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News Release

Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Contact: Office of Communications

RELEASE: OPM and OMB Release First-Ever Government-wide Plan to Tackle Employment Barriers and Expand Opportunities for Military-Connected Spouses, Caregivers, and Survivors

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released the first-ever government-wide Military-Connected Strategic Plan for FY 2024-2028 to support agencies in their efforts to recruit, hire, and retain military-connected spouses, caregivers, and survivors within the federal government. 

“Advancing economic opportunity for military-connected spouses, caregivers, and survivors strengthens our federal workforce and the nation,” said OPM Director Kiran Ahuja. “A good-paying, flexible, and dependable federal job strengthens the economic security of our military families and helps spouses succeed in their own careers, while also supporting their loved ones in uniform. Tackling barriers to recruiting, hiring, and retaining talent also improves our workforce and expands our talent pool to mission-driven public servants who want to give back to their country.” 

“Military families may not wear a uniform, but we know they serve too,” said First Lady Jill Biden, champion of Joining Forces, her White House initiative to support military families. The President understands that we can’t ask our service members to choose between their love of country and their love of family. Addressing military spouse unemployment is critical to our national security and that’s why the President has taken action. The federal government is doing its part, and we hope employers everywhere will follow suit by offering more flexible, transferable, and remote job opportunities for military spouses, caregivers, and survivors. It’s vital for the future of our nation – and a great way to find the dynamic talent that businesses need.” 

“This Administration recognizes that the commitment and resilience of military-connected families is essential to the recruitment, retention, and readiness of our Armed Forces,” said Jason Miller, Deputy Director for Management, Office of Management and Budget. “This Strategic Plan will help ensure that our military and veteran families, caregivers, and survivors have the opportunity to build meaningful careers and economic security for their families – while strengthening our federal workforce.” 

The federal government recognizes that in times of both peace and war, military-connected families sacrifice for our country, answering the call to duty over and again. Many military-connected spouses — the vast majority of whom are women — struggle to achieve their desired career goals due to the strains of multiple deployments; frequent moves with little control over their geographic location; caring for wounded, ill, and injured service members or veterans; time apart for training, and more.  

On June 9, 2023, President Biden, joined by First Lady Jill Biden, signed Executive Order (EO) 14100, Advancing Economic Security for Military and Veteran Spouses, Military Caregivers, and Survivors, recognizing the importance of military family economic well-being. The EO directs Executive Departments and agencies to strengthen their ability to recruit, hire, develop, promote, and retain this skilled and diverse pool of talent. 

The strategies in this Plan help agencies take a comprehensive and collaborative approach to support military-connected families in the federal government. By leveraging the capacity and resources of the Departments of Defense, State, Labor, Veteran Affairs, Homeland Security, and OPM, each department and agency will be better positioned to increase the number of military-connected spouses in the workforce and utilize their talents to better serve the American people.  

The Government-wide Military-Connected Strategic Plan consists of: 

  • Measures of success for the recruitment, hiring, and retention of military-connected spouses.
  • Enhanced support for the retention of military spouses in federal careers.
  • Strategies to eliminate, where applicable, barriers to the employment of military-connected spouses in the federal workforce.
  • Strategies for marketing the talent, experience, and diversity of military-connected spouses to agencies.
  • Data-driven approach to increasing transparency and accountability in hiring and retention — including by encouraging agencies to set goals for hiring under the Military Spouse Noncompetitive Appointment Authority.

This Strategic Plan also builds on the government-wide plans required by EO 13583 of August 18, 2011, which established a coordinated government-wide initiative to promote diversity and inclusion in the federal workforce, as well as EO 14035 of June 25, 2021, which advances diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in the federal workforce. 

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The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is the leader in workforce management for the federal government. Our agency builds, strengthens, and serves a federal workforce of 2.2 million employees with programs like hiring assistance, healthcare and insurance, retirement benefits, and much more. We provide agencies with policies, guidance, and best practices for supporting federal workers, so they can best serve the American people.

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