5 CFR § 315.612 - Noncompetitive appointment of certain military spouses.

§ 315.612 Noncompetitive appointment of certain military spouses.

(a) Agency authority. In accordance with the provisions of this section, an agency head may appoint noncompetitively a spouse of a member of the armed forces serving on active duty, a spouse of a 100 percent disabled service member injured while on active duty, or the un-remarried widow or widower of a service member who was killed while performing active duty.

(b) Definitions -

(1) Active duty means full-time duty in the armed forces, including full-time National Guard duty, except that for Reserve Component members the term “active duty” does not include training duties or attendance at service schools.

(2) Armed forces has the meaning given that term in 10 U.S.C. 101.

(3) Duty station means the permanent location to which a member of the armed forces is assigned for duty as specified on the individual's permanent change of station (PCS) orders.

(4) Member of the armed forces or service member means an individual who:

(i) Is serving on active duty in the armed forces or serving under orders specifying the individual is called or ordered to active duty for more than 180 consecutive days;

(ii) Retired or was released or discharged from active duty in the armed forces and has a disability rating of 100 percent as documented by the Department of Veterans Affairs; or

(iii) Was killed while serving on active duty in the armed forces.

(5) Spouse means the husband or wife of a member of the armed forces.

(c) Eligibility. (1)(i) A spouse of a member of the armed forces as defined in paragraph (b)(4)(i) of this section must be currently married to the member of the armed forces on active duty.

(ii) For appointments made on or after August 13, 2023, the following additional criteria must be met for eligibility for appointment (for appointments made prior to or on August 12, 2023, the criteria in this paragraph (c)(1)(ii) does not apply):

(A) The member of the armed forces must have received orders authorizing a permanent change of station.

(B) The spouse must have married the member of the armed forces on, or prior to, the date of such orders authorizing the permanent change of station.

(C) The spouse must have relocated or is relocating with the member of the armed forces to the new duty station specified in the documentation ordering the permanent change of station.

(2) A spouse of a member of the armed forces as defined in paragraph (b)(4)(ii) of this section must be currently married to the member of the armed forces.

(3) A spouse of a member of the armed forces as defined in paragraph (b)(4)(iii) of this section must be the un-remarried widow or widower of the member of the armed forces killed on active duty in the armed forces.

(4) Except as indicated in paragraph (c)(5) of this section, noncompetitive appointment of eligible spouses under this section are not restricted to a geographical location.

(5) Beginning August 13, 2023, the noncompetitive appointment of a relocating spouse of a member of the armed forces as defined in paragraph (b)(4)(i) of this section is limited to the geographic area of the permanent duty station of the member of the armed forces, unless there is no agency with a position within the geographic area of the permanent duty station of the member of the armed forces.

(d) Conditions.

(1) In accordance with the provisions of this section, a spouse is eligible for noncompetitive appointment:

(i) From the date of documentation verifying the spouse's marriage to a member of the armed forces as defined in paragraph (b)(4)(i) of this section, where the spouse seeks appointment based upon marriage to an active duty member of the armed forces;

(ii) From the date of documentation verifying that the member of the armed forces is 100 percent disabled, where the spouse seeks appointment based upon marriage to a member defined in paragraph (b)(4)(ii) of this section; or

(iii) From the date of documentation verifying that the member of the armed forces was killed while on active duty where the spouse seeks appointment as the widow or widower of a member defined in paragraph (b)(4)(iii) of this section.

(2) The spouse of a member of the armed forces as defined in paragraph (b)(4)(i) of this section may receive unlimited noncompetitive appointments under this section to permanent positions through August 12, 2023. Beginning August 13, 2023, the spouse of such a member may receive a noncompetitive appointment under this section if the member receives permanent change of station orders and is limited to one such appointment per permanent change of station.

(3) A spouse of a member of the armed forces as defined in paragraph (b)(4)(ii) or (iii) of this section may receive only one noncompetitive appointment under this section to a permanent position.

(4) Any law, Executive order, or regulation that disqualifies an applicant for appointment also disqualifies a spouse for appointment under this section.

(e) Proof of eligibility. (1)(i) Prior to appointment, the spouse of a member of the armed forces as defined in paragraph (b)(4)(i) of this section must submit to the employing agency copies of:

(A) Documentation verifying active duty status; and

(B) Documentation verifying marriage to the member of the armed forces (i.e., a marriage certificate or other legal documentation verifying marriage).

(ii) For appointments made on or after August 13, 2023, the spouse must also submit to the employing agency a copy of the service member's orders reflecting a permanent change of station, dated August 13, 2023, or later. (For appointments made on or before August 12, 2023, the requirement of this paragraph (e)(1)(ii) does not apply.)

(2) Prior to appointment, the spouse of a member of the armed forces as defined in paragraph (b)(4)(ii) of this section must submit to the employing agency copies of:

(i) Documentation showing the member of the armed forces retired, or was released or discharged from active duty, with a disability rating of 100 percent; and

(ii) Documentation verifying marriage to the member of the armed forces (i.e., a marriage license or other legal documentation verifying marriage).

(3) Prior to appointment, the spouse of a member of the armed forces as defined in paragraph (b)(4)(iii) of this section must submit to the employing agency copies of:

(i) Documentation showing the member was released or discharged from active duty due to his or her death while on active duty;

(ii) Documentation verifying the member of the armed forces was killed while serving on active duty;

(iii) Documentation verifying the widow or widower's marriage to the member of the armed forces (i.e., a marriage license or other legal documentation verifying marriage); and

(iv) A statement certifying that the individual seeking to use the authority is the un-remarried widow or widower of the service member.

(f) Acquisition of competitive status. A person appointed under paragraph (a) of this section acquires competitive status automatically upon completion of probation.

(g) Tenure on appointment. An appointment under paragraph (a) of this section is career-conditional unless the appointee has already satisfied the requirements for career tenure or is exempt from the service requirement pursuant to § 315.201.

(h) Agency reporting requirements.

(1) As required by Executive Order 13832, each agency shall report annually (by December 31st of each year) to OPM and the Department of Labor on:

(i) The number of positions made available under the military spouse hiring authority;

(ii) The number of applications submitted under the military spouse hiring authority;

(iii) The number of military spouses appointed under the military spouse hiring authority during the preceding fiscal year; and

(iv) Actions taken to advertise the military spouse hiring authority, and any other actions taken to promote the hiring of military spouses.

(2) As required by section 573(d) of Public Law 115-232, each agency shall report annually until August 13, 2023, and separate from the report required in paragraph (h)(1) of this section on the following:

(i) The number of relocating and non-relocating spouses of current military members appointed under this authority;

(ii) The types of positions filled (by title, series, and grade level); and

(iii) The effectiveness of this hiring authority.

(3) Agencies should send their reports electronically to OPM's Employee Services, VETS Office at militaryspouse@opm.gov.

(4) Agencies are also required to send their reports separately and directly to Department of Labor (DOL) at milspouse@dol.gov.

[74 FR 40476, Aug. 12, 2009, as amended at 76 FR 54072, Aug. 31, 2011; 86 FR 52396, Sept. 21, 2021]

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