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AFMC commander's message on civilian hiring freeze

Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, Air Force Materiel Command commander

Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, Air Force Materiel Command commander

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio --

Our people are key in AFMC’s ability to serve the nation.  With this in mind, I wanted to share what we currently know regarding the recent Presidential Memorandum that implements a federal civilian hiring freeze impacting prospective civilian employees who had not entered on duty as of noon, 22 January 2017.  In short, civilian hiring across the DoD are to be held in abeyance pending further direction. 

We know this hiring freeze will be in effect for at least 90 days while the Office of Management and Budget, in coordination with the Office of Personnel Management, develop a plan to reduce the size of the Federal Government’s workforce through attrition.  In the interim, the Secretary of Defense may exempt from the hiring freeze any positions that he deems necessary to meet national security or public safety responsibilities.  The Air Staff is currently working with the Office of Secretary of Defense (OSD) Staff to identify positions the Air Force believes should be exempted from this freeze.  As part of this dialog, I have emphasized the impact an across the board hiring freeze would have on AFMC’s ability to support the warfighter in today's fight, as well as our ability to prepare for tomorrow’s fight.  

Our Civilian Personnel team is working hard to stay on top of the continued influx of information regarding this initiative.  Here are the main points of the current guidance:

Employees brought on board before 24 January are gains with no further action. 

Personnel actions for employees with firm job offers extended and accepted prior to 22 January with an established entrance on duty date or effective date on/before 22 February will continue to be processed. 

Personnel actions with an entrance on duty or effective date after 22 February require Secretary of Defense approval and will be held in abeyance until further guidance is received from DoD and AF.

While civilian hiring freezes are not without historical precedent, I recognize the angst such policy changes create.  We anticipate updated guidance to be provided regularly from the Air Staff and will communicate the way forward as soon as practicable. 

Again, our civilian workforce is the lifeblood of this command and we are working hard through Air Force channels to ensure the AFMC impact continues to be expressed at the highest levels.

We will continue to push additional information upon receipt.