Military time and career status


Q. I was on active duty from September 1999 to September 2008. I was honorably discharged with 30 percent service connected disability. I became a civil service employee in December 2010 in a permanent position. I was in this position for 18 months and then transferred to a term position. It was a permanent position but switched to term when the person in it left. I was told that I could not be brought in as permanent because I hadn’t reached ‘career status’ yet, which they stated was three years as a civil service employee. I was told that had I been ‘career status,’ it would have remained permanent. Does my active-duty time count toward ‘career status’ if I buy it back? Does the fact that I have 30 percent service-connected disability have any bearing?

A. Active-duty service cannot be used to reach career status, nor does having a service-connected disability have any effect on it. You actually have to serve the time needed to meet that criterion.


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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