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Immediate Release

Department of Defense Announces Guidance on Implementation of Civilian Workforce Hiring Freeze

Today, the Department of Defense (DoD) released a memorandum providing guidance on the implementation of the presidential memorandum, dated Jan. 23, subject:  “Hiring Freeze.” The guidance ensures that the department will honor both the letter and spirit of the president’s direction, mindful of our significant national security mission and public safety responsibilities.  While remaining consistent with the president's objectives, the department will ensure that applicants for DoD positions are treated fairly and consistently as the policy is implemented.

The secretary of defense has identified certain functions necessary to meet the department’s national security or public safety responsibilities, which are enumerated in the guidance.  Civilian positions may be exempt from the hiring freeze only if they are determined to be critical to the execution of those functions.  The guidance also outlines processes and procedures for approval of additional potential exemptions that meet the criteria.


This is an opportunity for the department to assess its most critical missions and requirements, ensuring that members of the civilian workforce are assigned and capable of executing the highest priority work.  The DoD guidance will help to accomplish this objective and ensure that resources are allocated in a manner that will promote effective and efficient use of taxpayer dollars.

The secretary of defense expects that all members of the department will apply their best efforts in implementing the hiring freeze in accordance with the guidance issued today.  The department’s work will inform a government-wide plan to optimize the size of the federal civilian workforce and will best position the department to implement that plan for the long-term. 


For more information please view the department’s GUIDANCE.