Operation Warfighter

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What is Operation Warfighter?

FEMA proudly supports and takes part in the Operation Warfighter (OWF) Program.  OWF is a temporary assignment/internship program developed by the Department of Defense.  It helps active duty service members who are recovering at military medical centers and want to return to military or civilian work.


  • Provides meaningful work experience outside the hospital environment, 
  • For many recovering service members, the program offers them their first activity outside the medical center, and
  • Offers a way for them to transition back to military or civilian work.

It is a great opportunity for service members on medical hold to:

  • Build their resumes,
  • Explore employment interests,
  • Develop job skills, and
  • Gain valuable Federal Government work experience.

OWF Candidates & Jobs

OWF participants must:

  • Be U.S. citizens on active duty in the military (including the National Guard and Reserves), 
  • Meet the security clearance requirements of the Agency where they are placed.

Service members receive military salaries; they are not paid by the Agency.

Permanent jobs with the Agency at the end of the OWF assignment are not guaranteed.  Some participants stay in military service and others leave to find civilian employment.

Work Assignments

  • Location: Based on your skills, expertise and interest, you will be placed in a host office.  Host offices, at Headquarters or in one of the ten Regional Offices, include human resources, security, operations and administration.  You will be given a supervisor and a mentor.
  • Duty schedules: You will work about 20 hours per week depending upon your availability.  Your daily schedule will be planned around your treatment schedule. This flexibility makes your medical treatment a priority. It supports your well-being and recuperation.
  • Transportation: The DoD OWF Initiative will provide free transportation to and from the OWF assignment site.
  • Assignment Length: The average length of an assignment is 3-5 months.  Your medical needs and progress will be considered.
  • Training: During the assignment, you may receive training to improve your existing skills or learn new skills.
  • Future Employment: While there is no guarantee of employment after the completion of an OWF assignment, once you are released from medical hold status you may apply for full-time employment with FEMA pending separation from the military.

For more information, please contact the FEMA Selective Placement Coordinator.

Additional Operation Warfighter Links

Feds Hire Vets - Federal employment information for Veterans
DHS Operation Warfighter - Information on the OWF program on the Department of Homeland Security website
Operation Warfighter on Facebook - Connect with the OWF program on Facebook
Military Family Program - Resources for soldiers and their families

Last Updated: 
07/24/2014 - 16:00
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