Military Spouse Employment Partnership

Since December 2020, DOI has been an official partner of the Department of Defense (DoD) Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP). MSEP connects military spouses with hundreds of partner employers who have committed to recruit, hire, promote and retain military spouses. MSEP is part of DoD's broader Spouse Education and Career Opportunities (SECO) initiative, which seeks to strengthen the education and career opportunities of military spouses by providing:

  • Career exploration opportunities to help them understand their skills, interests, and goals;
  • Education and training to help them identify academic, licensing, or credentialing requirements that can help them reach their career goals;
  • Employment readiness assistance to optimize their self-marketing skills; and
  • Employment connections that help them find and maintain a rewarding career

While military spouses are well educated and highly qualified for a range of careers, they face a 25 percent unemployment rate and a 25 percent wage gap compared to their civilian counterparts. Seventy-seven percent of these spouses want or need work, yet frequent relocation is often a barrier to finding and maintaining a rewarding career. The inability of spouses to obtain and retain fulfilling employment as they relocate with the military compromises the quality of life of military families and the readiness of the military force. MSEP offers a targeted recruitment and employment solution, creates employment connections that provide agencies with direct access to military spouses seeking career opportunities and spouses with direct access to employers who are actively recruiting.


How to create and MSEP Career Portal account

Complete the Contact Us form on the MSEP website. Be sure to complete each field with a red asterisk next to it. If you have not previously registered for an account on the MSEP Career Portal, select "No/Not Sure."  Next, select "General Program Questions" from the Area of Assistance drop-down menu. Enter a brief description of your request for assistance in the "Questions or Comments" field (i.e. I am a new user and I would like to create an account so that I may enter jobs from my agency onto the portal.). Please allow 2-3 business days for your request to be processed.

To assist in getting acclimated to the features in the MSEP Career Portal, view the Training Video.

Military Spouse Hiring Authority

Executive Order (EO) 13832 on Enhancing Noncompetitive Civil Service Appointments of Military Spouses strongly encourages agencies to provide greater opportunities for military spouses to be considered for Federal jobs in the competitive service through the use of the Governmentwide noncompetitive hiring authority for military spouses.

What is the Military Spouse Non-competitive Appointing Authority?

The Military Spouse Non-competitive Appointing Authority (Executive Order 13473) allows agencies to appoint certain military spouses who meet certain criteria to any position in the competitive service for which he or she is qualified. There is no grade level limitation. The authority does not entitle spouses to an appointment over any other applicant. Agencies are not required to use this hiring authority, nor does it take precedence over the use of other appointment mechanisms. Agencies may also use the military spouse appointing authority to fill temporary (not to exceed 1 year) or term (more than 1 year but not to exceed 4 years) positions.

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Fiscal Year 2019 amended several provisions of 5 U.S.C. 3330d, governing the military spouse hiring authority, including the eligibility criteria. NDAA FY19 changed the contours of the first group. Section 573(a) eliminated the eligibility criterion that was based on a spouse relocating with a military member on PCS orders and replaced it with one that includes all spouses of members of the armed forces on active duty. Additional information can be found in the March 2019 CHCO Memo on Recent Changes to the Noncompetitive Hiring Authority of Military Spouses.


What type of appointment are military spouses awarded?

A military spouse is given a career or career-conditional appointment.

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