empty executive chair (FGC/Shutterstock.com)

Military spouse? Use your hiring preference!


Military spouses are eligible for a very powerful advantage when searching for a new federal job: a built-in legal preference at hiring time, as long as you meet certain criteria. 

In recent years, the government stopped using the old spousal job preference—the former Priority Preference Program (PPP), also known as “Program S.” 

The newer program—as discussed in a new article on Military.com—the Military Spouse Preference (MSP) is the replacement for Program S. It offers several key improvements, not least that you no longer have to go in person to register for the scheme. You can do it all online, and then make use of your preference via the USAJOBS.gov government hiring website. 

Like the previous program, in recognition of the dangerous work and sacrifice of military personnel and their families, MSP also can be accessed by spouses of disabled servicemembers as well as of those killed on active duty. 

As the article warns, neither the earlier nor current program entitle you to a federal job, but they do provide a preference in the event you can meet all the qualifications and background checks demanded by a given position. You can read more about MSP in the article or on an informational page on the Military Officers Association of America website.

Reader comments

Wed, Oct 6, 2021

There is also veterans preference. Its good the government gives an edge to people who serve the government already.

Fri, Sep 24, 2021 George

Being a fed manager and giving someone "unauthorized advantage" in hiring is totally prohibited and illegal. You can report it in more than one way. Go have a look at: https://osc.gov/Services/Pages/PPP.aspx#tabGroup16 .

Thu, Sep 23, 2021 Benjamin Toyama Hawaii

Here in Hawaii we have seen a terrible abuse of the new system. The wife of an 06 officer became the supervisor of the Family Housing department and began to rid the office of the local employees and begant to hire her friends and neighbors. She hire a neighbor to a GS-13 position whose previous experience was an Aroma therapist, working from home in a multi-marketing system. Another neighbor was hired on the strenght of being a rental agent because she rented out her home in San Diego. How do you hold these people accountable when they are co-conspirators with the Admiral and commanding Officers?

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above.

2021 Digital Almanac

Stay Connected

Latest Forum Posts

Ask the Expert

Have a question regarding your federal employee benefits or retirement?

Submit a question