180-day wait over for retiring Airmen hoping for civil service employment at MRTFBs

  • Published
  • By AFTC Public Affairs
  • AFTC Public Affairs

Airmen retiring from military service no longer must wait 180 days before accepting a federal civilian position within Major Range and Test Facility Bases thanks to a recent temporary authority enacted to help fill jobs that has lacked sufficiently qualified candidate pools.

Immediately, Air Force Test Center is able to appoint retired members of the Armed Forces without a 180-day waiting period for “all” positions that are at or below the GS-13 (or equivalent); which covers a broad spectrum of equivalent pay systems to include Wage Grade, General Schedule, and Acquisition Demo positions for Air Force Test Center positions located at MRTFBs. AFTC has over 30 locations including Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., Eglin AFB, Fla., Arnold AFB, Tenn., Holloman AFB, N.M., Robins AFB, Ga., Nellis AFB, Nev., and Hill AFB, Utah.

“As some of our experienced civilians retire, we lose critical knowledge and expertise and must replace current talent with entry-level experience. Hiring veterans with their experience saves on training, creates a more balanced workforce, and provides workers who often already have a security clearance,” said Ms. Theresa Houston, AFTC Directorate of Personnel program manager.

Section 1108 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, as amended by section 1103 of the NDAA for FY 2022, for certain (“covered”) positions, waives application of 5 U.S.C. § 3326, which generally imposes a 180-day waiting period between the retirement of a Service member and appointment to a DoD civilian position.

This temporary authority expires January 1, 2024.

The waiting period has often been seen as a disadvantage to retirees who are interested in federal service, are not always willing to wait six months before finding other work. They often take their skillset to other companies before becoming eligible to work for the DOD.

AFTC is now able to recruit and appoint qualified persons immediately through Direct Hiring Authority for Major Range and Test Facilities Bases without applying competitive rating and ranking procedures. No assessment or announcement required to bypass the traditional recruitment job announcement process via USA Jobs.

Active-duty members may now apply for these positions even before their official retirement date and be appointed while still on terminal leave, before being discharged or released from active duty.

“Hiring retiring military members is key to our vision of shaping AFTC organizations of today to confront the challenges of tomorrow,” said Mr. Justin Anthony, AFTC Directorate of Personnel talent acquisition manager. “This temporary amendment allows AFTC to compete against the private sector for the extraordinary talent that our military members bring to our workforce.” 

The AFTC Personnel Directorate has created an online registration for interested applicants to submit their resumes and other supporting documents: https://afcs.experience.crmforce.mil/s/events?eventId=a02t0000008fvdiAAA 

These hard-to-fill positions include:

Engineers (all professional disciplines)

Test Pilots

Information Technology Specialists

Aircraft Survival and Flight Equipment Repairer

Air Traffic Control Specialist (Terminal)


Non-Destructive Test Inspector

Aircraft Mechanic

Aircraft Avionics Mechanic

Electronic Measurement Equipment Mechanic

Aircraft Ordnance Systems Repair Inspector

Munitions Maintenance Mechanic

Composite/Plastic Fabricator

Welder (Aircraft)

Sheet Metal Worker (Aircraft)

Aircraft Engine Mechanic

Engineering Equipment Operator

High Voltage Electrician

Utility Systems Operator

Facility Operations

Emergency Management Specialist

Housing Management Specialist

Police Officers

Security Forces – Operations, Training, and Staff Positions


Fire Chief, Deputy Fire Chief, Assistant Fire Chief

Airfield Management

Budget Analyst

Logistics Management Specialist

Other positions not listed above are covered under this flexibility if owed by AFTC.

In addition, recent and future retirees are encouraged to visit the AFTC Job Board at https://www.aftc.af.mil/About-Us/Jobs/ for additional job listings.  Jobs can be filtered by location, and the board also contains a search function for more filtered results.

For more information or assistance in the AFTC hiring process, please reach out to AFTC.Enterprise.Recruiting@us.af.mil.