Army clarifies exceptions to hiring freeze

March 6, 2013

The Army has clarified the exceptions to its general freeze on civilian employee hiring, addressing policies including the movement of current employees within the agency.


A memo dated Feb. 27 follows earlier guidance allowing for only limited exceptions. Those mainly apply to filling vacancies deemed critical to the agency’s mission and hiring persons with job-placement rights, such as those returning from an injury or overseas areas of military operations.

The Army along with other military services imposed a general civilian hiring freeze among other steps responding to the sequestration.

The new memo from the Army manpower office clarifies, for example, that an exception for internal recruitment actions that are limited to current employees also applies to positions that formerly were open to outside applicants as well, within certain limits. Also, existing positions “may be upgraded to accretion of duties and internal promotions may continue.” However, hiring under those exceptions can come only from within the same commuting area and commands “must fully consider the impact of associated cost increases on budget reduction plans.”

Also allowed is hiring through certain career developmental programs, scholarship programs and internship-type programs that provide for job placement, the memo says.

Further, while the original memo specified that there is no specific exception from the freeze for veterans, the new guidance notes that appointments to permanent positions remain allowed under several special hiring policies for veterans.

It also says the overseas assignment exception is not limited to Iraq and Afghanistan, but also applies to all jobs supporting overseas military operations as well as emergency, humanitarian, disaster relief, stability and similar missions.

The memo also specifies that the hiring freeze does not apply to self-supporting “non-appropriated fund” functions such as officers’ clubs. And it clarifies policies on laying off temporary employees when they reach the end of their appointments.

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Josh Hicks | March 6, 2013