The National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2022 approved a MSP DHA pilot program until December 31, 2026 to hire military spouses at foreign locations


  • Military Spouse on PCS orders to Misawa AB
  • Spouse must reside with military sponsor in local commuting area


  • May be used to fill any position at the GS-15 and below
  • May appoint qualified military spouses (not currently permanent federal employees)
  • MSP DHA does not prohibit a military spouse from using other available appointment/hiring authority
  • Recruitment through USAJobs not required


  • All appointments are Term Positions not to exceed 2 years may be extended up to 6 years  
  • MSP DHA positions will terminate at Sponsor’s DEROS, relocation, retirement, death, divorce


  • Current permanent military spouse must agree to a 3-day break in service
  • DHA appointments are not permanent (time limited)
  • Leave without pay is not authorized for MSP DHA positions
  • DHA appointments may not convert to permanent status

Go to CPO Sharepoint, Recruitment and Placement (US Staffing), DHA for Military Spouses for further information.


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  Who is eligible to be appointed utilizing this DHA?

A: A spouse (husband or wife) who is Legally married to an “Active Duty” military member stationed at a duty location outside the United States. Spouse must be listed on the military PCS orders.

 Does this DHA apply to spouses of civilian employees?

A: No, Pilot Program will only assess the use of the authority to hire spouses of members of the uniformed services at locations outside the United States.

 What does the term “Uniformed Services” mean?

A: The term Uniformed Services mean
          a. Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Space Force, and Coast Guard)
          b. The commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
          c. The commissioned corps of the Public Health Service

 What is considered a “location outside the U.S.”?

A: All locations outside the Continental US including Guam and Puerto Rico. This does not include Hawaii and Alaska.

 What type of appointment can be made utilizing this DHA?

A: Appointments are on a time-limited basis, Temporary or Term. Initial Term appointments will not exceed 2 years with the ability to extend for two additional terms (not to exceed 2 years for each extension) NTE a total of 6 years.

 Is SAF/MR applicable to DHA Pilot Program for military spouses?

A: This is pending a final determination. AFPC will provide an update when received.

 Since a public notice, nor announcement is required to utilize this DHA, how do we source candidates for vacant positions?

A: DAF will utilize Public Notices for some occupations. Spouses should be directed to and search by location for the commuting area where their sponsor is assigned. Other positions may be posted or sourced through the Air Force Civilian Services website and Air Force Personnel Center Talent Acquisition (TA) Team (refer to Talent Acquisition Services). TA will provide consulting services to assist with identifying qualified candidates, utilizing services such as LinkedIn Recruiter, and other job boards. If BNR cannot be identified, traditional recruitment may be followed IAW SAF/MR Policy dated 27 March 2018.

 Is the current OCONUS DHA Business Process (BP) Guide applicable to DHA-MS Pilot program?

A: OCONUS DHA Procedures guide outlines procedures related to the recruitment initiated from CONUS to OCONUS foreign locations. Pilot program on DHA-MS intent is to allow an additional authority to hire military spouses at locations outside the U.S., when stationed with the member at the foreign duty location and meets qualification and eligibility requirements.

  Can you appoint a permanent competitive status employee when utilizing this DHA?

A: The authority should primarily be used to appoint qualified candidates who are not existing DoD competitive service employees with permanent status. However, if management considers the use of the authority to appoint a permanent competitive status employee a 3-day break in federal service (i.e. Resign on Thurs, for Mon appointment). There is no conversion of appointment authority permitted. As a reminder, appointments using DHA-MS may only be Time-Limited.

 How does DHA-MS affect other Family member preference/authorities?

A: Use of this authority does not interfere with DAF’s ability to appoint spouses of Uniformed Services personnel in overseas locations under any other overseas family member hiring authorities, to include the Overseas Family Member Excepted Service Schedule A hiring authority under DoD Instruction, 1400.25, Volume 1232.

 Can a Military Spouse utilize their Overseas Military Spouse Preference (MSP) after they accept a position utilizing this DHA-MS?

A: Yes. The Overseas Military Spouse Preference is not affected by this DHA-MS, due to appointments under this authority must be on a time-limited basis (not permanent).

 Can a Military Spouse appointed under this DHA be subsequently converted to a military spouse Schedule A appointment?

A: Yes. Military Spouse Preference (MSP) is not affected by DHA-MS authority, if a military spouse meets the criteria for MSP and currently works for the agency under the DHA Military spouse pilot program, a conversion to a Schedule A appointment may be permissible.

 What is the definition of “local commuting area"?

A: As determined by Installation Commanders utilizing the definition in 5 CFR § 351.203 for the geographic area that usually constitutes one area for employment purposes. It includes any population center (or two or more neighboring ones) and the surrounding localities in which people live and can reasonably be expected to travel back and forth daily to their usual employment.

 What actions would terminate a DHA-MS appointment?

A: Appointments terminate either upon expiration of the term
upon the end of the sponsoring Uniformed Service member’s accompanied tour
on the date the sponsoring Uniformed Service member or spouse is impacted by one of the following circumstances:
         a. Relocation back to the United States in connection with PCS orders;
         b. Relocation from their assigned duty station’s local commuting area to another duty location outside the United States in connection with a PCS move;
         c. Divorce
         d. Death of sponsor
         e. Retires or separates from active duty

 Does this authority allow LWOP?

A: No. Under this authority, spouses of Uniformed Services personnel are not eligible for leave without pay (LWOP) when relocating outside of the commuting area.

 Will this authority allow for remote work?

A: No, remote work is not authorized under this DHA authority, as one of the requirements is the position offered must be within the local commuting area of the Uniformed Service member's assigned duty location.

 Are there any reporting requirements associated with this Pilot DHA?

A: Yes, requirements are due annually to HAF/A1C by 5 October. AFPC/MAJCOMs/FLDCOMs/COCOMs are responsible to track/report all the requirements as outlined below:
            a. AFPC will provide the listing of the number of spouses of Uniformed Services personnel to the Civilian Personnel Offices. This will include Name, Series, and Grade as well as any applicable demographic data.
            b. Civilian Personnel Offices will use the data provided in (a) and provide the following requirements:
                   (1) Data on the Uniformed Services Member.
                   (2) Analysis of the feasibility and use of the DHA in the overseas environment.
                   (3) How the commuting distances were determined.

 Does the 180-day Waiver apply?

A: Yes. As a matter of policy, section 3326 of chapter 33, subchapter I of title 5, U.S.C., and corresponding Code of Federal Regulations provisions will continue to apply

 Does Reduction in Force (RIF) Rules apply as it pertains to 5 CFR 351.201?

A: This is pending a final determination. AFPC will provide an update when received.

 Does PPP apply?

A: Yes. Appointments under this authority are subject to the Priority Placement Program. Procedures applicable to the use of a statutory DoD DHA may be found in the Priority Placement Program Handbook, Chapter 4, Appendix B.

 Can CPS/MAJCOMs create a repository of resumes of military spouses in the local Civilian Personnel Flights?

A: No. Sourcing of candidates can occur through the applicants under the Public Notices, AFPC Talent Acquisition or traditional recruitment.

 Does Veteran’s Preference apply?

A: No. Qualified candidates with veteran’s preference should be considered as they are found, just as any qualified non-preference eligible.




We now have a process for connecting military spouses with hiring managers to try to make the use of this authority easy for you.

If you are a requirement owner seeking to get the word out to prospective employees eligible for military spouse DHA, we will advertise your position at Newcomer’s Orientation.

All you have to do is email the MFRC (attn: Newcomer’s Orientation) with the following information:

  • Position (Title, Series, Grade)
  • Brief Description of Duties
  • Selecting Official Name and Contact Information (DSN & Email)

It’s that easy! We’ll take this info and brief it every week. We’ll also keep this list on hand at the M&FRC so that we can advertise to spouses as they come to visit the facility or call asking about job opportunities on base. Then just tell us when it’s filled so we can take it down.

The Civilian Personnel Office has also developed the attached quick-reference guide to give you the basic facts about military spouse DHA authority. If you need more info, visit our SharePoint site here.


Managers/Selecting Officials:

Once you have identified a potential military spouse candidate for your vacancy, the following documents must be attached to Request for Personnel Action (RPA) or provide to your serving HR Staffing Specialist:

  • Military Spouse DHA certification checklist
  • Resume
  • PCS orders
  • Transcripts/License/Training cert if it’s required.
  • SF-50 or Personnel document


Once CPS completes a review all documents, RPA will be forwarded to AFPC for qualification review and tentative job offer extended.