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Rules for military members seeking employment

Posted 3/9/2011   Updated 3/9/2011 Email story   Print story


by Capt Erin Dixon
375th Air Mobility Wing Legal Office

3/9/2011 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill.  -- Members preparing for retirement or separation from active duty, as well as government employees, are often contacted by Department of Defense contractors about possible employment. Military members and civilian personnel should adhere to the following ethical rules when seeking employment while on active duty.

If a member or government employee intends to seek employment from a company, he/she must not personally and substantially participate in a "particular matter" that directly affects the financial interests of that company. The member must be disqualified from acting in that capacity before submitting a resume or discussing employment with the prospective company.

The disqualification letter must be in writing and signed by both the member and the member's supervisor. 18 USC 208(a); 5 CFR 2635.604(a); JER 2-204c. A "particular matter" includes more than just sitting on a source selection board or making contract decisions. Examples of a "particular matter" include task or delivery orders under contracts, claims by a company against the government, sale of government assets to a company, personnel actions, as well as, government contracts and source selections.

If a member or government employee is contacted by a company about prospective employment, and that member is working on a government matter that affects the company's financial interests, the member must report the contact in writing to his/her supervisor and reject the offer so he/she may continue the government's work. Officers who are either separating or retiring and planning to work while on terminal leave need to be aware that, while they are permitted to work for a company while on terminal leave, they are not permitted to work for that company within the Federal workplace.

They must work at an off-site company location until they are effectively retired or separated. This rule does not apply to enlisted personnel. The proceeding reminder is not an exhaustive list of permissible and prohibited activities. We recommend that anyone preparing to separate or retire contact the 375th Judge Advocate Office for more guidance on seeking employment while on active duty.

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