New Hiring Rule Eases Path to Federal Employment for Military Spouses

New Hiring Rule Eases Path to Federal Employment for Military Spouses
Photo by Mike Kemp/Getty Images

A rule boosting the prospects of military spouses seeking federal employment will take effect in October, expanding an existing benefit for a small group of spouses to the wider community.


All spouses of active duty members of the armed forces will be eligible for noncompetitive appointments, allowing spouses to secure federal employment matching their qualifications outside of the regular (and often time-consuming) application process. Previously, this benefit was available only to those who had recently relocated as part of a PCS move.


Spouses of deceased and disabled servicemembers will maintain their eligibility for these appointments under the new rule, published Sept. 21 and set to take effect 30 days later. News of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) policy change was first reported by Military Times.


MOAA has long supported this change as part of its overall commitment to helping military spouses clear the many employment hurdles they face. The regulation has its roots in MOAA-backed provisions of the FY 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) among other pieces of legislation.


[RELATED: The Military Spouse Licensure Battle: A Resource Guide]


Program eligibility of military spouses outside the PCS window will expire Aug. 13, 2023. Spouses of deceased or disabled members will retain eligibility.


The federal regulation also codifies a 2018 executive order requiring OPM to provide an annual report on the program, including the number of positions made available, the number of applications received, and the number of spouses hired using the authority, among other data points.


The final rule (PDF) includes full details on the application process, including how to prove eligibility for the program.


For more military spouse resources, including employment guidance and links to MOAA programs, visit MOAA’s Military Spouse Page.


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About the Author

Kevin Lilley
Kevin Lilley

Lilley serves as MOAA's digital content manager. His duties include producing, editing, and managing content for a variety of platforms, with a concentration on The MOAA Newsletter and Follow him on Twitter: @KRLilley