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I looked at the SCEP program and noticed that it and the hiring reform both focus on young people in college and graduating from college. I am older and have 31+ years with the BLM, but am stuck in my current position and so my career isn't moving forward like I want it to, so I am considering going back to college. Would I be able to take advantage of the SCEP program? If so, how would I do that?

Hello Ms. Mallia,

Unfortunately I can't provide an answer or a remedy to your question because the Priority Placement Program (PPP) is a DoD administered program governed by statutes that do not fall within the purview of OPM.

The problem you've described can only be addressed by the DoD component that you're seeking a position with.


Hello Mr. Caverly,

Thanks for the question, it is an interesting one.

There are currently within the Federal government, two types of laws that govern Military Spousal Preference in hiring:

1. Laws administered by the DoD

2. Laws administered by OPM

If your concern is about DoD’s implementation of their military spouse preference, then your concerns would need to be addressed by DoD.

If your concern is about the application of veterans’ preference, specifically the derivative preference granted to certain spouses, mothers, and widows, then we can address your concern.

Based on your e-mail, it appears you are asking about the veterans’ preference laws administered by OPM. As far as the veterans’ preference (including preference granted to certain spouses) laws administered by OPM are concerned, you are correct.

In general, the order of consideration is preference eligible (veterans) and then non-preference (non-veterans) eligible. However, just as disabled veterans can receive 10 points added to their scores or can be placed ahead of non-veterans within a quality category, certain spouses/mothers/widows/ are treated the same. Based on their derivative preference, they are also given 10 points or placed ahead of non-veterans within a quality category.

I hope this answers your concern.


Posted 1:17 PM by
I am a Military Spouse who has previously worked for the federal government. I have applied for the same position at the same base now 6 times due to the facility opening, closing, and extending the position for now 8 months. When I contact the CPAC office they give you the run around. I am a very well qualified candidate who is part of the PPP program and was told I would get preference. But somehow it seems that as long as you are familiar the OPM hiring process you can manipulate it to hire the individuals you want to and not overlook spouses on the PPP program. When I asked the CPAC office about the PPP preference I was told, "that there are ways to get around it and it doesn't work." If we are developing programs to help Military families than we should make sure that the program works. If it can be manipulated so preference to individuals is not provided that just shows that there are too many loop holes in the system. This should be looked into.

Not to take anything from the sacrifices that our military spouses make, but why does Military Spousal Preference take priority over Veterans when it comes to the hiring process? Many of us Veterans have been passed over for jobs due to this practice. It is disappointing really, as many, if not all of us were briefed during our transition processing that the order of precedent (when one meets the minimum qualifications of course) was Disabled Veterans, Veterans, then whoever else.

Hi Melisa,

Thank you for the blog entry, and to be sure: the Federal government is fair, honest and transparent in its hiring practices.

I'm sorry to hear that you've not met with the success you'd expected, I would counsel you to, as it relates to not being re-hired back into your old position, to contact that manager who indicated you were a valued asset.

And as it relates to whether you were qualified for positions you apply for, it is best to contact that Agency’s HR department to discuss your concerns, they'll be able to give you facts about how/if you qualify and they can possibly provide tips as to how you might improve your chances the next time you apply.

I certainly hope this helps.


I am a foreign graduated. When I got out active Army, I was hired in the government position as a GS5 where I worked for a year. During this time, I was nominated as employ of the month. Even though I was happy with my job, my boss and coworkers, I wanted to get my education transfer to USA. Therefore, I decided to go back to school. Things did not go as planned. As a result, after a year, I was looking for a job again. I talked to my boss, and he said he needed a person like me, and I could have my job back, but I had to apply for it. Therefore, I applied for the same job, same position, same place on USA jobs website. To my surprised, I got a letter stating that I was not qualified for the job. I am almost sure that whoever received my application did not even open it. She just decided that I was not qualified for it. Later, I applied for other positions. I was never qualifying for the job. Once, I was qualified for the job, but I did not have long experience on this position. I was on the first five of the list, but even though I turned in the letter from the VA and my DD214 papers. I was in the list the non-veteran. I did not get that job. During all this time, I continued with my education. Today, I am finishing my M degree. I really would like to work for the US government. However, I wish that the person who read my resume and qualification be fair and honest.

Hi Ms. Martin, While it may seem (an extremely competitive job market, etc.) difficult, from what you’ve written it looks as though you are on the right track. Remember, there are often multiples of 10, sometimes multiples of 100s of applicants for one position, so to be 'referred' at least means someone has taken notice of the skills you’ve listed in your application/s. We encourage you to revisit you resume and ensure you’ve addressed the skills required for the position/s you are seeking. I hope this helps and, good luck in your search.

Hi, I would like to know why is it so hard to get back into the government for employment once out. I have sent countless applications to different organizations within the government for employment. Some I was referred on , but not selected and some I just was not referred and I have worked in some of these positions before. I would love the opportunity to explain my SF-50, because truly it's based soley on what that reads.

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