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How to Apply for Department of Defense Jobs as a Military Spouse

Learn how Department of Defense’s Priority Placement Program has improved the process for military spouses to pursue a career in civil service.

As a military spouse, you have access to a variety of tools and resources to help with your job search. One of the benefits is the ability to apply for Department of Defense jobs through a process reserved for military spouses through USAJobs

What’s different with the enhanced military spouse preference application process

The improvements to the military spouse preference application process will give you more control over your job search and the hiring process, while streamlining federal job applications through USAJobs.

  • Use your military spouse preference for one offer of a permanent federal position (including NAF and AAFES) per duty station.
  • Easily search for open Department of Defense positions alongside jobs offered by other federal agencies.
  • Apply for as many designated federal civil service positions as you want directly through USAJobs, rather than applying to a maximum of five occupational series.

Eligibility requirements for the military spouse preference process

To qualify specifically for Department of Defense positions, you must:

  • Be the spouse of an active-duty service member and reside in commuting area of the current duty station.
  • Not have accepted or declined an offer of permanent Federal employment at the current duty station.

How to use your military spouse preference during a federal job search

To get started, you will need to register with USAJOBS by creating a account, which may include information to prove your current status as a military spouse. Once registered, select any jobs that are of interest to you. There are no limitations to the number of applications or job categories selected. 

Applying for a job announcement open to the military spouse preference eligibility does not guarantee any applicant a job offer. You still must be among the best qualified candidates for the position, according to the application or position requirements.

You are eligible for one job offer of permanent employment using your military spouse preference per each duty location.

Military support services for military spouses seeking employment

Using this preference is easy. Just visit to create an account and search for positions available for military spouse preference. 

Most installations have a civilian personnel office or human resources office that can also give you information about military spouse preference, help you create a resume and guide you through the process. Visit MilitaryINSTALLATIONS to find your installation's civilian personnel office or human resources office.

The most important thing you can do is have a well-prepared federal resume that clearly communicates your skills and experience. Check out our coaching package specifically for people interested in federal jobs. It can help you prepare your resume and make sure you understand the process, so you can put their best foot forward. 

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