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DOD Firefighter Emergency Essential Position Question

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  • DOD Firefighter Emergency Essential Position Question

    Does anyone know how a DOD Fire Department can get away with not hire me because I am in the Air National Guard? The hiring Chief said that he will not hire me because I am in the National Guard. The position is a Emergency Essential position. Are there any loop wholes around this issue. I am in a contracted Guard bonus and will have to give that money back. I also have 14 year of Guard service and would be crazy to give these years up. Any help would be great!!! Thank you all!
    Last edited by firedawg1257; 08-13-2010, 10:21 AM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by firedawg1257 View Post
    Does anyone know how a DOD Fire Department can get away with not hire me because I am in the Air National Guard? The hiring Chief said that he will not hire me because I am in the National Guard. The position is a Emergency Essential position. Are there any loop wholes around this issue. I am in a contracted Guard bonus and will have to give that money back. I also have 14 year of Guard service and would be crazy to give these years up. Any help would be great!!! Thank you all!
    In the national guard you can still be called up under title 10 presidential orders. In that case, filling an emergency essential/key position would put you, your NG unit, and your federal employer in a very difficult position. There is much gray area in whether title 10 or key/emergency essential takes priority one over the other. Keep in mind, if you were to be hired into that position you would have to sign a document stating that you are NOT subject to military recall. If you happen to sign that, then be activated on a national level, you just falsified a document.

    The hiring authority has the right to appoint as many positions as he/she wants to as key/emergency essential. You have to look at it from his standpoint as well. If half of his department is in the reserves/national guard and that particular unit gets activated or deployed, he is out of half of his department. There are loopholes as far at the national guard goes, but I wouldn't risk it. Ask if he has any positions that are not key or emergency essential.

    Last year our department (100% civilian) had to issue mandatory overtime because almost an entire shift was deployed. That is difficult for a department trying to lobby for positions/equipment and funds.

    I guess the final question would be what about USERRA? That falls into that gray area and technically he cannot discriminate because you are in the military reserves, however, he can NOT hire you under the pretense that you may not have been the most qualified canidate, etc.

    I say look somewhere else.

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    • #3
      I was in the same exact position a few months ago. (Offered GS-07 position, at the time serving in the ANG with 11 years in the military and receiving a bonus). Short answer, there is no way around it. I had letters from my guard unit commanders stating they would not deploy me, but the hiring base HR would not accept them. I ended up having to resign from the guard in order to take the position. I even researched USERRA. No go. Remember, the job offer is conditional. It can be canceled at any point up to the date of start for any reason they deem appropriate. Remember, in probation, you can be fired for any reason.

      Having 14 years in, your service comp date will be calculated and when it comes down to vacations and seniority, you will be in a better position than the new kids who don't have nearly the amount of time in service. If I remember correctly, They only count the active duty time you served in your entire military career. You can also buy back the time in the military and apply it towards your firefighter retirement.

      Even though I had 11 years in the Military, I'm so much happier that I chose to resign to take my position. The morale is so much better.

      Feel free to message me of you wanna talk more about it. Good Luck!

      -Damien

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      • #4
        Thank you all I will have to end my Guard career. It maybe worth it.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by firedawg1257 View Post
          Thank you all I will have to end my Guard career. It maybe worth it.
          Do what I did. Transfer to the inactive ready reserves. Then you do not violate the ES/KE PD and once you are in a KE/ES position you are not eligable to be called up from the IRR.

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