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Department of Defense


The Department of Defense (DoD) is charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government relating directly to national security and the United States armed forces. The mission of the Department of Defense is to provide the military forces needed to deter war and to protect the security of our country.

The Department of Defense is America's oldest and largest government agency -tracing its roots back to pre-Revolutionary times. Today, the Department is not only in charge of the military, but it also employs a civilian force of thousands. With over 1.4 million men and women on active duty, and 718,000 civilian personnel, DoD is the nation's largest employer. Another 1.1 million serve in the National Guard and Reserve forces. More than 2 million military retirees and their family members receive benefits.

Perhaps you are working for the DoD or interested in working for the DoD. Here is a forum to share your experience with the DoD.
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meghunny  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, November 02, 2010 5:04:36 AM(UTC)
meghunny

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OK... I am trying to understand how this all works... here is my background:
 
I am a military spouse, have a Bachelors degree, but no directly related work experience to my degree. I began my civil service employment at our last base which was overseas and I was hired under the NSPS system as an Office Automation Technician YB-01. Then was coverted to a GS-4 step 6 when NSPS went back to GS. I was considered as having an "excepted service" appt (not competitive) since it was overseas, and was placed on a Priority Placement Program (PPP) in order to help me get picked up for another position at our new base. So fast forward, here I am at my new base and was just offered, and accepted, a position under PPP as a GS-4 step 6, this time as a Security Clerk. Now, what I am trying to understand is, how can I move up in the GS system considering that I do have a degree and would like to be something other than a clerk or secretary. I think, that after 1 year, I could get a GS-5 job, and then 1 year later GS-6 and so on... but how can I get a job of the more professional nature in say GS-9 or above?
martyb  
#2 Posted : Tuesday, November 02, 2010 5:15:18 AM(UTC)
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By applying to higher graded positions for which you are qualified/have experience in.  And....you need to do what you can to gain that experience so you'll be condidered to be qualified.  It's all about 1. What you've done.  2.  How well you sell yourself with your resume  3.  Right place at the right time.  4. Not underestimating your own value.   Make sure you shine the light on all of the things that make you an asset to prospective employers.  I'm sure somebody will come along that will give you a more specific answer, but this is basically how I look at things.
 
From your current GS-4, you'll probably move to a GS-5.  Then, you'll be looking for a 7, 9 11 etc.  You don't have to go to GS-6 before you can be a 7, or an 8  before you can be a 9.  lol..don't ask me to explain how all of that works...all I know is that most of the even-numbered grades I've seen past about a GS-4 have been related to certain job series...such as law enforcement, corrections officers, firefighters etc.  Again, not sure how that works, but when you get your GS-5 job, you'll then be looking to get a GS-7.
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meghunny  
#3 Posted : Tuesday, November 02, 2010 5:25:30 AM(UTC)
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Ok, that makes sense. Am I correct that I need to stay in this position for a full year before I could move to a GS 5 job? I guess what I notice is that most jobs are announced internally, and so you would basically have to move up the steps to ever get from a 4 to a 9 lets say, its not just like ok I am a 4, but now I have this degree and I can go and apply and get a 9 position or whatever. It seems like people are better off never getting into the system until they can qualify externally for something in a higher grade, that may be looking for primarily for education. Rather than starting in the system lower down, and then trying to move up as you gain education. Not sure if I am explaining that right, but hopefully you can see what I mean. It seems like its hard to get in the system, and then once you are in, its hard to move up.
simchief  
#4 Posted : Tuesday, November 02, 2010 5:35:53 AM(UTC)
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Good luck: your time in NSPS and GS overseas position will count towards your Time In Grade (TIG) for promotions.

 

Use merit system to "step" up to next higher grade, you must meet TIG.

 

You can apply for any higher graded  positions you are qualified for; if they are announced as open to public (US Citizens).

I'll be shoveling along: <br />Digger O'Dell
luckyirish676  
#5 Posted : Thursday, November 04, 2010 5:28:06 AM(UTC)
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I could be wrong but from my experience as well....you Can apply for another job posting in your degree field at anytime, however as previous poster had said it has to be Open to the Public and you wil not be able to use your spousal preference to get such job, basically in this case your applying as a public citizen and as I am sure you know, its not easy to break in that way. And I fully agree its impossible to get in, and even harder to move-up.
RetirednHappy  
#6 Posted : Thursday, November 04, 2010 8:19:16 AM(UTC)
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Meghunny:  I wouldn't categoize it as Impossible, just very challenging. Keep applying, particularly to those "Open to US Citizens" postings. Sooner or later you will probably "sync up" with an activity need and find yourself at a higher level. Depending on your Bachelor Degree field, that may qualify you at the GS-7 level going in! In the mean time, continue at your current position, with a positive, can-do attitude and skill development. That may earn you an accelerated step increase, as a GS employee.
skunker  
#7 Posted : Friday, November 05, 2010 8:14:58 AM(UTC)
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You don't have to do the TIG thing. You can apply for a higher position if your previous experience meets it (ie, non-federal work). 
BlueCollarGuy  
#8 Posted : Tuesday, November 09, 2010 9:31:25 PM(UTC)
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meghunny wrote:
OK... I am trying to understand how this all works... here is my background:
 
I am a military spouse, have a Bachelors degree, but no directly related work experience to my degree. I began my civil service employment at our last base which was overseas and I was hired under the NSPS system as an Office Automation Technician YB-01. Then was coverted to a GS-4 step 6 when NSPS went back to GS. I was considered as having an "excepted service" appt (not competitive) since it was overseas, and was placed on a Priority Placement Program (PPP) in order to help me get picked up for another position at our new base. So fast forward, here I am at my new base and was just offered, and accepted, a position under PPP as a GS-4 step 6, this time as a Security Clerk. Now, what I am trying to understand is, how can I move up in the GS system considering that I do have a degree and would like to be something other than a clerk or secretary. I think, that after 1 year, I could get a GS-5 job, and then 1 year later GS-6 and so on... but how can I get a job of the more professional nature in say GS-9 or above?
 
Look into finding a job and getting appointed under the FCIP (federal career intern program).
j_free  
#9 Posted : Thursday, December 02, 2010 9:04:19 AM(UTC)
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As a 4 step 6 you qualify to apply for a 5 now.  Also look for jobs that are advertised as Delegating Examining Unit, I think it is essentially the same as those advertised as all US Citizens. It looks at resume experience only unlike merit promotion which requires the 52 weeks of TIG at the next lower grade level. Its how you work it from within, but yeah sometime it does seem like its best to qualify as high as you can before you come in.

Degree alone in many series will only get a 5 with high GPA sometimes a 7.  Experience is what counts! 

I was able to jump from a 9 with 3 months time in grade to an 11/12 position by applying to an advertisement under DEU. And the funny thing is the the experience I used to qualify was experience in the same office as a 7 for a year and 9 for 3 months. But, base on my resume I qualified for the 11/12 under DEU.


JustErin  
#10 Posted : Thursday, December 02, 2010 9:49:16 AM(UTC)
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If you have some free time, you might want to look into getting some volunteer experience in your degree area, or a field that you would like to go into. Experience is experience whether its paid or not.  Before I got my current NF-3 job as an Illustrator, I spent a year volunteering for an organization that provided free design services to Non-profit agencies.  On top of that, if you volunteer you also build networks and references should your resume be referred.

With 4 years of on the job experience under my belt now (NF-3) under my belt along with my education, I just accepted a GS-9, Editor position.  The key is to get the experience you want any way you can get it. 

roe121  
#11 Posted : Friday, December 03, 2010 3:30:27 AM(UTC)
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This is kind of related to her question. I'm a military spouse too. I am now a GS-05, but I could've easily qualified for a GS-09 in my position if there had been one to apply for (I was actually referred for a GS-09 but I took the 05 because I had been waiting so long I couldn't wait any longer to see if the other one worked out).  If I've gained 4 years' work experience related to my degree past college (in non-federal work), can I apply for a GS-09 in the future without the TIG? And can it be a status annoucement or does it just have to be an open public announcement?
In regards to meg's post I would say you'd have to climb the ladder from grade to grade if you don't have experience yet...
Knight  
#12 Posted : Friday, December 03, 2010 4:05:13 AM(UTC)
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Once you are in the system it will have to be an open public one to jump grades drastically. Some careers actually move up in twos (5/7/9) vs every single step. It varies so I can't say which for sure.
 
Since you are a 5 now you could lateral to a career ladder of 5/7/9 and be that 9 in two years. Always keep your eyes open for opportunity.
Lazy_Fed  
#13 Posted : Friday, December 03, 2010 4:23:30 AM(UTC)
Lazy_Fed

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meghunny wrote:
OK... I am trying to understand how this all works... here is my background:
 
I am a military spouse, have a Bachelors degree, but no directly related work experience to my degree. I began my civil service employment at our last base which was overseas and I was hired under the NSPS system as an Office Automation Technician YB-01. Then was coverted to a GS-4 step 6 when NSPS went back to GS. I was considered as having an "excepted service" appt (not competitive) since it was overseas, and was placed on a Priority Placement Program (PPP) in order to help me get picked up for another position at our new base. So fast forward, here I am at my new base and was just offered, and accepted, a position under PPP as a GS-4 step 6, this time as a Security Clerk. Now, what I am trying to understand is, how can I move up in the GS system considering that I do have a degree and would like to be something other than a clerk or secretary. I think, that after 1 year, I could get a GS-5 job, and then 1 year later GS-6 and so on... but how can I get a job of the more professional nature in say GS-9 or above?
 
Just keep showing up to work everyday. That should take you all the way to SES level after enough years have passed.
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