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Spouses of Active Duty Military Members

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Military Spouse Preference

Military Spouse Preference is a Department of Defense program applicable to positions being filled both in the continental United States and at overseas locations. For more information, contact your local Department of Defense personnel office.

Family Member Appointing Authorities are not an entitlement. Knowing about these authorities and identifying your eligibility will enhance your job search. Check vacancy announcements, which should clearly state Who May Apply.

Military Spouse Noncompetitive Appointing Authority

Two recent provisions have significantly impacted the non-competitive hiring authority of military spouses. These are: Executive Order (EO) 13832 titled, “Enhancing Noncompetitive Civil Service Appointments of Military Spouses” signed by the President on May 9, 2018; and Public Law 115-232, The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (NDAA FY19), section 573, signed by the President on August 13, 2018.

The Military Spouse Noncompetitive Appointing Authority allows agencies to appoint certain military spouses without using traditional competitive examining procedures. Agencies can choose to use this authority when filling competitive service positions on a temporary (not to exceed 1 year), term (more than 1 year but not more than 4 years), or permanent basis. The authority does not entitle spouses to an appointment over any other applicant– it is used at the discretion of an agency.

In accordance with revised 5 U.S.C. 3330d(b), the head of an agency may now appoint noncompetitively: the spouse of a member of the armed forces on active duty, the spouse of a 100 percent disabled member of the armed forces, or the spouse of a deceased member of the armed forces.

Active Duty Spouse

  • Includes all spouses of members of the armed forces on active duty
  • Spouses do not have to relocate with active duty spouse

Based on 100% Disability

As a military spouse, you may be eligible to be considered under this authority if:

  1. The military member was retired under Chapter 61 of title 10, United States Code with a 100% disability rating from the military; or
  2. Was released from active duty and has a disability rating of 100% from the Department of Veterans' Affairs or the military department.

There is no geographic limitation under this category. You will be required to provide documentation of your spouse's disability.

Based on Service Member's Death

  • As the military spouse, you may be eligible if the military member was killed while on active duty (it does not have to be combat related), and you have not remarried.

There is no geographic limitation in this category. You will be required to provide documentation on the death of the spouse and your marital status at the time of death.

Special Note: Military Spouse Preference is a Department of Defense authority applicable to positions being filled both in the continental United States and at overseas locations. Agencies are not required to use this hiring authority, nor does it take precedence over the use of other appointment mechanisms. For more information contact your local Department of Defense civilian personnel office.

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