Coalition Backs Repeal of ‘180-Day Rule’ for Military Retirees Seeking DoD Jobs

Coalition Backs Repeal of ‘180-Day Rule’ for Military Retirees Seeking DoD Jobs
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A proposal to expand DoD’s civilian talent pool while helping transitioning veterans has reached a critical step in its path to becoming law, and a major advocacy coalition has rallied support for the measure.


The Military Coalition (TMC), a group of 35 military and veteran service organizations, recently published a MOAA-led letter to both House and Senate leaders seeking passage of the bipartisan and bicameral Retain Skilled Veterans act  (H.R. 939S. 334), which would help new retirees seeking civilian employment in DoD.


[TAKE ACTION: Ask Your Lawmakers to Repeal the ‘180-Day Rule’]


Current law prevents military retirees from working for DoD until six months after leaving service. Most servicemembers can’t wait six months to find a job; the so-called “180-day rule” not only hurts officers, but is particularly hard on the highly skilled noncommissioned officer corps, whose members possess technical skills, leadership experience, and the security clearances to go with them. DoD has invested in these skills and certifications, and they are sorely needed as part of the total workforce supporting national security.


The House version of the FY 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) contains language that would lift the restriction on servicemembers retiring and seeking civilian positions. The Senate’s version does not have the provision, and this is where your voice matters as a constituent.


The timing of the coalition’s letter is designed to inform and influence the NDAA conference, where staff and select lawmakers reconcile differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. 


Please contact your two senators and your House member and ask them to keep this critical House provision (Section 1108) in the final version of the FY 2024 NDAA. 


[RELATED: Take Part in MOAA’s Advocacy in Action Summer Campaign]


Consider downloading TMC’s letter (House Senate) and sending a message to your lawmakers via MOAA’s Legislative Action Center. Customize the message to add impact, and share the link with your network; you do not need to be a MOAA member to use the action center.


Another great way to amplify your message is to use MOAA’s toll-free hotline – 866-272-MOAA (6622) – to contact your lawmakers. Your elected officials are home on summer break and need to hear your voice as a constituent.


Be sure to ask to speak with the military legislative assistant or legislative director. You may have to schedule a follow-up phone call to get past the front desk and speak with the appropriate congressional staff member – your call may be what’s needed to get the lawmaker’s office to support the bill.


Key Talking Points

  • Repeal of the 180-day rule is a talent management initiative to improve hiring actions across a very slow and cumbersome bureaucracy.

  • Repeal of the 180-day rule is even supported by the American Federation of Government Employees to improve applicant pools to fill competitive positions that require expensive security clearances and military certifications.

  • This measure improves competition to fill critical vacancies to support national security.

  • As DoD faces a recruiting crisis across the total workforce, retaining skilled talent ultimately saves taxpayer dollars with a workforce that is already trained and possesses security clearances.


Grassroots advocacy works, and we need you to engage your network. Read more about MOAA’s legislative priorities and progress on the NDAA at and share this Legislative Action Center link.


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About the Author

Lt. Col. Mark Belinsky, USA (Ret)
Lt. Col. Mark Belinsky, USA (Ret)

Belinsky retired in 2019 after serving 22 years, with overseas tours to Afghanistan, Iraq, the Republic of Korea, and Germany. He joined the MOAA team in 2019 as Director, Currently Serving and Retired Affairs.