For many military spouses, working for the federal government is a wonderful career decision that allows spouses to maintain and advance in their chosen fields without losing status or seniority when their service member relocates due to Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders.
The government is the largest employer in the United States. According to the Department of Labor (DoL), the federal government (excluding the Postal Service) employs 1.8 million civilian employees. Job growth in the federal sector is expected to continue by the increased homeland security needs and the need to replace workers who retire or leave the federal government for other reasons. Competition can be fierce for many federal positions, especially during times of economic uncertainty, when workers seek the stability of federal employment. Learn some of Terms You Should Know for the federal hiring process.
Executive Order 13473
On September 11, 2009, military spouses became eligible for a noncompetitive appointment under one of the three following conditions:
- If the service member is transferred to a new location through a permanent change of station (PCS), not training
- A spouse of a 100% disabled service member injured while on active duty
- The un-remarried widow or widower of a service member who dies while in active duty status (does not need to be combat related)
The authority for non-competitive hiring of military spouses that are PCS eligible expanded in the National Defense Authorization Act for 2013 (NDAA FY13) removing the 2 year limitation on the length of hiring eligibility for military spouses who relocate to a service member’s permanent duty station. Previously military spouses using the PCS provision were only able to use the noncompetitive appointment for two years after the date of the orders.
In addition, the NDAA FY13 specified the use of the Department of Veterans Affairs schedule to determine a 100 percent disability-rating.
Both of the changes will require regulations before they can be implemented. When in doubt, ask your spouse employment program manager for assistance.
Spouses interested in employment opportunities under this authority should explore the Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) USAJOBS website at www.usajobs.gov. The military spouse noncompetitive appointment is not a hiring preference; agencies can use a noncompetitive hiring authority at their discretion. Military spouses must contact a Civilian Hiring Office to register for the Executive Order.
For the Army, the Employee Readiness Program; for the Navy, the Spouse Employment Assistance Program; Air Force, Career Focus Program; and Marine Corps, Family Member Employment Assistance Program. Find contact information at your installation employment readiness office on the Military Installations website.
Read more about Executive Order 13473 regulations.
Find the steps you need to know for the federal hiring process.
Until military families are relieved of the weight of war, we hope you will continue to contribute to their wellbeing.
Sign up to receive periodic eNews and alerts.
Want up-to-date information and a community of people that care about military families?