by Mark Belinsky
The FY 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) soon could include MOAA-backed language ending a six-month waiting period for recent military retirees seeking DoD civilian positions – a delay that drives away talent and weakens our national security.
The House version of the NDAA (H.R. 2670) includes a provision for the “waiver of limitation on appointment of recently retired members of armed forces to DoD competitive service positions,” removing the so-called “180-day rule” from all but excepted service and Senior Executive Service jobs. This provision goes a step further than the Retain Skilled Veterans Act (H.R. 939 | S. 334), bipartisan legislation supported by MOAA and The Military Coalition which would end the waiting period for GS-13 and below positions.
Most servicemembers can’t wait six months to secure a job after retirement. The current rule is particularly frustrating not only for officers who want to continue to serve, but also for members of the skilled non-commissioned officer corps who have exceptional technical skills and the security clearances to go with them.
“The 180-day waiting period has been bad for DoD and for retirees,” said CW4 Jack Du Teil, USA (Ret), president of The Military Coalition. “The waiting period has resulted in a talent management problem for hiring officials and an antiquated, cumbersome process for qualified candidates. Removing it helps federal hiring become more competitive with private industry and more navigable for the skilled technicians with security clearances who can support our weapons systems and national security priorities."
What’s on the Horizon?
The Senate version of the NDAA is expected to consider amendments and receive a vote in the next week. Once the Senate version is finalized, a conference should reconcile differences and each chamber will vote on the bill.
During this process, your voice matters. Grassroots advocacy remains very important to lawmakers throughout debate on our annual defense bill. Reach out to your senators and House member and ask them to include language from the Retain Skilled Veterans Act in the final NDAA. You can read more about the bipartisan, bicameral Retain Skilled Veterans Act at this link.