Pentagon outlines civilian jobs exempt from Trump hiring freeze
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon will exempt 16 categories of civilian jobs with direct national security and public safety responsibilities from the federal government hiring freeze instituted by President Donald Trump, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work wrote Wednesday in a memorandum.
Work broadly defined the jobs that could be filled during the 90-day hiring freeze, which does not include uniformed military personnel, instituted Jan. 23 by Trump in an executive memorandum. The Pentagon will continue filling jobs that directly support ongoing contingency operations and deployments, most of them in the cybersecurity and firefighting and law enforcement, he wrote. Work’s memo also states hiring can continue for civilian jobs at Navy shipyards and military depots responsible for inventory management and equipment maintenance.
Additional positions within the department can be exempted from the hiring freeze if officials can demonstrate to Work “compelling reasons that justify” that they are necessary to ensure national security or public safety, he wrote in the memorandum.
Work indicated the Pentagon supported Trump’s temporary hiring freeze. Last year, Work implemented a smaller-scale temporary hiring freeze on the department, which officials said led to the elimination of some then-vacant positions. He has mandated the Defense Department shrink its headquarters’ staffs by 25 percent by 2020.
“This is an opportunity for the department to assess its most critical missions and requirements, ensuring that the civilian component of our force is assigned and capable of executing our highest priority work, while at the same time gaining full value from every taxpayer dollar we spend on defense,” Work wrote. “Every action we take as a team will be designed to ensure that we are ready to fight today and in the future.”
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