May 7, 2013
FORT LEE, Va, May 7, 2013 – With more than 4,000 spouses employed in commissaries worldwide, May 10, Military Spouse Day, has special meaning to the Defense Commissary Agency.
Military spouses make up 28 percent of the commissaries’ worldwide workforce, a notable statistic considering the demands of military life.
“Military life is very mobile, and it can be hard for military spouses to find employment when they move from location to location,” said Joseph H. Jeu, DeCA director and chief executive officer. “However, with the commissaries, military spouses can fairly easily find continued employment from store to store.”
Although DeCA is currently under a hiring freeze for outside-the-agency hiring actions, a permanent employee facing relocation can move from one store to another at any post at any time as long as there are positions at the same grade available in the new location. This flexibility allows commissaries to retain workers and also gives our military spouses comfort in a very stressful time, said Cynthia Craft, DeCA’s acting director of human resources. Other exceptions to the hiring freeze are the following: 1) hiring commitments made before Feb. 4, 2) placements based on DOD’s Priority Placement Program, and 3) the filling of critical positions approved by DOD.
There are a number of ways spouses can apply for employment with the commissaries:
A spouse with previous federal government employment may be eligible for reinstatement with the commissaries. Spouses are placed noncompetitively in positions with equal or lesser grade than their previous job, allowing for quick hiring to fill vacant positions.
Spouses who lived and worked overseas are eligible for employment under the guidelines in Executive Order 12721. This order states that spouses are eligible for re-hire if they meet the following criteria: have worked overseas for at least a year in an appropriated-fund position, where they accompanied a sponsor assigned to an overseas area and have received a fully successful performance rating. An individual is eligible under this authority for three years following the date of returning to the United States to resume residence.
Spouses may be considered for a position through noncompetitive hiring of certain military spouses. This special hiring process is for spouses of active duty service members who were killed or disabled in the line of duty.
Spouses may also apply for job announcements through USAJOBS, the federal government’s main hiring tool.
“We want to give military spouses every opportunity to find employment,” Craft said, “and these programs allow spouses the flexibility they need to do that. We honor the husbands and wives of military members on Military Spouse Day, and we strive to honor them every day through our commitment to providing military spouses with job opportunities.”
About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5–percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. Shoppers save an average of more than 30 percent on their purchases compared to commercial prices – savings amounting to thousands of dollars annually. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.