How to apply to HHS as a military spouse

On this page:

Overview of the Military Spouse Hiring Authority
Military Spouse Authority Eligibility
How do I know a job is open to a military spouse?
Documentation needed to apply as a military spouse
Federal Resources for Military Spouses
HHS’ Military Spouse Webinars

The federal government’s hiring process is very different from the private sector’s hiring process. When applying for federal jobs, military spouses are often eligible to take advantage of special hiring preferences and authorities to secure employment more quickly.

Executive Order (EO) 13832, Enhancing Noncompetitive Civil Service Appointments of Military Spouses, is available through 2028 to strongly encourages agencies to provide greater opportunities for military spouses to be considered for federal jobs in the competitive service through the government-wide noncompetitive hiring authority for military spouses.

Through the EO, military spouses have more flexibility seeking federal government employment because, to qualify for the authority, they no longer have to be:

  • A relocating spouse who is part of a Permanent Change of Station move, nor
  • In the same geographical location of the permanent duty station.

It also recognizes that military spouses possess the mission-critical skills needed by the federal government.

Overview of the Military Spouse Hiring Authority

Federal agencies can use the military spouse non-competitive hiring process, at their discretion, to fill positions on either a term, temporary, or permanent basis. There is no grade level limitation.

Agencies are not required to use this hiring authority, nor does it take precedence over the use of other appointment mechanisms.

Eligibility for the hiring authority does not entitle you to a job with the U.S. federal government. You must still apply and meet qualification standards and additional requirements, such as a background investigation.

Learn more from the Military Spouse Noncompetitive Appointing Authority section of this OPM web page.

Military Spouse Authority Eligibility

To qualify for a civil service position under the Military Spouse Hiring Authority, you must be one of the following:

  1. A spouse of an active-duty member of the U.S. armed forces,
  2. A spouse of a service member who is 100% disabled due to a service-connected injury at the time of separation from military service, OR
  3. A spouse of a deceased service member killed while on active duty.

You are no longer eligible if you remarry.

You must meet certain criteria for each of these eligibility categories. Learn more about the specific criteria for military spouses.

How do I know a job is open to military spouses?

In the USAJOBS announcement for a particular vacancy, look for the This job is open to section. When a job is open to Military Spouses, you'll see a green icon with overlapping white circles in the middle: Overlapping circles

On USAJOBS, you also can filter for vacancies open to the Military Spouses hiring path. Your results will display all jobs open to military spouses.

Military spouses may be eligible to apply for additional hiring paths, such as those that are Open to the public, as well as others for which the applicant may qualify, as applicable.

In additional to military spouses, there may be other hiring authorities listed that can also apply to a particular job announcement, as the federal government offers various unique hiring paths to help hire individuals that represent our diverse society.

Documentation needed to apply as a military spouse

  • Documentation verifying marriage
  • Copy of your spouse’s active military orders
  • DD 214
    Certificate of release or discharge from active duty

    Military spouses of 100% disabled, separated, or retired veterans and widows or widowers, who are not remarried, of military service members who were killed on active duty.

  • DD 1300
    Report of Casualty

    Military spouses who are widows and widowers, and are not remarried, of military service members who were killed on active duty.

Federal resources for military spouses

These USAJOBS FAQs provide additional information on the federal employment process.

HHS has its own Careers page, and many HHS agencies and offices also have their own career pages.

Upload and save these documents to your USAJOBS account. Once uploaded, you can submit these forms with your job application as needed. Sign into USAJOBS or learn how to upload documents.

HHS’ Military Spouse Webinars

On May 15, in celebration of Military Spouse Appreciation Day and National Military Spouse Appreciation Month, the HHS Assistant Secretary for Administration’s Office of Human Resources hosted an informational webinar for military spouses on navigating federal employment.

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