Civilian Personnel: Family member employment

Who is a "family member" for civilian employment purposes? Is there a difference between "family member" and "military spouse" in the civilian hiring process?

A family member is a U.S. citizen spouse, or unmarried child (including stepchild, adopted child, or foster child) under the age of 23, residing with his/her military or civilian sponsor who was officially assigned to the overseas area. This does not include relatives of locally hired civilians.
The "family member" category includes two subcategories:
  • Military Spouse Preference eligibles, and
  • Other Family Members (spouse of civilian employee, a child of a military or civilian employee or a military spouse who has used "preference" entitlement by accepting or declining a permanent part- or full-time position at the current duty station)
Military spouses are referred for positions before other family members.

What kind of preference does a family member receive in the hiring process?

In USAFE, our recruitment efforts focus on giving family members "first consideration" before opening the announcements to non-family members. Family members are given equal preference for vacancies when there are no military spouse preference eligible candidates available.

I am a family member (non military spouse preference) on Leave Without Pay (LWOP). How will I be considered for positions?

Your referral category depends on your personal status. Our factsheet "USAFE Staffing Framework" explains how different categories of applicants are referred for Air Force civilian positions. To claim preference you will be required to submit a complete application on, uploading an SF-50 verifying LWOP, a form DD-214 (for former military members), and a copy of your sponsor's permanent change of station travel orders to establish your eligibility.

What happens if a dual military couple travel overseas under separate PCS orders and one separates from active duty and wants to pursue civilian employment?

If the separated military member obtains command sponsorship, he/she would be considered as a family member for employment purposes--military spouse preference does not apply.

(Last update Sept. 15, 2011.)