DoD Cyber Excepted Service

DoD Cyber Excepted Service (CES)

The DoD Cyber Excepted Service (CES) is an enterprise-wide approach for managing civilian cyber professionals across DoD. CES is aligned to both Title 10 and Title 5 provisions in that it offers flexibilities for the recruitment, retention, and development of cyber professionals.


Section 1599f of Title 10, Chapter 81, U.S.C. authorized the Department of Defense (DoD) to establish the Cyber Excepted Service (CES) personnel system as an Enterprise-wide approach for managing civilian cyber professionals. By providing the needed agility and flexibilities for the recruitment, retention, and development of high quality cyber professionals, CES enhances the effectiveness of the Department’s cyber defensive and offensive mission. In partnership with the Principal Cyber Advisor (PCA), the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel & Readiness (USD(P&R)), and the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (USD(I)), the Office of the DoD CIO developed the first four policies for implementing this new personnel system. Upon the Department’s issuance of the personnel policies, CES implementation and hiring began with Phase 1 organizations — U.S. Cyber Command, Joint Forces HQ, DoD Information Networks, and DoD CIO Cybersecurity. After the conclusion of Phase 1, Phase 2 implementation occurred at the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Headquarters (Ft. Meade) and the Service Cyber Components. Ongoing Department cyber mission assessment activities is in the process of identifying other organizations for CES in the future and is subject to the fulfillment of collective bargaining obligations as required.

  • Cyber Excepted Service is a mission-focused personnel system that aligns to Title 10 and Title 5 provisions; it supports the human capital lifecycle for civilian employees engaged in or in support of a cyber-related mission.
  • CES promotes a culture that is based upon mission requirements and employee capabilities.
  • Cyber Excepted Service offers flexibilities for the recruitment, retention, and development of cyber professionals across DoD.
  • CES further advances the strategic goals of the Office of the DoD Chief Information Officer, Principal Cyber Advisor, and U.S. Cyber Command.
  • Cyber Excepted Service facilitates voluntary employee conversions from the competitive to excepted service v Maintains current Title 5 attained career status, protections, appeal rights, and collective bargaining agreements.


A Common Occupational Structure for DoD Cyber Positions

Mission-focused position design and classification

Types of Appointments

  • Permanent
  • Indefinite
  • Temporary
  • Term
  • Direct Hire
  • “On the Spot”

Agile Recruitment Sourcing Flexibilities

Source candidates by any legal merit-based means USA Jobs is not required, but remains an option

Qualification-Based Professional Development and Advancement Opportunities

  • No time-in-grade or equivalency requirements
  • Quality of specialized experience and/or competencies is assessed

Market-Based Compensation

  • Targeted Local Market Supplements (Future)
  • Current Employee Conversions to CES: No change in pay; Documented career–ladders will continue
  • Pay Setting for New CES Appointments (Hires): Qualification-based; Up to step 12 (with justification)
  • With-In-Grade Increases: Waiting periods equivalent to GS (up to step 10)
  • Awards: Quality Step Increases (up to step 12)

Probationary Periods

  • New Hires: Must complete a 3-year probationary period
  • Current Employees: Complete 2-years in accordance with original conditions of employment
  • New Supervisors/Managers: Must complete 1-year probationary period

Veterans Preference

  • CES does not apply 5 or 10-point veterans’ preference
  • Only preference-eligible candidates with a Military Service-connected disability of 30% or more will be specifically identified and documented


  • Facilitates non-competitive & competitive lateral movements (qualifying)