FILE PHOTO – Military helmets. Photo by israel palacio on Unsplash
WASHINGTON, DC – Utah Rep. Blake Moore, R-District 1, is campaigning to make it easier for skilled military veterans to find employment within the Department of Defense’s civilian workforce.
“It is important that we attract and retain skilled and qualified veterans to our civilian (DoD) workforce,” said Moore, who serves on the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee in Congress.
âI am proud to offer you the Qualified Veterans Receipt Act with Senator James Lankford (R-OK), “he added,” to provide a way for most military veterans to move immediately into civilian work and use their invaluable knowledge and skills to strengthen our federal workforce. “
Under federal law passed in 1964, military retirees must wait 180 days after leaving the military before they can take up a civilian position in the Department of Defense.
The intent of this law was to prevent a so-called “revolving door” in the recruitment practice of DoD civilians, particularly at the senior level.
But the “180-day rule” was suspended from 2001 to 2017 during the emergency situation following the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001.
According to a recent report by the US Merit Systems Protection Board, more than 41,000 much-needed retired service workers were allowed to join government without the 180-day wait during that period.
In 2020, the House Armed Service Committee temporarily lifted the “180-day rule” under a two-year authority, but only for veterans seeking employment in military depots across the United States.
Retirees seeking other forms of DoD employment will now either have to wait six months after leaving the service or overcome bureaucratic hurdles for Pentagon officials to waive the “180-day rule” apply for.
Moore’s proposed law would permanently remove the 180-day rule for retired military personnel seeking employment at government service level 13 or below throughout the Department of Defense.
In 2020, approximately 1.4 million U.S. active or reserve service members were supported by nearly 900,000 civilian DoD personnel. The recent surge in the Pentagon‘s civilian workforce has largely been focused on technical skills and experience that can only be acquired through military service.
Moore’s staff emphasized that the Qualified Veterans Receipt Act would help make federal agencies more competitive with the private sector and facilitate the recruitment of skilled technicians necessary to maintain and support next generation equipment and weapons.
According to the US Census Bureau, the median age of a federal employee is 46 years, compared to the national average of 41 years. Around 29 percent of federal employees are now over 55 years old.
“The government’s ability to quickly hire veterans after they leave the military,” said Moore, “will make up for the rapidly aging workforce and provide post-service employment opportunities for these military personnel.”