Military Spouse Appointing Authority
Family Member Appointing Authorities
Family Member Appointing Authorities are not an entitlement. Knowing about these authorities and identifying eligible candidates may serve to minimize disruptions in military families due to permanent relocations, disability and deaths resulting from active duty service.
Two recent provisions have significantly impacted the non-competitive hiring authority of military spouses.
Executive Order (EO) 13832 “Enhancing Noncompetitive Civil Service Appointments of Military Spouses”, strongly encourages agencies to provide greater opportunities for military spouses to be considered for Federal jobs in the competitive service through the use of the Governmentwide noncompetitive hiring authority for military spouses.
The NDAA FY19 amended several provisions of 5 U.S.C. 3330d, governing the military spouse hiring authority, including the eligibility criteria. NDAA FY19 changed the contours of the first group. Section 573(a) eliminated the eligibility criterion that was based on a spouse relocating with a military member on PCS orders and replaced it with one that includes all spouses of members of the armed forces on active duty.
Additional information can be found in the Memorandum for Chief Human Capital Officers, subject: Recent Changes to the Noncompetitive Hiring Authority of Military Spouses
- What it Provides:
- This authority enables a hiring manager to non-competitively appoint a military spouse who meets certain criteria to any position in the competitive service for which he or she is qualified. There is no grade level limitation.
- When to Use it:
- This authority is an additional non-competitive hiring tool that agencies may use to select qualified, eligible individuals. Agencies are not required to use this hiring authority, nor does it take precedence over the use of other appointment mechanisms. Agencies may also use the military spouse appointing authority to fill temporary (not to exceed 1 year) or term (more than 1 year but not to exceed 4 years) positions.
- Who is Eligible:
Military Spouse Appointing Authority applies to the following categories of military spouses.
- Spouse of a member of the armed forces on active duty
- Spouses of service members who incurred a 100% disability because of the service member's active duty service, and
- Spouses of service members killed while on active duty.
- How to Use it:
- Step 1: Consider the strategic benefit in considering military spouses to fill the position.
- Step 2: Determine recruiting strategy. Agencies are responsible for developing procedures for accepting applications and communicating those procedures to applicants through the job announcement. If the job announcement is open to "all sources" then the agency must clearly provide instructions to applicants on how the application will be received. Consider posting announcement at Family Support Centers, Veterans Transition Centers or with Veterans Service Organizations.
- Step 3: Announce the vacancy on USAJOBS.
- Step 4: Consider eligible military spouse appointing authority applicants. Evaluate or assess the qualifications of the candidates. Agencies have the discretion to consider military spouse applicants on a separate list of applicants specific only to the military spouse hiring authority. The agency also has the option to consider military spouse applicants along with other applicants from outside the government who are on a competitive list. If an applicant applies only under the military spouse hiring authority, the hiring agency must consider the applicant under this authority (assuming they are otherwise eligible). Applicants must provide acceptable documentation of their appointment eligibility. If the applicant applies for consideration under both the competitive process and as a military spouse, the agency must consider the applicant on both the competitive list as well as the military spouse list.
- Step 5: Select an eligible who is qualified to perform the duties of the position. If a military spouse eligible is selected, he/she is given a career-conditional or career (as appropriate) appointment.
- Benefits to the Hiring Manager:
- The military spouse appointing authority allows managers to consider a new source of qualified candidates in addition to those who qualified competitively and support the policy promulgated under E.O. 13832. Veterans’ preference is not a consideration when using the military spouse authority to fill a position.