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Senior Executive Service

 Senior Executive Service (SES)

Leadership with integrity and a genuine commitment to public service are core values of the DON Senior Executive corps. Approximately 300 men and women, serve as Senior Executives for the Navy and Marine Corps. These senior civilians possess exceptional executive skills and bring diverse portfolios to the management and operations of the DON. They are the key to driving and producing results that advance the Department’s mission.

 Traditional Application Resources

The Department of the Navy has published a How to Prepare for the SES Guide. and the Office of Personnel Management published a Guide to Senior Executive Service Qualifications to help applicants through the hiring and selection process. These documents describe the Senior Executive Service merit staffing process and the Qualification Review Board. The guide also provides tips for writing ECQ statements and gives examples of statements written using the Challenge-Context-Action-Result model. It is important to pay close attention to the “How to Apply” instructions. More often than not, required documents include:

  • Resume showing relevant experience
  • Occupational Questionnaire
  • Mandatory Technical Qualifications (narrative)
  • Executive Core Qualifications (narrative)
  • Copy of your most recent SF-50 (Notice of Personnel Action)

 Pilot Application Resources

Pilot Program for Initial Appointments to Senior Executive Service Positions in the Department of Defense (National Defense Authorization Act – Section 1109)
Section 1109 of the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 allows the Secretary of Defense to appoint qualified individuals to an initial career appointment into the Senior Executive Service (SES) of the Department of Defense (DoD) through August 13, 2020. This authority allows DoD to implement a pilot program that eliminates the requirement for certification of executive qualifications by the Office of Personnel Management's Qualifications Review Board for initial SES appointments in DoD, and to appoint no more than 50 individuals in any calendar year.

The application process used to recruit under this pilot position is RESUME-ONLY. We recommend that your resume emphasize your level of responsibilities, the scope and complexity of the programs managed, and your program accomplishments, including the results of your actions. Any information in excess of seven (7) pages WILL NOT be considered. Five (5) pages are allowed for the resume and Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs), and two (2) pages are allowed for the Mandatory Technical Qualifications (MTQs). An example of a well-formatted resume that incorporates the information required can be viewed here: Sample Resume

 Still Need Assistance?

For questions or more information, please email