Military retirees and civilian government work


Q. I retired in 1996. There was a rule that retiring service members had to wait six months before they could take a civilian job with the federal government. Where can I find this regulation or policy?

A. To avoid the appearance of favoritism, 5 U.S.C. 3326 prohibits the appointment of retired military personnel to civil service positions (including a nonappropriated fund activity) in any Defense Department component for six months after retirement. (This restriction was temporarily suspended following the attacks of 9/11).

The secretary concerned may waive this prohibition. However, DoD Directive 1402.1 requires the secretary concerned to conduct intensive external recruitment before granting the waiver.


About Author

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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