Friday, July 19th, 2019
U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and David Perdue, R-Ga., introduced legislation on Monday to eliminate a current six-month waiting period before retired military service members may be hired as federal civilian employees.
The measure would help the Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex in Warner Robins, Ga., and other depots around the country fill critical positions for which quality candidates may otherwise be lost to private sector careers due to the existing waiting period. Under current law, there is a six-month waiting period between retiring from military service and being considered for a U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) position.
“The Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex and other military depots around the country need qualified workers, and no one is more qualified than military retirees who already have Department of Defense experience. Repealing the waiting period for military retirees to enter the federal civilian workforce in this capacity will help fill critical vacancies,” said Isakson, a member of the Senate Depot Caucus. “I am proud to join this effort to make our federal hiring process more efficient to support our military’s mission of maintaining the highest levels of readiness possible.”
“At a time when restoring readiness is a top priority of the Pentagon, the last thing we want to do is hamstring our military depots’ ability to hire the highly skilled workforce necessary to do the job,” said Perdue, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “The current bureaucratic hiring process at DoD is forcing qualified, well-trained applicants to move to the private sector for timely employment after finishing active duty service. If we want our depots, including Warner Robins Air Logistic Complex, to remain competitive in the 21st century, they must have the ability to secure the top talent to support our mission requirements.”
Specifically, S.2115, would repeal the current 180-day period that military retirees must wait before they can apply for civilian jobs for which they are qualified at the Department of Defense. To protect the hiring process, the bill also clarifies that the position cannot be held open for the retiring service member, a concern that led to establishment of the current waiting period. Further, the measure clarifies that position qualifications may not be written in a way to advantage a service member prior to his or her retirement. It also ensures that the service member is considered under the same standard civil service process as any other candidate for the position.
The legislation was led by U.S. Senator James Lankford, R-Okla., and cosponsored by Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Mitt Romney, R-Utah, in addition to Isakson and Perdue.