Analysis & Opinions - Lawfare

DoD Exempts Cyber from Trump's Hiring Freeze

| Feb. 06, 2017


"On Wednesday, the Deputy Secretary of Defense issued a memo that clarifies how the Department of Defense (DoD) will implement President Trump’s executive order to freeze all civilian hiring across all departments and agencies.

The operative language from the EO states that “no vacant positions existing at noon at January 22, 2017, may be filled and no new positions may be created, except in limited circumstances.”  The most significant exceptions are that the order does not apply to military personnel, and that heads of executive departments can still fill or create a position to fulfill national security and public safety responsibilities.  Nor does this order apply to Schedule C or Senate-confirmed appointments; the freeze squarely applies to the permanent civil service.

Deputy Secretary Robert Work’s implementation memo informs the Department of Defense of some broad categories that the Secretary of Defense has determined meet the national security and public safety exemption (more on this later).  It also delegates the authority to decide whether a particular position meets this criteria to the primary DoD components (the military departments, etc.).  And it stresses that these decision-makers should be prepared to justify their decisions to the Deputy Secretary himself.  

If you are a manager with responsibilities involving cybersecurity, you may be in luck..."

For more information on this publication: Please contact Cyber Project
For Academic Citation: Sulmeyer, Michael and Charley Snyder.“DoD Exempts Cyber from Trump's Hiring Freeze.” Lawfare, February 6, 2017.