Yokota implements program to directly hire military spouses

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Spencer Tobler
  • 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Yokota has officially implemented the Direct Hire Authority pilot program, giving qualifying members the ability to directly hire spouses of uniformed service members at locations outside the U.S.

Hannah Whittamore, 374th Maintenance Group budget analyst resource advisor, is celebrated as the very first spouse hired through this program at Yokota and across the Pacific Air Forces.

“I think a lot of military spouses face unemployment even though they want to work,” said Whittamore. “It’s especially hard overseas because there’s less opportunity for us to get jobs. This program has opened doors for me and my family, both short term and long term.”

This pilot program significantly shortens the hiring process for spouses living overseas, mutually benefitting units with vacant positions and spouses looking for work.

“If a selecting official with a vacant spot finds someone qualified to fill it, they can start the hiring process through us immediately,” said Marie Holt, 374th Force Support Squadron civilian personnel flight chief. “We can now bypass the traditional competitive recruitment with the intention of getting people on board much quicker.”

Before being hired through the DHA program, Whittamore spent two years searching for work in Japan.

“I worked full-time before moving here with my husband,” said Whittamore. “I’m really career-driven and it was hard not having that part of my identity. I’m glad I was able to get my résumé in front of someone with this program, so I could start working again.”

Since its implementation in November 2022, the program has paired the 374th FSS with nine identified military spouses, ready to fill vacant positions.

“Military spouses often suffer when changing duty stations,” said Holt. “This program will help ease the burden spouses have to bear when living overseas.”

The National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2022 approved the DHA pilot program until December 31, 2026. For more information, visit https://www.yokota.af.mil/Base-Community/Direct-Hire-Program/