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Guidance in Support of Executive Order 14100—Advancing Economic Security for Military and Veteran Spouses, Military Caregivers, and Survivors

Thursday, November 9, 2023
Kiran A. Ahuja, Director, U.S. Office of Personnel Management
Guidance in Support of Executive Order 14100—Advancing Economic Security for Military and Veteran Spouses, Military Caregivers, and Survivors


On June 9, 2023, President Biden signed Executive Order (EO) 14100, Advancing Economic Security for Military and Veteran Spouses, Military Caregivers, and Survivors. The Biden Harris Administration has prioritized Federal support for these individuals given their roles in defending our nation. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management is proud to assist in this effort and is assisting agencies to assure a consistent and responsive workforce approach in implementing EO 14100 responsibilities. 

Section 4(a) of the EO directs OPM to issue guidance to agencies on: 

  1. Reinforcing existing telework and remote work flexibility options pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 6502 for Federal employees, including military spouses and military caregivers, and encouraging agency leaders to consider these as options for retaining Federal employee military spouses and military caregivers;
  2. Encouraging agencies to support the policies set forth in section 1 of this order by granting up to 5 days of administrative leave to military spouses during a geographic relocation occurring as directed by a service member’s orders; and
  3. Encouraging agencies to collaborate so that a military spouse or military caregiver Federal employee may be placed in another Federal agency position when arrangements to retain a military spouse or military caregiver — including following changes to support continuity of care or relocation due to permanent change-of-station orders for the active-duty service member — are unavailable to allow them to continue in their existing position. 

Section 1 of the EO concentrates on Federal policy and highlights many of the challenges this population faces from multiple deployments: moves every 2 to 3 years on average for active-duty families, with little control over their geographic location; caring for wounded, ill, and injured service members or veterans; time apart for training and other demands of military life; and more. The unique demands of military life continue to affect this population for years after a service member’s time in uniform. This ultimately influences the 21 percent unemployment rate experienced by active-duty military spouses in the workforce and makes achieving and maintaining a dual-income household challenging. 

In addition, these employment challenges are not limited to active-duty spouses. Reserve and National Guard spouses must also balance their careers against the unpredictable nature of the service member’s schedule, activations, and deployments. These challenges can continue to affect this population’s employability and career trajectory after a service member leaves the service. 

The President’s initiative sets a new course with clear objectives and detailed guidance. OPM recognizes and supports this effort to meet our military-connected families’ economic, social, and emotional needs. OPM would like to remind agencies of the existing flexibilities available to retain this population:

  • Telework and Remote Work: Agencies should review and evaluate the use of telework and remote work that may benefit military spouses or caregivers, as they create telework and remote policies for their workforce. In November 2021, OPM issued the 2021 Guide to Telework and Remote Work in the Federal Government, which discusses how leveraging telework and remote work in the Federal Government can better meet the workforce’s changing needs and improve mission delivery. Federal agencies have long recognized the benefits afforded by telework and remote work for organizations and the workforce. Remote work can help organizations recruit new employees with hard-to-find skillsets or retain current employees who move due to spouse relocation or other life events. This Governmentwide policy guide provides agencies with practical resources and information to assist them in evaluating how to leverage these tools to meet mission-critical needs and further address the employment challenges associated with frequent relocations of military spouses. 
  • Workforce Retention: Federal civilian agencies have several tools available to retain current employees, including the ability to reassign their employees to other positions to meet employees’ needs as well as mission requirements. Employees can request reassignments, or they may pursue transfers to other Federal positions outside of their employing agencies. Agencies are encouraged to develop agency-specific policies, consistent with merit system principles as defined in 5 U.S.C. 2301, to increase retention of military spouses and military caregivers in Federal careers who may experience personal challenges that may be accommodated through a workplace flexibility. Such policies could include some type of “compassionate transfer” arrangement where agencies establish procedures for facilitating the transfer of employees from one agency to another. This would be especially beneficial to employees who are subject to relocation or participate in geographic rotational assignments. Agencies are encouraged to promote these options, as well as other flexible work arrangements, such as remote work and alternative or adjustable work schedules, to accommodate the unique needs of military spouses. 

Successful implementation of these flexibilities will help your agency achieve its objectives under Section 4(a) and strengthen our mutually reinforcing partnership. As a reminder, when considering updates to offerings and planning for implementation as part of this effort, agencies should engage with labor organizations when applicable and fulfill any collective bargaining obligations.    

Lastly, Section 2(a) of the EO calls for OPM and the Office of Management and Budget, in consultation with the Department of State, the Department of Defense, the Department of Labor, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Department of Homeland Security, to develop and issue a Government-wide Military-Connected Strategic Plan. This strategic plan is forthcoming later this year and will be shared with all agencies. 

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Karen Jacobs, Acting Deputy Associate Director, Talent Acquisition, Classification and Veterans Programs at 

Thank you in advance for your support in this important effort.

cc: Chief Human Capital Officers (CHCOs), and Deputy CHCOs