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Policy opens federal job opportunities for qualifying military spouses

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- A new executive policy has pushed open the door for qualifying military spouses to enter the federal workforce, enabling them to apply for more jobs advertised on USAJOBS.

Executive Order 13473, which went into effect Sept. 11, 2009, identified three groups of qualifying spouses now eligible to apply for temporary, term and permanent employment in all pay grades:

· The spouse of an Airman who has been issued orders for a permanent change of station that requires relocating.

· The spouse of an Airman who retired with a disability rating at the time of retirement of 100 percent; or retired or separated from the Air Force and has a disability rating of 100 percent from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

· The un-remarried widow or widower of an Airman killed while in active-duty status.

"Military spouses that fit into one of the three groups will find more job announcements open to them. While not a promise for employment, the new policy does increase their eligibility for referral and consideration for federal jobs, providing they meet the qualifications required for the job," said Air Force Personnel Center's Deborah Keating, program manager of the noncompetitive appointment of certain military spouses.

Department of the Air Force positions being advertised on USAJOBS using this authority will list the authority on the "Qualifications and Evaluations" tab. With the specific job announcement open, select the "Qualifications and Evaluations" tab, and under the "Qualifications Required" heading, look for "Appointment of Certain Military Spouses." This indicates that the position is open to spouses meeting the qualifications listed above.

The timing of the executive order coincides with the Year of the Air Force Family.

"This executive order is clearly another positive step that takes care of the military family. Military spouses face many life-changing events during a military career that can significantly impact the household income," said Brenda Liston, chief of Airman, Family, Wounded Warrior and Community Operations at AFPC. "By giving military spouses expanded job opportunities, the President is providing an opportunity that can help restabilize the family budget and start military spouses in a portable career."

Once a spouse becomes eligible, they have a two-year window to use this benefit.

For spouses who relocate through a PCS, the eligibility period starts the date the orders are issued.

"If an Airman received their PCS orders with an issue date in March 2008, and the spouse meets all the qualifications, including moving with the Airman and being married to the Airman on or before the date of the orders, they are eligible until March 2010 to apply for federal jobs using the military spouse appointment authority," Ms. Keating explained.

The eligibility phase for spouses of Airmen with a service-connected disability of 100 percent is based on the date of the documentation verifying the 100 percent disability.

Un-remarried widows or widowers have two years from the date of the documentation verifying the member was killed while in active-duty status. Ms. Keating emphasized the date of documentation starts the clock, not the date of death.

Similar to other status candidates, such as veterans, non-Department of Defense transfers or prior federal employee reinstatements, the hiring official within each office has the discretion to use this hiring authority. To ensure the new spouse benefit is included with positions announced for "status candidates," applicants should review the job announcement carefully.

With contractor-to-civilian conversions, new organizations standing up and overall increases in positions, the Air Force is hiring more than 9,000 new positions in fiscal year 2010. The Air Force is projecting an even larger hiring surge in fiscal year 2011 with an estimated 25,000 new positions by fiscal year 2013. Positions are already appearing on USAJOBS.

"This is the perfect time for spouses to visit their local Airman and Family Readiness Center to get professional assistance with creating resumes for vacancies listed on USAJOBS," Ms. Liston said. "If our professionals find that the spouse is missing critical skill sets in the desired career field, we can help the spouse build those skills by guiding them to the proper education or volunteer channels."

For specific details on the noncompetitive appointment of certain military spouses, go to www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/ and Quick Search "RIN 3206-AL73".

For more information on the noncompetitive appointment of certain military spouses, call the Total Force Service Center at 800-525-0102.
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