"On February 2, 2017, the Department of Defense (DOD) issued initial guidance on implementing the federal hiring freeze instituted by President Trump--an order that suspends the hiring of civilian employees in the executive branch. On March 7, 2017, the DOD issued additional guidance (available upon request) that supplements the initial guidance by adding new exemptions from the freeze for (1) essential military and base operating services, (2) infrastructure sustainment, and (3) family readiness programs; delegating exemption approval authority to lower-level officials for exemptions required by law; and authorizing processing of all hiring actions (except job offers) for all non-exempt positions. DOD issued the additional guidance amid (1) reports that implementation of the hiring freeze, based on the initial guidance, has reduced or canceled services for military members and their families--particularly services at Child Development Centers (see Table 1); and (2) concerns that positions critical to military readiness are not explicitly exempt, such as those in the defense acquisition workforce and some civilian positions at shipyards and depots. The reported service reductions and concerns may stem, in part, from implementation of initial department- and component-level guidance, particularly (1) the lack of exemptions for critical positions, (2) the interpretation and use of exemptions, (3) exemption approval processes, and (4) ongoing recruitment issues."
CRS Insight, IN10671
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html