The Department of Defense (DOD) recognizes that not only do Service Members make sacrifices to serve their country but their spouses and families do as well. These spouses and families of America’s honorable Service Members are the backbone of the Armed Forces and support and sustain this close community. To honor their sacrifices, there are several civilian employment programs to support military spouses. Military Spouse Preference is not awarded to all military spouses nor does preference guarantee selection for a position. In all cases, qualifications for the position for which a military spouse is applying must be met and clearly demonstrated in the application. Review each vacancy announcement in detail to understand the qualification requirements, determine if Military Spouse Preference is applicable to that position, and ascertain if there are any specific documentation requirements to support the Preference claim.
For more information on these programs, view the sections below. For additional information on Military Spouse programs and services beyond employment, please visit the DoD MySECO website.
Miliary Spouse Options
Military Spouse Authority
DOD Military Spouse Preference Program
The Military Spouse Preference (MSP) program applies to spouses of active duty military members of the U.S. Armed Forces, including the U.S. Coast Guard and full-time National Guard. The program offers opportunities for spouses who desire priority consideration for competitive service positions at DOD activities in the U.S. and its territories and possessions. When a Service Member is relocated via a permanent change of station (PCS), the spouse is entitled to MSP for all positions in the commuting area of the new duty station; meaning, they must be selected before other best qualified candidates for the position. To be eligible, the spouse must be married to the military sponsor prior to the date of PCS orders, meet all pre-employment criteria, and meet basic qualifications for the position.
Military Spouse Noncompetitive Appointing Authority
The Military Spouse Noncompetitive Appointing Authority can be used by Agencies to non-competitively appoint certain military spouses to positions in the Competitive service on a permanent, temporary, or term basis. Used at the discretion of the agency, the authority does not entitle spouses to an appointment over any other applicant. To be eligible to use this authority, the Veteran must be unable to qualify for a Federal position due to a service-connected disability. This means that the Veteran must be unemployed AND is rated by an appropriate military or Department of Veterans Affairs authority to be 100 percent disabled and/or unemployable; OR has retired, been separated, or resigned from a civil service position on the basis of a disability that is service-connected in origin; OR has attempted to obtain a civil service position or other position along the lines of his or her usual occupation and has failed to qualify because of a service-connected disability.