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Spouse, Transition and Veteran Preferences
What are Preferences?

Preferences are advantages in the candidate selection process. Individuals can claim the following Preferences:
  1. Military Spouse Preference (MSP)
  2. Transition Hiring Preference (THP)
  3. Family Member Preference and Off-Duty Military
  4. Veteran's Preference
Candidates with preferences are considered in the order listed. Then all other applicants are considered.

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1. Military Spouse Preference (MSP), DoDI 1400.25-V315 effective 19 March 2012
  • Preference for employment shall be provided in accordance with DoD Instruction 1400.25-V315, Employment of Spouses of Active Duty Military. The term “active duty” includes full-time members of the Reserves or National Guard.

  • The spouse of an active duty member of the Military Services (including the U.S. Coast Guard and full-time Reserve or National Guard), who relocates via a permanent change of station (PCS) move as a sponsored dependent to the military sponsor’s new permanent duty station, is entitled to military spouse preference (MSP) for all positions in the commuting area of the new duty station being filled under competitive procedures. MSP requires that a spouse candidate be selected before other best qualified candidates. To be eligible for MSP on a specific PCS move, the spouse must:

    • Have married the military sponsor prior to the date of the military sponsor’s orders authorizing a permanent change of station.
    • Meet all pre-employment criteria and be immediately appointable under the applicable recruitment procedures.
    • Meet basic qualifications and be among the best qualified for the position.
    • Furnish a copy of the Permanent Change of Station (PCS) order identifying a dependents-authorized move and the sponsor’s reporting date to the new duty location.
    • Submit a current application or resume.
    • Spouses seeking appointment based on the fact that their military sponsor retired from active duty with a service-connected disability rating of 100 percent while serving on active duty in the Military Services shall submit documentation showing the Service member was released or discharged from active duty due to a service-connected disability; documentation showing the Service member retired, or was released or discharged from active duty, with a disability rating of 100 percent, and documentation verifying the marriage to the Service member (i.e., a marriage license or other documentation verifying marriage).
    • Spouses seeking appointment based on the fact that their military sponsor was killed while on active duty shall submit documentation showing the Service member was released or discharged from active duty due to his or her death while on active duty; documentation verifying the Service member was killed while serving on active duty; documentation verifying the marriage to the Service member (i.e., a marriage license or other documentation verifying marriage); and a statement certifying that he or she is the un-remarried widow or widower of the Service member.
    • Furnish a copy of the Permanent Change of Station (PCS) order identifying a dependents-authorized move and the sponsor’s reporting date to the new duty location.


  • MSP eligibility begins 30 days before the military sponsor's reporting date to the new duty location if accompanied, or at any time thereafter during the tour. Spouses who do not initially relocate with their sponsors are not eligible for preference until they are actually residing in the commuting area of the new duty station.

  • A military spouse is not eligible for MSP upon a PCS move that is in conjunction with the retirement or separation of the military member except when that retirement or separation is based upon 100 percent disability.

  • Military spouse preference will remain intact until used; however, spouses of military sponsors who are within 6 months of their tour rotation date may be nonselected for permanent (continuing) positions without regard to preference.

  • Military spouses may apply for any position in all employment categories in pay band NF-III and below, CC positions, and equivalent hourly paid crafts and trades positions. However, preference applies only when the grade/pay band for which the spouse has applied is no higher than that previously held in the federal service. On initial appointment in the federal service, military spouse preference applies to all positions in pay bands NF-I through NF-III, CC positions, and equivalent hourly-paid crafts and trades positions for which qualified.

  • Military Spouse preference eligibility is terminated upon placement or declination (whichever occurs first) of a continuing position (APF or NAF) for which application is made. A continuing position is defined as "regular" position and does not include "flexible" or "temporary" positions. Military Spouses will be referred using Military Spouse Preference until such time as they accept or decline a continuing position, fail to maintain eligibility in accordance with DoDI 1400.25-V315, are no longer eligible under the pertinent authority, or are no longer interested in being referred. Military Spouse Preference will not be lost if the military spouse declines an offer of employment in a non-continuing position (flexible or temporary). There is no limit to the number of times that Military Spouse Preference may be applied to referral and selection for non-continuing positions. Upon acceptance of a non-continuing position (flexible NTE or Regular NTE), the spouse's eligibility for preference for other non-continuing positions will be suspended until 60 days prior to the expiration date of the non-continuing position.

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2. Transition Hiring Preference (THP)
  • Public Law 101-510, The 1991 National Defense Authorization Act, mandates that the services provide certain categories of involuntarily separated military members, and in some cases, their family members, benefits and services to ease the transition process from military to civilian life.

  • Eligible THP applicants will possess a transition assistance identification card. This will give them hiring preference over all other applicants, with the exception of military spouse preference applicants.

  • Preference may be used for any NAF job open to competition according to merit practices, at CY, NF III and below and crafts and trades positions. The following rules apply:

    • A person may receive THP in hiring only once.
    • THP eligibles must apply for employment and be fully qualified.
    • Qualified THP applicants will be referred for selection only if among the best-qualified candidates after being competitively screened.
    • THP is terminated upon placement in, or declination of, any NAF position (whichever occurs first) for which a THP-eligible has applied.


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3. Family Member Preference and Off-Duty Military Personnel (Foreign OCONUS Areas Only)
  • Except in those instances where placement is made under the provisions of military spouse preference, THP and reemployment priority, first priority must be given to the employment of family members of military and civilian personnel assigned in the host country, when such actions are not at variance with the Status of Forces agreements, country-to-country agreements, treaties, or as prescribed by DoD Instruction 1400.23, Employment of Family Members of Active Duty Military Members and Civilian Employees Stationed in Foreign Areas.

  • Family members are the spouse, or unmarried dependent children, including stepchildren, adopted children, and foster children not more than 23 years of age, residing with a member of the U.S. Armed Forces or a U.S. citizen civilian employee of a U.S. Government Agency.

  • Family member preference eligibles will be given priority for appointment in the absence of a reemployment priority list, military spouse preference, or THP candidate. This priority applies only to initial employment into a continuing position, including temporary positions of one year, or longer, and can be used only once at each duty location.

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4. Veteran's Preference

Veteran's Preference:  If you ever served in any branch of the armed forces you may be eligible for Veterans’ Preference. Veterans receive employment preference at initial appointment, provided they are equally qualified for the vacant position. Veterans shall have employment preference over all other applicants, with the exception of Military Spouse, Transition Hiring Preference (THP), and applicants on Re-employment Priority List (RPL).


Eligibility Rules
  1. Served on active duty in armed forces, including for training
  2. Were discharged or released from active duty under honorable conditions
  3. Establish the present existence of a service-connected disability, or
  4. Are receiving compensation, disability retirement benefits, or pension because of public statue administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs or a military department.

Veteran's Preference Change:  Due to a recent change, individuals previously ineligible for veteran's preference may now be eligible. This change applies to anyone who served on active duty for more than 180 consecutive days, any part of which occurred beginning September 11, 2001 and ending as of the close of Operation Iraqi Freedom, if otherwise eligible. If you meet the requirements of this new eligibility and wish to claim veterans' preference for hiring purposes, ensure you provide appropriate documentation to the Human Resources Office.

Exceptions:
Strict guidelines are used in determining Veterans Preference and not all will qualify.

Required Application Documents
  1. Member copy 4 of Applicant's DD Form 214

Documents Required To Claim Veteran's Preference:  To be considered for Veterans Preference you need to send us member copy 4 of your last DD Form 214. Not everybody who served in the Armed Forces is eligible for this preference. Strict guidelines are used in determining Veterans Preference and not all will qualify.

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