Monday, November 6, 2017

What is the “Real Deal” about the 180-day DOD Civilian Hiring Restriction?

Military retirees who want to enter civil service in the Department of Defense (DoD) now require a waiver if they are within 180 days following their official date of retirement. The 180 day time period begins the day following the official date of the service member’s retirement (terminal leave time does not count towards the 180 day time period as the service member is not considered retired during the period of terminal leave). Exemptions include personnel who fall under a special salary table (air traffic controllers, information technology managers, etc.) and members of the military who are separating but not entitled to receive retirement pay from the armed services.
This DoD requirement took effect in December 2016 when the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of FY 2017 was signed into law, effectively eliminating the language in the law that allowed for previous hiring flexibility. Following 9-11, a retiree could be appointed immediately after retirement (without a waiver) if a state of emergency existed and this was common practice until a few months ago.
All retiring military members CAN apply to federal civilian DoD jobs within the 180 day time period following retirement. Full consideration must be given to eligible and qualified applicants (this includes retirees) as they have the right to seek and be considered for federal civilian employment. The selection process needs to be equitable and in compliance with merit system principles (based on knowledge, skills, and abilities after fair and open competition). If it is determined that the retiree is clearly superior to other referred candidates, a waiver may be sought.  Do not let the waiver requirement deter you from applying if you are well-qualified for the position! 
Keep in mind that departments and agencies outside of DoD are not affected by any part of the waiver process. For information on developing your Federal or corporate job search strategy, visit us on the web at

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