Tools for Service Providers

Understanding Military Spouse Preference Overseas

If you are interested in federal employment with the Department of Defense (DoD), accompanying your military sponsor to an overseas duty station may provide the opportunity you've been looking for. The following information provides the basics on what you should understand to use Military Spouse Preference (MSP) for employment in foreign areas:


To be eligible for MSP at your new duty station, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must be the spouse of an active-duty military member who relocates to a new duty station with Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders.
  • You must accompany your sponsor to the new duty station.
  • You must have married your military sponsor prior to his reporting date to the new duty station.
  • You must provide a copy of your sponsor's PCS orders identifying your sponsor's report date to the new overseas duty station and listing you as a dependent.
  • You must meet the basic requirements and be among the best qualified for the position.

Note, though, that you won't be eligible for MSP until you arrive at your new overseas duty station.

How to apply

To apply for MSP, follow the procedures established by the DoD human resources office that services the commuting area of your sponsor's new duty station. Your installation's Family Employment Readiness Program office can help you contact the appropriate office.

Vacancies available for MSP

MSP applies to Appropriated Fund (AF) vacancies that are filled competitively through either internal or external placement in all positions designated for United States citizens. MSP also applies to positions in Non-Appropriated Fund (NAF) positions at grade NF-3 and below (or equivalent).

Using your MSP

You may apply for positions using your MSP until you either accept or decline a permanent AF or NAF position (including flexible positions). However, you won't lose your MSP if you accept or decline a temporary position.

For more information on using MSP, contact the Family Employment Readiness Program office, the DoD Human Resources office, or the NAF Human Resources office at your overseas installation. To find contact information for these offices, visit the MilitaryINSTALLATIONS website.


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