The Secretary may designate positions in the Administration as being positions of importance and responsibility for which it is appropriate that officers of the Administration, if serving in those positions, serve in the grade of vice admiral, rear admiral, or rear admiral (lower half), as designated by the Secretary for each position.
The Secretary shall designate one position under this section 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 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.
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, 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.