New DOD employee probationary period now two years

by DMA Deputy Director
Stripes Europe

If you were hired to a permanent position after November 26, 2015 as a new Federal employee, your probationary period now ends November 25, 2017. This change came in the FY16 National Defense Authorization Act. Prior to this change, most new DoD hires had a one-year probationary period. The change is mandatory for all new DoD hires. During their probationary period, employees are in "at-will" status and can be terminated without the normal procedures that protect employees with longer Federal service.

Does this mean me?

Since November 26, 2015, DMA has hired 42 new Federal employees. Of that number, 29 will change from one-year to two-year probationary periods. The majority are career-conditional appointments. The change does not apply to the remaining 13, which were term appointments.

Contact your supervisor to confirm whether this probationary period change applies to you. You may also contact Mr. Terry Meadows, Chief of Human Capital, directly at 301-222-6086 or

Will I be formally notified?

Yes, the Office of Human Capital will generate an SF-50 Notification of Personnel Action for your signature.

What is a probationary period?

A probationary period is when a new Federal employee's performance is assessed to determine whether they are fit to do the intended job. The employee's supervisor continually evaluates and documents performance throughout the probationary period. The evaluation includes work behavior, character, conduct, and attitude that directly affect job performance.

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