What You Should Know About the Military Spouse Preference Program



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By Anna Sommer, American Public University System

It can be very challenging to maintain or grow within a career as a military spouse. Military life is filled with PCS moves, deployments, regular family obligations, and much more. For some, military life also means the challenges of injuries or health issues. This often means trying to find a new job with every move or trying to maintain a career despite the challenges of military life. Many military spouses end up in positions they are over educated or overqualified for, or they end up frustrated with the lack of growth in their career. The Military Spouse Preference Program was initiated to assist military spouses in obtaining a federal job position. Following is more about this program and how to participate.

The Military Spouse Preference Program is an eligibility program for federal agencies. This means that, as part of the application process, you can select a box that indicates you are eligible for this program. To be eligible, you must meet the following criteria:

  • A spouse of an active duty member of the armed forces.
  • A spouse of a service member who is 100% disabled due to a service-connected injury.
  • A spouse of a service member killed while on active duty.

Be sure to thoroughly read all the information for each job posting as well.


In most cases, you will need to prove that you meet the eligibility requirements. This means you may be required to submit documents as part of your application package, such as your service member’s active duty orders for your current duty station, a marriage license, a DD 214, a DD 1300, or other documents.

The Military Spouse Preference Program does not guarantee anyone a job. You must meet all job requirements that are listed in the job posting to qualify for the specific job for which you are applying. The Military Spouse Preference Program simply means that, out of all of the applicants who are applying and are qualified for that position, your application package will be given preference.

Be sure to thoroughly read all the information for each job posting as well. Every job posting will provide details for the job requirements, education, and experience needed to be qualified for the position, and information on documents that are required as part of your application package. The job posting itself will have a green icon with two white circles to indicate that it is open to the Military Spouse Preference Program. You can also search within USAJOBS specifically for postings that are military spouse eligible if you only want to look for positions that take part in this program. For more information, please go to www.USAJOBS.com.

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