in accordance with regulations 
        prescribed by the Secretary.
          [(4) Revocation of commission of officers found not 
        qualified.--The President may revoke the commission of 
        any officer appointed under this section during the 
        officer's first three years of service if the officer 
        is found not qualified for the service. Any such 
        revocation shall be made under regulations prescribed 
        by the President.
  [(b) Lineal List.--Each person appointed under this section 
shall be placed on the lineal list in a position commensurate 
with that person's age, education, and experience, in 
accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary.
  [(c) Service Credit Upon Original Appointment in Grade Above 
Ensign.--
          [(1) In general.--For the purposes of basic pay, a 
        person appointed under this section in the grade of 
        lieutenant shall be credited as having, on the date of 
        that appointment, three years of service, and a person 
        appointed under this section in the grade of lieutenant 
        (junior grade) shall be credited as having, as of the 
        date of that appointment, 1\1/2\ years of service.
          [(2) Higher credit under other law.--If a person 
        appointed under this section is entitled to credit for 
        the purpose of basic pay under any other provision of 
        law that would exceed the amount of credit authorized 
        by paragraph (1), that person shall be credited with 
        that amount of service in lieu of the credit authorized 
        by paragraph (1).]

SEC. 221. ORIGINAL APPOINTMENTS AND REAPPOINTMENTS.

  (a) Original Appointments.--
          (1) Grades.--
                  (A) In general.--Except as provided in 
                subparagraph (B), an original appointment of an 
                officer may be made in such grades as may be 
                appropriate for--
                          (i) the qualification, experience, 
                        and length of service of the appointee; 
                        and
                          (ii) the commissioned officer corps 
                        of the Administration.
                  (B) Appointment of officer candidates.--
                          (i) Limitation on grade.--An original 
                        appointment of an officer candidate, 
                        upon graduation from the basic officer 
                        training program of the commissioned 
                        officer corps of the Administration, 
                        may not be made in any other grade than 
                        ensign.
                          (ii) Rank.--Officer candidates 
                        receiving appointments as ensigns upon 
                        graduation from the basic officer 
                        training program shall take rank 
                        according to their proficiency as shown 
                        by the order of their merit at date of 
                        graduation.
          (2) Source of appointments.--An original appointment 
        may be made from among the following:
                  (A) Graduates of the basic officer training 
                program of the commissioned officer corps of 
                the Administration.
                  (B) Graduates of the military service 
                academies of the United States who otherwise 
                meet the academic standards for enrollment in 
                the training program described in subparagraph 
                (A).
                  (C) Graduates of the maritime academies of 
                the States who--
                          (i) otherwise meet the academic 
                        standards for enrollment in the 
                        training program described in 
                        subparagraph (A);
                          (ii) completed at least three years 
                        of regimented training while at a 
                        maritime academy of a State; and
                          (iii) obtained an unlimited tonnage 
                        or unlimited horsepower Merchant 
                        Mariner Credential from the United 
                        States Coast Guard.
                  (D) Licensed officers of the United States 
                merchant marine who have served two or more 
                years aboard a vessel of the United States in 
                the capacity of a licensed officer, who 
                otherwise meet the academic standards for 
                enrollment in the training program described in 
                subparagraph (A).
          (3) Definitions.--In this subsection:
                  (A) Maritime academies of the states.--The 
                term ``maritime academies of the States'' means 
                the following:
                          (i) California Maritime Academy, 
                        Vallejo, California.
                          (ii) Great Lakes Maritime Academy, 
                        Traverse City, Michigan.
                          (iii) Maine Maritime Academy, 
                        Castine, Maine.
                          (iv) Massachusetts Maritime Academy, 
                        Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts.
                          (v) State University of New York 
                        Maritime College, Fort Schuyler, New 
                        York.
                          (vi) Texas A&M Maritime Academy, 
                        Galveston, Texas.
                  (B) Military service academies of the united 
                states.--The term ``military service academies 
                of the United States'' means the following:
                          (i) The United States Military 
                        Academy, West Point, New York.
                          (ii) The United States Naval Academy, 
                        Annapolis, Maryland.
                          (iii) The United States Air Force 
                        Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado.
                          (iv) The United States Coast Guard 
                        Academy, New London, Connecticut.
                          (v) The United States Merchant Marine 
                        Academy, Kings Point, New York.
  (b) Reappointment.--
          (1) In general.--Except as provided in paragraph (2), 
        an individual who previously served in the commissioned 
        officer corps of the Administration may be appointed by 
        the Secretary to the grade the individual held prior to 
        separation.
          (2) Reappointments to higher grades.--An appointment 
        under paragraph (1) to a position of importance and 
        responsibility designated under section 228 may only be 
        made by the President.
  (c) Qualifications.--An appointment under subsection (a) or 
(b) may not be given to an individual until the individual's 
mental, moral, physical, and professional fitness to perform 
the duties of an officer has been established under such 
regulations as the Secretary shall prescribe.
  (d) Order of Precedence.--Appointees under this section shall 
take precedence in the grade to which appointed in accordance 
with the dates of their commissions as commissioned officers in 
such grade. The order of precedence of appointees whose dates 
of commission are the same shall be determined by the 
Secretary.
  (e) Inter-Service Transfers.--For inter-service transfers (as 
described in Department of Defense Directive 1300.4 (dated 
December 27, 2006)) the Secretary shall--
          (1) coordinate with the Secretary of Defense and the 
        Secretary of the Department in which the Coast Guard is 
        operating to promote and streamline inter-service 
        transfers;
          (2) give preference to such inter-service transfers 
        for recruitment purposes as determined appropriate by 
        the Secretary; and
          (3) reappoint such inter-service transfers to the 
        equivalent grade in the commissioned officer corps of 
        the Administration.

[SEC. 222. PERSONNEL BOARDS.

  [(a) Convening.--At least once a year and at such other times 
as the Secretary determines necessary, the Secretary shall 
convene a personnel board. A personnel board shall consist of 
not less than five officers on the lineal list in the permanent 
grade of commander or above.
  [(b) Duties.--Each personnel board shall--
          [(1) recommend to the Secretary such changes in the 
        lineal list as the board may determine; and
          [(2) make selections and recommendations to the 
        Secretary and President for the appointment, promotion, 
        separation, continuation, and retirement of officers as 
        prescribed in this subtitle and subtitle C.
  [(c) Action on Recommendations Not Acceptable.--In a case in 
which any recommendation by a board convened under subsection 
(a) is not accepted by the Secretary or the President, the 
board shall make such further recommendations as are 
acceptable.]

SEC. 222. PERSONNEL BOARDS.

  (a) Convening.--Not less frequently than once each year and 
at such other times as the Secretary determines necessary, the 
Secretary shall convene a personnel board.
  (b) Membership.--
          (1) In general.--A board convened under subsection 
        (a) shall consist of five or more officers who are 
        serving in or above the permanent grade of the officers 
        under consideration by the board.
          (2) Retired officers.--Officers on the retired list 
        may be recalled to serve on such personnel boards as 
        the Secretary considers necessary.
          (3) No membership on two successive boards.--No 
        officer may be a member of two successive personnel 
        boards convened to consider officers of the same grade 
        for promotion or separation.
  (c) Duties.--Each personnel board shall--
          (1) recommend to the Secretary such changes as may be 
        necessary to correct any erroneous position on the 
        lineal list that was caused by administrative error; 
        and
          (2) make selections and recommendations to the 
        Secretary and the President for the appointment, 
        promotion, involuntary separation, continuation, and 
        involuntary retirement of officers in the commissioned 
        officer corps of the Administration as prescribed in 
        this title.
  (d) Action on Recommendations Not Acceptable.--If any 
recommendation by a board convened under subsection (a) is not 
accepted by the Secretary or the President, the board shall 
make such further recommendations as the Secretary or the 
President considers appropriate.
  (e) Authority for Officers to Opt Out of Promotion 
Consideration.--
          (1) In general.--The Director of the National Oceanic 
        and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer 
        Corps may provide that an officer, upon the officer's 
        request and with the approval of the Director, be 
        excluded from consideration for promotion by a 
        personnel board convened under this section.
          (2) Approval.--The Director shall approve a request 
        made by an officer under paragraph (1) only if--
                  (A) the basis for the request is to allow the 
                officer to complete a broadening assignment, 
                advanced education, another assignment of 
                significant value to the Administration, a 
                career progression requirement delayed by the 
                assignment or education, or a qualifying 
                personal or professional circumstance, as 
                determined by the Director;
                  (B) the Director determines the exclusion 
                from consideration is in the best interest of 
                the Administration; and
                  (C) the officer has not previously failed 
                selection for promotion to the grade for which 
                the officer requests the exclusion from 
                consideration.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                        [33 U.S.C. 3028 et seq.]

SEC. 228. POSITIONS OF IMPORTANCE AND RESPONSIBILITY

  (a) * * *
  (b) * * *
  (c) Director of NOAA Corps and Office of Marine and Aviation 
Operations.--[The Secretary shall designate one position under 
this section] The President shall designate one position as 
responsible for oversight of the vessel and aircraft fleets and 
for the administration of the commissioned officer corps. [That 
position shall be filled by] The President shall fill that 
position by appointing, by and with the advice and consent of 
the Senate, an officer on the lineal list serving in or above 
the grade of rear admiral (lower half). For the specific 
purpose of administering the commissioned officer corps, that 
position shall carry the title of Director of the National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer 
Corps. For the specific purpose of administering the vessel and 
aircraft fleets, that position shall carry the title of 
Director of the Office of Marine and Aviation Operations.
  (d) Grade.--
          (1) * * *
          (2) Reversion to permanent grade.--An officer who has 
        served in a grade above captain, upon termination of 
        the officer's assignment to the position for which that 
        appointment was made, shall, unless appointed or 
        assigned to another position for which a higher grade 
        is designated or immediately beginning a period of 
        terminal leave, revert to the grade and number the 
        officer would have occupied but for serving in a grade 
        above that of captain. In such a case, the officer 
        shall be an extra number in that grade.
  [(e) Number of Officers Appointed.--
          [(1) Overall limit.--The total number of officers 
        serving on active duty at any one time in the grade of 
        rear admiral (lower half) or above may not exceed four.
          [(2) Limit by grade.--The number of officers serving 
        on active duty under appointments under this section 
        may not exceed--
                  [(A) one in the grade of vice admiral;
                  [(B) two in the grade of rear admiral; and
                  [(C) two in the grade of rear admiral (lower 
                half).]
  (e) Limit on Number of Officers Appointed.--The total number 
of officers serving on active duty at any one time in the grade 
of rear admiral (lower half) or above may not exceed five, with 
only one serving in the grade of vice admiral.
  (f) Pay and Allowances.--An officer appointed to a grade 
under this section, while serving in that grade or in a period 
of annual leave used at the end of the appointment, shall have 
the pay and allowances of the grade to which appointed.
  (g) * * *

[SEC. 229. TEMPORARY APPOINTMENTS AND PROMOTIONS GENERALLY.

  [(a) Ensign.--Temporary appointments in the grade of ensign 
may be made by the President. Each such temporary appointment 
terminates at the close of the next regular session of the 
Congress.
  [(b) Lieutenant (Junior Grade).--Officers in the permanent 
grade of ensign may be temporarily promoted to and appointed in 
the grade of lieutenant (junior grade) by the President 
whenever vacancies exist in higher grades.
  [(c) Any One Grade.--When determined by the Secretary to be 
in the best interest of the service, officers in any permanent 
grade may be temporarily promoted one grade by the President. 
Any such temporary promotion terminates upon the transfer of 
the officer to a new assignment.]

SEC. 229. TEMPORARY APPOINTMENTS.

  (a) Appointments by President.--Temporary appointments in the 
grade of ensign, lieutenant junior grade, or lieutenant may be 
made by the President.
  (b) Termination.--A temporary appointment to a position under 
subsection (a) shall terminate upon approval of a permanent 
appointment for such position made by the President.
  (c) Order of Precedence.--Appointees under subsection (a) 
shall take precedence in the grade to which appointed in 
accordance with the dates of their appointments as officers in 
such grade. The order of precedence of appointees who are 
appointed on the same date shall be determined by the 
Secretary.
  (d) Any One Grade.--When determined by the Secretary to be in 
the best interest of the commissioned officer corps of the 
Administration, officers in any permanent grade may be 
temporarily promoted one grade by the President. Any such 
temporary promotion terminates upon the transfer of the officer 
to a new assignment.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 233. * * *

SEC. 234. OFFICER CANDIDATES.

  (a) Determination of Number.--The Secretary shall determine 
the number of appointments of officer candidates.
  (b) Appointment.--Appointment of officer candidates shall be 
made under regulations, which the Secretary shall prescribe, 
including regulations with respect to determining age limits, 
methods of selection of officer candidates, term of service as 
an officer candidate before graduation from the basic officer 
training program of the Administration, and all other matters 
affecting such appointment.
  (c) Dismissal.--The Secretary may dismiss from the basic 
officer training program of the Administration any officer 
candidate who, during the officer candidate's term as an 
officer candidate, the Secretary considers unsatisfactory in 
either academics or conduct, or not adapted for a career in the 
commissioned officer corps of the Administration. Officer 
candidates shall be subject to rules governing discipline 
prescribed by the Director of the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps.
  (d) Agreement.--
          (1) In general.--Each officer candidate shall sign an 
        agreement with the Secretary in accordance with section 
        216(a)(2) regarding the officer candidate's term of 
        service in the commissioned officer corps of the 
        Administration.
          (2) Elements.--An agreement signed by an officer 
        candidate under paragraph (1) shall provide that the 
        officer candidate agrees to the following:
                  (A) That the officer candidate will complete 
                the course of instruction at the basic officer 
                training program of the Administration.
                  (B) That upon graduation from such program, 
                the officer candidate--
                          (i) will accept an appointment, if 
                        tendered, as an officer; and
                          (ii) will serve on active duty for at 
                        least four years immediately after such 
                        appointment.
  (e) Regulations.--The Secretary shall prescribe regulations 
to carry out this section. Such regulations shall include--
          (1) standards for determining what constitutes a 
        breach of an agreement signed under subsection (d)(1); 
        and
          (2) procedures for determining whether such a breach 
        has occurred.
  (f) Repayment.--An officer candidate or former officer 
candidate who does not fulfill the terms of the obligation to 
serve as specified under subsection (d) shall be subject to the 
repayment provisions of section 216(b).

SEC. 235. PROCUREMENT OF PERSONNEL.

  The Secretary may make such expenditures as the Secretary 
considers necessary in order to obtain recruits for the 
commissioned officer corps of the Administration, including 
advertising.

SEC. 236. CAREER FLEXIBILITY TO ENHANCE RETENTION OF OFFICERS.

  (a) Programs Authorized.--The Secretary may carry out a 
program under which officers may be inactivated from active 
duty in order to meet personal or professional needs and 
returned to active duty at the end of such period of 
inactivation from active duty.
  (b) Period of Inactivation From Active Duty; Effect of 
Inactivation.--
          (1) In general.--The period of inactivation from 
        active duty under a program under this section of an 
        officer participating in the program shall be such 
        period as the Secretary shall specify in the agreement 
        of the officer under subsection (c), except that such 
        period may not exceed three years.
          (2) Exclusion from retirement.--Any period of 
        participation of an officer in a program under this 
        section shall not count toward eligibility for 
        retirement or computation of retired pay under subtitle 
        C.
  (c) Agreement.--Each officer who participates in a program 
under this section shall enter into a written agreement with 
the Secretary under which that officer shall agree as follows:
          (1) To undergo during the period of the inactivation 
        of the officer from active duty under the program such 
        inactive duty training as the Director of the National 
        Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned 
        Officer Corps shall require in order to ensure that the 
        officer retains proficiency, at a level determined by 
        the Director to be sufficient, in the technical skills, 
        professional qualifications, and physical readiness of 
        the officer during the inactivation of the officer from 
        active duty.
          (2) Following completion of the period of the 
        inactivation of the officer from active duty under the 
        program, to serve two months on active duty for each 
        month of the period of the inactivation of the officer 
        from active duty under the program.
  (d) Conditions of Release.--The Secretary shall--
          (1) prescribe regulations specifying the guidelines 
        regarding the conditions of release that must be 
        considered and addressed in the agreement required by 
        subsection (c); and
          (2) at a minimum, prescribe the procedures and 
        standards to be used to instruct an officer on the 
        obligations to be assumed by the officer under 
        paragraph (1) of such subsection while the officer is 
        released from active duty.
  (e) Order to Active Duty.--Under regulations prescribed by 
the Secretary, an officer participating in a program under this 
section may, in the discretion of the Secretary, be required to 
terminate participation in the program and be ordered to active 
duty.
  (f) Pay and Allowances.--
          (1) Basic pay.--During each month of participation in 
        a program under this section, an officer who 
        participates in the program shall be paid basic pay in 
        an amount equal to two-thirtieths of the amount of 
        monthly basic pay to which the officer would otherwise 
        be entitled under section 204 of title 37, United 
        States Code, as a member of the uniformed services on 
        active duty in the grade and years of service of the 
        officer when the officer commences participation in the 
        program.
          (2) Special or incentive pay or bonus.--
                  (A) Prohibition.--An officer who participates 
                in a program under this section shall not, 
                while participating in the program, be paid any 
                special or incentive pay or bonus to which the 
                officer is otherwise entitled under an 
                agreement under chapter 5 of title 37, United 
                States Code, that is in force when the officer 
                commences participation in the program.
                  (B) Not treated as failure to perform 
                services.--The inactivation from active duty of 
                an officer participating in a program under 
                this section shall not be treated as a failure 
                of the officer to perform any period of service 
                required of the officer in connection with an 
                agreement for a special or incentive pay or 
                bonus under chapter 5 of title 37, United 
                States Code, that is in force when the officer 
                commences participation in the program.
          (3) Return to active duty.--
                  (A) Special or incentive pay or bonus.--
                Subject to subparagraph (B), upon the return of 
                an officer to active duty after completion by 
                the officer of participation in a program under 
                this section--
                          (i) any agreement entered into by the 
                        officer under chapter 5 of title 37, 
                        United States Code, for the payment of 
                        a special or incentive pay or bonus 
                        that was in force when the officer 
                        commenced participation in the program 
                        shall be revived, with the term of such 
                        agreement after revival being the 
                        period of the agreement remaining to 
                        run when the officer commenced 
                        participation in the program; and
                          (ii) any special or incentive pay or 
                        bonus shall be payable to the officer 
                        in accordance with the terms of the 
                        agreement concerned for the term 
                        specified in clause (i).
                  (B) Limitation.--
                          (i) In general.--Subparagraph (A) 
                        shall not apply to any special or 
                        incentive pay or bonus otherwise 
                        covered by that subparagraph with 
                        respect to an officer if, at the time 
                        of the return of the officer to active 
                        duty as described in that 
                        subparagraph--
                                  (I) such pay or bonus is no 
                                longer authorized by law; or
                                  (II) the officer does not 
                                satisfy eligibility criteria 
                                for such pay or bonus as in 
                                effect at the time of the 
                                return of the officer to active 
                                duty.
                          (ii) Pay or bonus ceases being 
                        authorized.--Subparagraph (A) shall 
                        cease to apply to any special or 
                        incentive pay or bonus otherwise 
                        covered by that subparagraph with 
                        respect to an officer if, during the 
                        term of the revived agreement of the 
                        officer under subparagraph (A)(i), such 
                        pay or bonus ceases being authorized by 
                        law.
                  (C) Repayment.--An officer who is ineligible 
                for payment of a special or incentive pay or 
                bonus otherwise covered by this paragraph by 
                reason of subparagraph (B)(i)(II) shall be 
                subject to the requirements for repayment of 
                such pay or bonus in accordance with the terms 
                of the applicable agreement of the officer 
                under chapter 5 of title 37, United States 
                Code.
                  (D) Required service is additional.--Any 
                service required of an officer under an 
                agreement covered by this paragraph after the 
                officer returns to active duty as described in 
                subparagraph (A) shall be in addition to any 
                service required of the officer under an 
                agreement under subsection (c).
          (4) Travel and transportation allowance.--
                  (A) In general.--Subject to subparagraph (B), 
                an officer who participates in a program under 
                this section is entitled, while participating 
                in the program, to the travel and 
                transportation allowances authorized by section 
                474 of title 37, United States Code, for--
                          (i) travel performed from the 
                        residence of the officer, at the time 
                        of release from active duty to 
                        participate in the program, to the 
                        location in the United States 
                        designated by the officer as the 
                        officer's residence during the period 
                        of participation in the program; and
                          (ii) travel performed to the 
                        residence of the officer upon return to 
                        active duty at the end of the 
                        participation of the officer in the 
                        program.
                  (B) Single residence.--An allowance is 
                payable under this paragraph only with respect 
                to travel of an officer to and from a single 
                residence.
          (5) Leave balance.--An officer who participates in a 
        program under this section is entitled to carry forward 
        the leave balance existing as of the day on which the 
        officer begins participation and accumulated in 
        accordance with section 701 of title 10, United States 
        Code, but not to exceed 60 days.
  (g) Promotion.--
          (1) In general.--An officer participating in a 
        program under this section shall not, while 
        participating in the program, be eligible for 
        consideration for promotion under subtitle B.
          (2) Return to service.--Upon the return of an officer 
        to active duty after completion by the officer of 
        participation in a program under this section--
                  (A) the Secretary may adjust the date of rank 
                of the officer in such manner as the Secretary 
                shall prescribe in regulations for purposes of 
                this section; and
                  (B) the officer shall be eligible for 
                consideration for promotion when officers of 
                the same competitive category, grade, and 
                seniority are eligible for consideration for 
                promotion.
  (h) Continued Entitlements.--An officer participating in a 
program under this section shall, while participating in the 
program, be treated as a member of the uniformed services on 
active duty for a period of more than 30 days for purposes of--
          (1) the entitlement of the officer and of the 
        dependents of the officer to medical and dental care 
        under the provisions of chapter 55 of title 10, United 
        States Code; and
          (2) retirement or separation for physical disability 
        under the provisions of subtitle C.

           Subtitle C--Separation and Retirement of Officers

                        [33 U.S.C. 3041 et seq.]

SEC. 241. INVOLUNTARY RETIREMENT OR SEPARATION.

  (a) * * *
  (b) * * *
  (c) * * *
  (d) Deferment of Retirement or Separation for Medical 
Reasons.--
          (1) In general.--If the Secretary determines that the 
        evaluation of the medical condition of an officer 
        requires hospitalization or medical observation that 
        cannot be completed with confidence in a manner 
        consistent with the officer's well-being before the 
        date on which the officer would otherwise be required 
        to retire or be separated under this section, the 
        Secretary may defer the retirement or separation of the 
        officer.
          (2) Consent required.--A deferment may only be made 
        with the written consent of the officer involved. If 
        the officer does not provide written consent to the 
        deferment, the officer shall be retired or separated as 
        scheduled.
          (3) Limitation.--A deferment of retirement or 
        separation under this subsection may not extend for 
        more than 30 days after completion of the evaluation 
        requiring hospitalization or medical observation.

SEC. 242. SEPARATION PAY

  (a) * * *
  (b) * * *
  (c) * * *
  (d) Exception.--An officer discharged for twice failing 
selection for promotion to the next higher grade is not 
entitled to separation pay under this section if the officer--
          (1) expresses a desire not to be selected for 
        promotion; or
          (2) requests removal from the list of selectees.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                    Subtitle E--Rights and Benefits

                            [33 U.S.C. 3071]

SEC. 261. APPLICABILITY OF CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF TITLE 10, UNITED 
                    STATES CODE.

  (a) Provisions Made Applicable to the Corps.--The rules of 
law that apply to the Armed Forces under the following 
provisions of title 10, United States Code, as those provisions 
are in effect from time to time, apply also to the commissioned 
officer corps of the Administration:
          (1) Chapter 40, relating to leave.
          (2) Section 533(b), relating to constructive service.
          (3) Section 716, relating to transfers between the 
        armed forces and to and from National Oceanic and 
        Atmospheric Administration.
          (4) Section 771, relating to unauthorized wearing of 
        uniforms.
          (5) Section 774, relating to wearing religious 
        apparel while in uniform.
          (6) Section 982, relating to service on State and 
        local juries.
          (7) Section 1031, relating to administration of 
        oaths.
          (8) Section 1034, relating to protected 
        communications and prohibition of retaliatory personnel 
        actions.
          [(4)](9) Section 1035, relating to deposits of 
        savings.
          [(5)](10) Section 1036, relating to transportation 
        and travel allowances for escorts for dependents of 
        members.
          [(6)](11) Section 1052, relating to reimbursement for 
        adoption expenses.
          (12) Section 1074n, relating to annual mental health 
        assessments.
          (13) Section 1090a, relating to referrals for mental 
        health evaluations.
          (14) Chapter 58, relating to the Benefits and 
        Services for members being separated or recently 
        separated.
          [(7)](15) Section 1174a, relating to special 
        separation benefits (except that benefits under 
        subsection (b)(2)(B) of such section are subject to the 
        availability of appropriations for such purpose and are 
        provided at the discretion of the Secretary of 
        Commerce).
          [(8)](16) Chapter 61, relating to retirement or 
        separation for physical disability.
          [(9)](17) Chapter 69, relating to retired grade, 
        except sections 1370, 1375, and 1376.
          [(10)](18) Chapter 71, relating to computation of 
        retired pay.
          [(11)](19) Chapter 73, relating to annuities based on 
        retired or retainer pay.
          [(12)](20) Subchapter II of chapter 75, relating to 
        death benefits.
          (21) Subchapter I of chapter 88, relating to Military 
        Family Programs.
          (22) Section 2005, relating to advanced education 
        assistance, active duty agreements, and reimbursement 
        requirements.
          [(13)](23) Section 2634, relating to transportation 
        of motor vehicles for members on permanent change of 
        station.
          [(14)](24) Sections 2731 and 2735, relating to 
        property loss incident to service.
          [(15)](25) Section 2771, relating to final settlement 
        of accounts of deceased members.
          [(16)](26) Such other provisions of subtitle A of 
        that title as may be adopted for applicability to the 
        commissioned officer corps of the National Oceanic and 
        Atmospheric Administration by any other provision of 
        law.
  (b) References.--The authority vested by title 10, United 
States Code, in the ``military departments'', ``the Secretary 
concerned'', or ``the Secretary of Defense'' with respect to 
the provisions of law referred to in subsection (a) shall be 
exercised, with respect to the commissioned officer corps of 
the Administration, by the Secretary of Commerce or the 
Secretary's designee. For purposes of paragraph (8) of 
subsection (a), the term ``Inspector General'' in section 1034 
of such title 10 shall mean the Inspector General of the 
Department of Commerce.
  (c) Regulations Regarding Protected Communications and 
Prohibition of Retaliatory Personnel Actions.--The Secretary 
may prescribe regulations to carry out the application of 
section 1034 of title 10, United States Code, to the 
commissioned officer corps of the Administration, including by 
prescribing such administrative procedures for investigation 
and appeal within the commissioned officer corps as the 
Secretary considers appropriate.

SEC. 261A. APPLICABILITY OF CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF TITLE 37, UNITED 
                    STATES CODE.

  (a) Provisions Made Applicable to Commissioned Officer 
Corps.--The provisions of law applicable to the Armed Forces 
under the following provisions of title 37, United States Code, 
shall apply to the commissioned officer corps of the 
Administration:
          (1) Section 324, relating to accession bonuses for 
        new officers in critical skills.
          (2) Section 403(f)(3), relating to prescribing 
        regulations defining the terms ``field duty'' and ``sea 
        duty''.
          (3) Section 403(l), relating to temporary 
        continuation of housing allowance for dependents of 
        members dying on active duty.
          (4) Section 415, relating to initial uniform 
        allowances.
          (5) Section 488, relating to allowances for 
        recruiting expenses.
          (6) Section 495, relating to allowances for funeral 
        honors duty.
  (b) References.--The authority vested by title 37, United 
States Code, in the ``military departments'', ``the Secretary 
concerned'', or ``the Secretary of Defense'' with respect to 
the provisions of law referred to in subsection (a) shall be 
exercised, with respect to the commissioned officer corps of 
the Administration, by the Secretary of Commerce or the 
Secretary's designee.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                        [33 U.S.C. 3076 et seq.]

SEC. 266. * * *

SEC. 267. EDUCATION LOAN REPAYMENT PROGRAM.

  (a) Authority To Repay Education Loans.--For the purpose of 
maintaining adequate numbers of officers of the commissioned 
officer corps of the Administration on active duty who have 
skills required by the commissioned officer corps, the 
Secretary may repay, in the case of a person described in 
subsection (b), a loan that--
          (1) was used by the person to finance education; and
          (2) was obtained from a governmental entity, private 
        financial institution, educational institution, or 
        other authorized entity.
  (b) Eligible Persons.--To be eligible to obtain a loan 
repayment under this section, a person must--
          (1) satisfy one of the requirements specified in 
        subsection (c);
          (2) be fully qualified for, or hold, an appointment 
        as a commissioned officer in the commissioned officer 
        corps of the Administration; and
          (3) sign a written agreement to serve on active duty, 
        or, if on active duty, to remain on active duty for a 
        period in addition to any other incurred active duty 
        obligation.
  (c) Academic and Professional Requirements.--One of the 
following academic requirements must be satisfied for purposes 
of determining the eligibility of an individual for a loan 
repayment under this section:
          (1) The person is fully qualified in a profession 
        that the Secretary has determined to be necessary to 
        meet identified skill shortages in the commissioned 
        officer corps of the Administration.
          (2) The person is enrolled as a full-time student in 
        the final year of a course of study at an accredited 
        educational institution (as determined by the Secretary 
        of Education) leading to a degree in a profession that 
        will meet identified skill shortages in the 
        commissioned officer corps of the Administration.
  (d) Loan Repayments.--
          (1) In general.--Subject to the limits established 
        under paragraph (2), a loan repayment under this 
        section may consist of the payment of the principal, 
        interest, and related expenses of a loan obtained by a 
        person described in subsection (b).
          (2) Limitation on amount.--For each year of obligated 
        service that a person agrees to serve in an agreement 
        described in subsection (b)(3), the Secretary may pay 
        not more than the amount specified in section 
        2173(e)(2) of title 10, United States Code.
  (e) Active Duty Service Obligation.--
          (1) In general.--A person entering into an agreement 
        described in subsection (b)(3) incurs an active duty 
        service obligation.
          (2) Length of obligation determined under 
        regulations.--
                  (A) In general.--Except as provided in 
                subparagraph (B), the length of the obligation 
                under paragraph (1) shall be determined under 
                regulations prescribed by the Secretary.
                  (B) Minimum obligation.--The regulations 
                prescribed under subparagraph (A) may not 
                provide for a period of obligation of less than 
                one year for each maximum annual amount, or 
                portion thereof, paid on behalf of the person 
                for qualified loans.
          (3) Persons on active duty before entering into 
        agreement.--The active duty service obligation of 
        persons on active duty before entering into the 
        agreement shall be served after the conclusion of any 
        other obligation incurred under the agreement.
          (4) Concurrent completion of service obligations.--A 
        service obligation under this section may be completed 
        concurrently with a service obligation under section 
        216.
  (f) Effect of Failure To Complete Obligation.--
          (1) Alternative obligations.--An officer who is 
        relieved of the officer's active duty obligation under 
        this section before the completion of that obligation 
        may be given any alternative obligation, at the 
        discretion of the Secretary.
          (2) Repayment.--An officer who does not complete the 
        period of active duty specified in the agreement 
        entered into under subsection (b)(3), or the 
        alternative obligation imposed under paragraph (1), 
        shall be subject to the repayment provisions under 
        section 216.
  (g) Rulemaking.--The Secretary shall prescribe regulations to 
carry out this section, including--
          (1) standards for qualified loans and authorized 
        payees; and
          (2) other terms and conditions for the making of loan 
        repayments.

SEC. 268. INTEREST PAYMENT PROGRAM.

  (a) Authority.--The Secretary may pay the interest and any 
special allowances that accrue on one or more student loans of 
an eligible officer, in accordance with this section.
  (b) Eligible Officers.--An officer is eligible for the 
benefit described in subsection (a) while the officer--
          (1) is serving on active duty;
          (2) has not completed more than three years of 
        service on active duty;
          (3) is the debtor on one or more unpaid loans 
        described in subsection (c); and
          (4) is not in default on any such loan.
  (c) Student Loans.--The authority to make payments under 
subsection (a) may be exercised with respect to the following 
loans:
          (1) A loan made, insured, or guaranteed under part B 
        of title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 
        U.S.C. 1071 et seq.).
          (2) A loan made under part D of such title (20 U.S.C. 
        1087a et seq.).
          (3) A loan made under part E of such title (20 U.S.C. 
        1087aa et seq.).
  (d) Maximum Benefit.--Interest and any special allowance may 
be paid on behalf of an officer under this section for any of 
the 36 consecutive months during which the officer is eligible 
under subsection (b).
  (e) Funds for Payments.--The Secretary may use amounts 
appropriated for the pay and allowances of personnel of the 
commissioned officer corps of the Administration for payments 
under this section.
  (f) Coordination With Secretary of Education.--
          (1) In general.--The Secretary shall consult with the 
        Secretary of Education regarding the administration of 
        this section.
          (2) Transfer of funds.--The Secretary shall transfer 
        to the Secretary of Education the funds necessary--
                  (A) to pay interest and special allowances on 
                student loans under this section (in accordance 
                with sections 428(o), 455(l), and 464(j) of the 
                Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 
                1078(o), 1087e(l), and 1087dd(j)); and
                  (B) to reimburse the Secretary of Education 
                for any reasonable administrative costs 
                incurred by the Secretary in coordinating the 
                program under this section with the 
                administration of the student loan programs 
                under parts B, D, and E of title IV of the 
                Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1071 et 
                seq., 1087a et seq., 1087aa et seq.).
  (g) Special Allowance Defined.--In this section, the term 
``special allowance'' means a special allowance that is payable 
under section 438 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 
U.S.C. 1087-1).

SEC. 269. STUDENT PRE-COMMISSIONING EDUCATION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.

  (a) Authority To Provide Financial Assistance.--For the 
purpose of maintaining adequate numbers of officers of the 
commissioned officer corps of the Administration on active 
duty, the Secretary may provide financial assistance to a 
person described in subsection (b) for expenses of the person 
while the person is pursuing on a full-time basis at an 
accredited educational institution (as determined by the 
Secretary of Education) a program of education approved by the 
Secretary that leads to--
          (1) a baccalaureate degree in not more than five 
        academic years; or
          (2) a postbaccalaureate degree.
  (b) Eligible Persons.--
          (1) In general.--A person is eligible to obtain 
        financial assistance under subsection (a) if the 
        person--
                  (A) is enrolled on a full-time basis in a 
                program of education referred to in subsection 
                (a) at any educational institution described in 
                such subsection;
                  (B) meets all of the requirements for 
                acceptance into the commissioned officer corps 
                of the Administration except for the completion 
                of a baccalaureate degree; and
                  (C) enters into a written agreement with the 
                Secretary described in paragraph (2).
          (2) Agreement.--A written agreement referred to in 
        paragraph (1)(C) is an agreement between the person and 
        the Secretary in which the person--
                  (A) agrees to accept an appointment as an 
                officer, if tendered; and
                  (B) upon completion of the person's 
                educational program, agrees to serve on active 
                duty, immediately after appointment, for--
                          (i) up to three years if the person 
                        received less than three years of 
                        assistance; and
                          (ii) up to five years if the person 
                        received at least three years of 
                        assistance.
  (c) Qualifying Expenses.--Expenses for which financial 
assistance may be provided under subsection (a) are the 
following:
          (1) Tuition and fees charged by the educational 
        institution involved.
          (2) The cost of educational materials.
          (3) In the case of a program of education leading to 
        a baccalaureate degree, laboratory expenses.
          (4) Such other expenses as the Secretary considers 
        appropriate.
  (d) Limitation on Amount.--The Secretary shall prescribe the 
amount of financial assistance provided to a person under 
subsection (a), which may not exceed the amount specified in 
section 2173(e)(2) of title 10, United States Code, for each 
year of obligated service that a person agrees to serve in an 
agreement described in subsection (b)(2).
  (e) Duration of Assistance.--Financial assistance may be 
provided to a person under subsection (a) for not more than 
five consecutive academic years.
  (f) Subsistence Allowance.--
          (1) In general.--A person who receives financial 
        assistance under subsection (a) shall be entitled to a 
        monthly subsistence allowance at a rate prescribed 
        under paragraph (2) for the duration of the period for 
        which the person receives such financial assistance.
          (2) Determination of amount.--The Secretary shall 
        prescribe monthly rates for subsistence allowance 
        provided under paragraph (1), which shall be equal to 
        the amount specified in section 2144(a) of title 10, 
        United States Code.
  (g) Initial Clothing Allowance.--
          (1) Training.--The Secretary may prescribe a sum 
        which shall be credited to each person who receives 
        financial assistance under subsection (a) to cover the 
        cost of the person's initial clothing and equipment 
        issue.
          (2) Appointment.--Upon completion of the program of 
        education for which a person receives financial 
        assistance under subsection (a) and acceptance of 
        appointment in the commissioned officer corps of the 
        Administration, the person may be issued a subsequent 
        clothing allowance equivalent to that normally provided 
        to a newly appointed officer.
  (h) Termination of Financial Assistance.--
          (1) In general.--The Secretary shall terminate the 
        assistance provided to a person under this section if--
                  (A) the Secretary accepts a request by the 
                person to be released from an agreement 
                described in subsection (b)(2);
                  (B) the misconduct of the person results in a 
                failure to complete the period of active duty 
                required under the agreement; or
                  (C) the person fails to fulfill any term or 
                condition of the agreement.
          (2) Reimbursement.--The Secretary may require a 
        person who receives assistance described in subsection 
        (c), (f), or (g) under an agreement entered into under 
        subsection (b)(1)(C) to reimburse the Secretary in an 
        amount that bears the same ratio to the total costs of 
        the assistance provided to that person as the unserved 
        portion of active duty bears to the total period of 
        active duty the officer agreed to serve under the 
        agreement.
          (3) Waiver.--The Secretary may waive the service 
        obligation of a person through an agreement entered 
        into under subsection (b)(1)(C) if the person--
                  (A) becomes unqualified to serve on active 
                duty in the commissioned officer corps of the 
                Administration because of a circumstance not 
                within the control of that person; or
                  (B) is--
                          (i) not physically qualified for 
                        appointment; and
                          (ii) determined to be unqualified for 
                        service in the commissioned officer 
                        corps of the Administration because of 
                        a physical or medical condition that 
                        was not the result of the person's own 
                        misconduct or grossly negligent 
                        conduct.
          (4) Obligation as debt to united states.--An 
        obligation to reimburse the Secretary imposed under 
        paragraph (2) is, for all purposes, a debt owed to the 
        United States.
          (5) Discharge in bankruptcy.--A discharge in 
        bankruptcy under title 11, United States Code, that is 
        entered less than five years after the termination of a 
        written agreement entered into under subsection 
        (b)(1)(C) does not discharge the person signing the 
        agreement from a debt arising under such agreement or 
        under paragraph (2).
  (i) Regulations.--The Secretary may prescribe such 
regulations and orders as the Secretary considers appropriate 
to carry out this section.
  (j) Concurrent Completion of Service Obligations.--A service 
obligation under this section may be completed concurrently 
with a service obligation under section 216.

SEC. 269A. TREATMENT OF COMMISSION IN COMMISSIONED OFFICER CORPS AS 
                    EMPLOYMENT IN ADMINISTRATION FOR PURPOSES OF 
                    CERTAIN HIRING DECISIONS.

  (a) In General.--In any case in which the Secretary accepts 
an application for a position of employment with the 
Administration and limits consideration of applications for 
such position to applications submitted by individuals serving 
in a career or career-conditional position in the competitive 
service within the Administration, the Secretary shall deem an 
officer who has served as an officer in the commissioned 
officer corps of the Administration for at least three years to 
be serving in a career or career-conditional position in the 
competitive service within the Administration for purposes of 
such limitation.
  (b) Career Appointments.--If the Secretary selects an 
application submitted by an officer described in subsection (a) 
for a position described in such subsection, the Secretary 
shall give such officer a career or career-conditional 
appointment in the competitive service, as appropriate.
  (c) Competitive Service Defined.--In this section, the term 
``competitive service'' has the meaning given the term in 
section 2102 of title 5, United States Code.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


HIGHER EDUCATION ACT OF 1965

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                          [20 U.S.C. 1078(o)]

SEC. 428. FEDERAL PAYMENTS TO REDUCE STUDENT INTEREST COSTS.

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (o) [Armed Forces Student Loan Interest Payment Program] 
Armed Forces and NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps Student Loan 
Interest Payment Programs.--
          (1) Authority.--Using funds received by transfer to 
        the Secretary under section 2174 of title 10, United 
        States Code, or section 268 of the National Oceanic and 
        Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps 
        Act of 2002 for the payment of interest and any special 
        allowance on a loan to a member of the Armed Forces or 
        an officer in the commissioned officer corps of the 
        National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 
        respectively, that is made, insured, or guaranteed 
        under this part, the Secretary shall pay the interest 
        and special allowance on such loan as due for a period 
        not in excess of 36 consecutive months. The Secretary 
        may not pay interest or any special allowance on such a 
        loan out of any funds other than funds that have been 
        so transferred.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                          [20 U.S.C. 1087e(l)]

SEC. 455. TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF LOANS.

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (l) [Armed Forces Student Loan Interest Payment Program] 
Armed Forces and NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps Student Loan 
Interest Payment Programs.--
          (1) Authority.--Using funds received by transfer to 
        the Secretary under section 2174 of title 10, United 
        States Code, or section 268 of the National Oceanic and 
        Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps 
        Act of 2002 for the payment of interest on a loan made 
        under this part to a member of the Armed Forces or an 
        officer in the commissioned officer corps of the 
        National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 
        respectively, the Secretary shall pay the interest on 
        the loan as due for a period not in excess of 36 
        consecutive months. The Secretary may not pay interest 
        on such a loan out of any funds other than funds that 
        have been so transferred.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                         [20 U.S.C. 1087dd(j)]

SEC. 464. TERMS OF LOANS.

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (j) [Armed Forces Student Loan Interest Payment Program] 
Armed Forces and NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps Student Loan 
Interest Payment Programs.--
          (1) Authority.--Using funds received by transfer to 
        the Secretary under section 2174 of title 10, United 
        States Code, or section 268 of the National Oceanic and 
        Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps 
        Act of 2002 for the payment of interest on a loan made 
        under this part to a member of the Armed Forces or an 
        officer in the commissioned officer corps of the 
        National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 
        respectively, the Secretary shall pay the interest on 
        the loan as due for a period not in excess of 36 
        consecutive months. The Secretary may not pay interest 
        on such a loan out of any funds other than funds that 
        have been so transferred.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


        WEATHER RESEARCH AND FORECASTING INNOVATION ACT OF 2017

                            [15 U.S.C. 8531]

SEC. 301. NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION SATELLITE AND 
                    DATA MANAGEMENT.

  (a) * * *
  (b) * * *
  (c) Next Generation Satellite Architecture.--
          (1) In general.--The Under Secretary shall analyze, 
        test, and plan the procurement of future data sources 
        and satellite architectures, including respective 
        ground system elements, identified in the National 
        Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Satellite 
        Observing System Architecture Study that--
                  (A) lower the cost of observations used to 
                meet the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
                Administration's mission requirements;
                  (B) disaggregate current satellite systems, 
                where appropriate;
                  (C) include new, value-adding technological 
                advancements; and
                  [(D) improve weather forecasting and 
                predictions.]
                  (D) improve--
                          (i) weather and climate forecasting 
                        and predictions; and
                          (ii) the understanding, management, 
                        and exploration of the ocean.
          (2) Quantitative assessments and partnership 
        authority.--In meeting the requirements described in 
        paragraph (1), the Under Secretary--
                  (A) may partner with the commercial and 
                academic sectors, non-governmental and not-for-
                profit organizations, and other Federal 
                agencies; and
                  (B) shall, consistent with section 107 of 
                this Act, undertake quantitative assessments 
                for objective analyses, as the Under Secretary 
                considers appropriate, to evaluate relative 
                value and benefits of future data sources and 
                satellite architectures described in paragraph 
                (1).
  (d) Additional Forms of Transaction Authorized.--
          (1) In general.--Subject to paragraph (2), in order 
        to enhance the effectiveness of [data and satellite 
        systems] data, satellite, and other observing systems 
        used by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
        Administration to meet its missions, the Under 
        Secretary may enter into and perform such transaction 
        agreements on such terms as the Under Secretary 
        considers appropriate [to carry out basic, applied, and 
        advanced research projects to meet the objectives 
        described in subparagraphs (A) through (D) subsection 
        (c)(1).] to carry out--
                  (A) basic, applied, and advanced research 
                projects and ocean exploration missions to meet 
                the objectives described in subparagraphs (A) 
                through (D) of subsection (c)(1); or
                  (B) any other type of project to meet other 
                mission objectives, as determined by the Under 
                Secretary.
          (2) Method and scope.--
                  (A) In general.--A transaction agreement 
                under paragraph (1) shall be limited to 
                research and development activities.
                  (B) Permissible uses.--A transaction 
                agreement under paragraph (1) may be used--
                          (i) for the construction, use, 
                        operation, or procurement of new, 
                        improved, innovative, or value-adding 
                        [satellites, instrumentation, ground 
                        stations, and data;] systems, including 
                        satellites, instrumentation, ground 
                        stations, data, and data processing;
                          (ii) to make determinations on how to 
                        best use existing or planned data, 
                        systems, and assets of the National 
                        Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; 
                        and
                          (iii) only when the objectives of the 
                        National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
                        Administration cannot be met using a 
                        cooperative research and development 
                        agreement, grants procurement contract, 
                        or cooperative agreement.
          (3) Termination of effectiveness.--The authority 
        provided in this subsection terminates effective 
        September 30, [2023] 2030.
  (e) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


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