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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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cyberfx1024  
#21 Posted : Tuesday, December 05, 2017 8:33:15 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Rikaku Go to Quoted Post
The good ole boy system is definitely alive within DoD, but so is it everywhere else. Smaller civilian agencies - especially offices located outside of DC - also suffer from lack of upward mobility due to the few higher ranks being occupied by people with 30+ years with no intention to retire or leave anytime soon.

At least with DoD you have the option to move to where the opportunities are with relative ease. And, if you end up not liking it, a couple of years of DoD experience will open up a lot of doors across the government. The same cannot necessarily be said about USDA.


That is the issue where I am at right now, and I have voiced this with supervisor endlessly since he arrived almost 18 months ago. I have consistently had to ask for extra training in order to broaden my skill set to help further our mission. I have tried to help our office because before if one person on the University is not into the office certain important things can't be done. I have had to push to get that training with the different systems and programs. But otherwise than that additional training I have gotten there is NO upward mobility at all here in our office. There are guys here who have been the same grade level for over 10 years since they moved from being Contractors to GS employees.
skibum  
#22 Posted : Wednesday, December 06, 2017 6:42:07 PM(UTC)

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DOD Rocks! Worked for them and want to go back! At USDA, no money, no training money, reorganization going on, no Wellness program 3 hours off per week for exercise that other agencies have, (only a few within USDA offer it not mine which is one of 22 sub agencies). DOD once in you can move around. They have the biggest budget believe 56 billion additional funding over current for FY18 coming soon. Loved the agency, very professional. Been applying all over, trying to get back. I am not a veteran so it is harder right now to get in top referred group. I get referred but not in the top and many notices state not referred as veterans were referred...DOD is definitely worth it!!!
Timber  
#23 Posted : Thursday, December 07, 2017 4:14:35 AM(UTC)
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^poit of reference not all agencies under DOD give 3 hours excercise time. Some do 2 and othere you get 3 hpurs a week but it only lasts for 6 months.

As mentioned earlier if that is a sticling poit I highly suggest you clarify that woth any office. Best of luck!
When asked your skill level on applications, don't lie, but also let someone else be the one to tell you your not an expert!
FedCivServ  
#24 Posted : Friday, December 08, 2017 10:51:32 AM(UTC)

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Originally Posted by: Attempt2 Go to Quoted Post
For DoD career advancement can be good in certain places, Washington DC and remote sites. The main issue with DoD is the old boys network of favoring people with prior military experience. There are far to many hiring official that look at GS position as places to former military member even if they are not qualified; as I have been told multiple times "yes they don't have the skills but they are former military so we can train them."


that's the exact reason my agency has a policy that we can't "import" retired or former military or any other "outsiders" for higher grades like 14 or 15 for most career fields without first having to give opportunities to current federal employees. We have to recruit/fill that way and then interview and prove that no internals are best qualified. I have only seen that happen once or twice in 3 years and the rest of the time higher graded jobs are filled within civil service. We can hire former mil at the 12 or sometimes 13 level however.

cs79  
#25 Posted : Friday, December 15, 2017 8:16:29 PM(UTC)
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I'm DOD and was wondering can one just request a transfer or do you just apply like everyone else on USAJOBS?

I have seen very few non-DOD 1550 series come up since the freeze last Jan. Recently, there where were about 50 1550 openings and only 1 was non-DOD, this is all over the US.


Originally Posted by: Rikaku Go to Quoted Post


At least with DoD you have the option to move to where the opportunities are with relative ease.


Rikaku  
#26 Posted : Saturday, December 16, 2017 1:39:37 PM(UTC)

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Originally Posted by: cs79 Go to Quoted Post


I'm DOD and was wondering can one just request a transfer or do you just apply like everyone else on USAJOBS?

I have seen very few non-DOD 1550 series come up since the freeze last Jan. Recently, there where were about 50 1550 openings and only 1 was non-DOD, this is all over the US.


Originally Posted by: Rikaku Go to Quoted Post


At least with DoD you have the option to move to where the opportunities are with relative ease.




Traditionally, you need to find an open position and apply for it. There are some transfer programs (e.g. hardship transfer), but they aren't easy to obtain, and even then I think you still are responsible for finding an open spot somewhere.
BigNutz  
#27 Posted : Sunday, December 31, 2017 9:00:20 PM(UTC)
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So I'm a dollar late with this reply, but far be it from me to not offer some input where I can. So I have worked for two Federal Agencies, the FAA and the DoD. I haven't read every reply, so this may be duplicate points, but if someone tries to tell you that "DoD is far more restrictive than this agency or that agency", they are painting with a brush far too broad for the question. The FAA for example is one Federal Agency, but it doesn't take long to realize that it's actually 5-6 completely unique and distinct organizations and cultures. However even then once cannot say that each of these (ATO, Airports, etc.) lines-of-business have a single culture and experience across the board. Every office and first line manager is going to tailor the specific office environment they oversee based on the guidance of their various leadership tiers above them.

The DoD is no different in this sense. I lead (loosely defined) a small analytic team which falls under a larger organization who all reside in the same building. Despite this close proximity, our team culture is NOTHING like any of the other elements within the organization, which was a deliberate effort over time. There are other leaders in the building that insist on being consulted on every decision their people make, and some that don't. That's all in one 50 personnel-strong USAF organization, you can imagine the broad diversity of working environments and office cultures across the entire DoD would be hard to pin down. I didn't even muddy the waters by trying to compare USMC, USAF, USN, and USA macro-cultures to that of DoD/ Pentagon.

I do feel comfortable saying a few big picture differences that I have observed about DoD, when compared to at least the FAA. As one could probably suppose, DoD by it's very nature is FAR more rank-centric than the relatively laid-back FAA. In my experience, DoD employees and senior leaders are keenly aware of civilian pay-grade/ military rank correlations which at the FAA were rarely discussed, if even understood. I was in for a little culture shock when I first observed my front-line manager addressing out GG-15 Dir of Ops and SES Director as Ms. this and Mr. that. At the FAA, the lines between GS-15/ L-Band leaders and SESs were very blurry, and everyone was on a first name basis as far as I could tell.

Every now and again I do run into a GG-13 or GG-14 at DoD who take the idea of correlated military rank a step too far. As a US Federal Government Employee (GS/GG/FG), an individual's authority is not in any way drawn from their pay-grade (hence the designation). Authority is drawn in full from positions held, and that which is delegated to them by their superiors. Rank in the military, however does carry intrinsic authorities by virtue of the rank alone. Always remember that, if some blow-hard idiot a pay grade above you tries to "pull rank" and direct you to take actions they have no authority to direct, it's on you. Tell them where to stick it.

The bottom line....way down here...Unless you have a trusted insider already in that unit, you won't be able to determine their specific office culture until you're in it. I will add one last thing, which is admittedly myopic on it's face. Consider the winds of resourcing and funding we will likely be experiencing over the next 3 years. The previous 8 haven't been great for DoD, but we see clearer skies ahead!
FatHappyCat  
#28 Posted : Monday, January 01, 2018 4:56:06 PM(UTC)

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Originally Posted by: BigNutz Go to Quoted Post
Consider the winds of resourcing and funding we will likely be experiencing over the next 3 years. The previous 8 haven't been great for DoD, but we see clearer skies ahead!


If you're referring to the 500+ billion defense budget that DJT and Congress wants to pass you can be rest assured that the civilian side of the house will see very little of that. That money has been slated for uniformed personnel and equipment as well as overseas operation. Having worked with 5 separate federal agencies now, I can honestly say DoD probably might have issues working with many non-prior service people who will have a difficult time understanding their nature and culture.
Llama  
#29 Posted : Wednesday, January 31, 2018 10:22:10 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: PERSEC Go to Quoted Post
Go work for DLA, some of their positions are 100% telework eligible.


I second this. Even if it's not 100% telework, you can get it at least two days a week plus 3 hrs of gym time per week.
GWPDA  
#30 Posted : Wednesday, January 31, 2018 7:28:13 PM(UTC)
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I've worked all around the Fed system, from waaaaaaaaaaay out west to the midwest, to visiting in DC. In DC, I found one place that I actually would have loved to work - the USDA site in Greenbelt Maryland. It's like being in the country, peaceful, quiet And Greenbelt is a wonderful place to live. Personal preference only. I'm stuck out here in Region IX right on the missile attack route, but only for another three years or so. After that, I reckon I can go home, either to Tierra Encantada or close by.

Still, I vote for USDA.
cyberfx1024  
#31 Posted : Tuesday, February 06, 2018 6:10:34 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: GWPDA Go to Quoted Post
I've worked all around the Fed system, from waaaaaaaaaaay out west to the midwest, to visiting in DC. In DC, I found one place that I actually would have loved to work - the USDA site in Greenbelt Maryland. It's like being in the country, peaceful, quiet And Greenbelt is a wonderful place to live. Personal preference only. I'm stuck out here in Region IX right on the missile attack route, but only for another three years or so. After that, I reckon I can go home, either to Tierra Encantada or close by.

Still, I vote for USDA.


Honestly I really think I should have chosen the USDA instead of the DOD. I had forgotten how so rank/grade specific the DOD is compared to everywhere else. My first day I get there and I am being shown around like "Hey this is XXX he is our new GS-9" which really rankled me because I came from a GS-11 position down to a GS-9 for career progression. Also what really got to me is that I am being forced to work a AWS schedule no if, ands, or butts. That means I have work 7 days of 9 hour days, 2 eight hour days, and one day off out of a 2 week pay period. I am used to working a straight 10 days of 8 hours a day. Also I forgot how it sucks having to go on and off base just to get to work, like today the gate closest to my work was closed so I had to go the long way on and the lost way off the base. The only good thing from this is that I have learned more in the last 2 weeks than I have the last year at my last job.

So where are you now, Kwajalein?

Edited by user Tuesday, February 06, 2018 6:30:34 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

cyberfx1024  
#32 Posted : Tuesday, February 06, 2018 6:11:35 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Llama Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: PERSEC Go to Quoted Post
Go work for DLA, some of their positions are 100% telework eligible.


I second this. Even if it's not 100% telework, you can get it at least two days a week plus 3 hrs of gym time per week.


That has been the only bright spot in this new job.

CertifiedSinecure  
#33 Posted : Friday, February 16, 2018 8:32:38 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: cyberfx1024 Go to Quoted Post

Honestly I really think I should have chosen the USDA instead of the DOD. I had forgotten how so rank/grade specific the DOD is compared to everywhere else. My first day I get there and I am being shown around like "Hey this is XXX he is our new GS-9" which really rankled me because I came from a GS-11 position down to a GS-9 for career progression. Also what really got to me is that I am being forced to work a AWS schedule no if, ands, or butts. That means I have work 7 days of 9 hour days, 2 eight hour days, and one day off out of a 2 week pay period. I am used to working a straight 10 days of 8 hours a day. Also I forgot how it sucks having to go on and off base just to get to work, like today the gate closest to my work was closed so I had to go the long way on and the lost way off the base. The only good thing from this is that I have learned more in the last 2 weeks than I have the last year at my last job.

So where are you now, Kwajalein?


For what it's worth, I think you made a good decision. I see a lot of DoD vs USDA debate, but what I focused on is Infosec vs CustSpt. Infosec positions typically afford a higher quality of life at work and set you up better for GS13+. Conversely, Infosec is much more common in DoD right now vs other agencies. Hopefully this changes as agencies are finding out it's cheaper to hire Infosec guys than to explain leaks to the public.

The whole "GS-9" thing will fade after a few weeks. From their perspective, they had a vacant billet that was GS-9. They were describing your position as the GS-9. Soon they'll stop saying it and describe you as what you can offer.

I just left the DoD for the DoI. It would take some top notch wordsmithing to get me back into the DoD. The DoD did offer me a higher feeling that my work had an impact. The opportunities for advancement are abundant. The positions were good on the whole. It is just the little things that add up.
cyberfx1024  
#34 Posted : Tuesday, February 20, 2018 4:48:30 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: CertifiedSinecure Go to Quoted Post
For what it's worth, I think you made a good decision. I see a lot of DoD vs USDA debate, but what I focused on is Infosec vs CustSpt. Infosec positions typically afford a higher quality of life at work and set you up better for GS13+. Conversely, Infosec is much more common in DoD right now vs other agencies. Hopefully this changes as agencies are finding out it's cheaper to hire Infosec guys than to explain leaks to the public.

The whole "GS-9" thing will fade after a few weeks. From their perspective, they had a vacant billet that was GS-9. They were describing your position as the GS-9. Soon they'll stop saying it and describe you as what you can offer.

I just left the DoD for the DoI. It would take some top notch wordsmithing to get me back into the DoD. The DoD did offer me a higher feeling that my work had an impact. The opportunities for advancement are abundant. The positions were good on the whole. It is just the little things that add up.


I think it will fade in the future but overall they like what I have brought to the table so far, so I will definitely keep it up. The command I am in actually just changed the way they are hiring people in order to fill the gaps that they have right now in different departments, and making it more direct hire faster hiring(supposedly). So we shall see how this goes in the future.

Where in the DoI did you go, because I just left there?
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