Blog Articles By Category

Main Content

Update on Reservist Hiring Process


More than 7,000 welcome packets were mailed this week to our Disaster Assistance Employees who successfully applied to become members of our new Reservist Program. These packets contained each reservist’s appointment letter assigning their position and cadre; and a “Conditions of Employment” form that must be signed and returned by Sept. 23, 2012.

During the transition of our disaster workforce this summer, we implemented a three-level review process for all applicants.  The process consisted of a preliminary review of applications to determine basic qualifications; applicants were then reviewed by recommendation panels with in-depth knowledge of the FQS job requirements by cadre; and final selection decisions by the selection panel. This Phase 1 hiring process for the Reservist Program ensured that all DAEs who applied to the Reservist Program were offered a position within the limitations of force structure.

Each new member of the Reservist Program will be certified as either a “trainee” or a “qualified” employee within the cadre they are assigned. This was done to ensure that during future disaster deployments, a trainee can always be paired with more qualified employees so that adequate training and experience can be gained. This of course benefits the employee, as well as the disaster survivors and impacted communities as they begin their recovery process.

If an employee is deployed to a disaster area and unable to receive the welcome packet, they may contact the call center at 855-FQS-FEMA (377-3362) or send an email to

It is our hope that through this transition, we are better equipped to fulfill our mission to build, sustain and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, and recover from and mitigate all hazards.

Selection Process Commences


This past week we kicked off the paneling processes where Reservist Program Managers and cadre specific Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) pour over the applications, accumulated experience, and training & deployment records. The process is continuing this week and we expect to have selection determinations out to DAEs in August. I have reviewed the business process rules, the proposed workforce structures and the qualifications of those SMEs assigned to performing these tasks. I am confident that upon completion of this Reservist selection process we will have placed the right people, with the right skills into the positions that will benefit both the applicant and the organization.

I am extremely pleased that more than 7,300 DAEs applied for the Reservist Program. Because of your commitment to FEMA, we can rely on your experience and talent to serve disaster impacted communities and families.

Many of you asked great questions about a myriad of topics ranging from: benefits, career progression, FQS, force structure, and future workforce changes. We continue to work on these areas of interest and will convey this information as soon as it is available.

Phase II

The next round of applications for the Reservist Program will target gaps in force structure. In addition to the newly hired Reservist workforce, force structure will include PFT, CORE, FEMA Corps, and the DHS Surge workforce. Phase II applications will be open to all US citizens, including current DAEs and converted CORE and local hires.

Update on the FEMA Reservist Program


The Reservist Program introduction is in full swing and our National Cadre managers and Office of Human Capital teams are engaged to make this transition as smooth as possible. I’ve received quite a few emails and phone calls from you and realize some are concerned about the application process. We’re committed to making all of this as transparent and easy to understand as possible. Below is a list of important points concerning the application process.

Key Points:

  • The application period opening June 15th is for current DAEs only. This will be the only time that the application period is dedicated exclusively to DAEs. The application process during this time is closed to the general public.
  • You may apply to as many positions as you like, regardless of cadre.
  • On June 15, the employee website will have a page with all Reservist Program vacancy announcement links (one link per announcement) organized by cadre. Each link will redirect you to a vacancy announcement on USAJOBS.
  • In order to apply for a position you must have a USAJOBS account. When you click “Apply Now” in one of the vacancy announcements you will be directed to login to USAJOBS in order to continue. The USAJOBS presentation includes a step-by-step instruction on creating a USAJOBS account, as well as how to build your resume and upload your FQS Notification letter.
  • Your resume, FQS Notification letter for DAEs who have been rated under FQS, and OF-306 Declaration for Federal Employment are the only required documents for the application process. Download a PDF writeable version of the OF-306. If you are a current DAE, but did not receive an FQS Notification letter for the position, then only a resume and OF-306 is required.
  • USAJOBS will then automatically direct you to CareerConnector to answer a series of eligibility and competency questions related to the position. As an applicant you will have the opportunity to provide any additional documentation that you think will support the application for the position.
  • Upon completion of the application portion in CareerConnector, you will be redirected back to USAJOBS to confirm that your application has been submitted.

We will continue to hold our webcast/webinar series in order to help you with this application process. It is important to note that ALL DAEs must apply to become Reservists.

Our next webcast/webinar will be held Tuesday, June 12 at 1:00 pm EDT and we will continue to hold them every Tuesday at the same time. Expect a notification email 24-48 hours prior to the actual webcast.

More information to follow.

Update on the FEMA Reservist Program


Over the last several months, FEMA has made great strides in being more active and inclusive with our employee communication…especially as it pertains to those who are part of our reservist program. Using all the tools at our disposal, we’re even including the use of the FEMA blog to help ensure we’re providing information to our workforce in a timely fashion.

After the Town Hall meetings and Think Tank sessions, we have received e-mails from many of you suggesting that the Response Directorate stay in touch with you about the Disaster Assistance Employee transition to the Reservist Program. This blog will be a quick and direct way to do that. As the opening of the application process for the Reservist Program is fast-approaching, we have scheduled a webinar to share an overview of the application process and to provide resources to keep you informed during the transition.

First and foremost, we are committed to making sure that you know how to apply to the new Reservist Program, are aware of how these changes may affect you, and how you can get more information. Maintaining open lines of communication will continue to be a top priority as we move forward with the Reservist Program.

Staying Informed
There are several ways that you can continue to receive information on the Reservist Program.

  • Bob’s Blog – we started this blog section with you in mind, to provide a public place for you to receive information on all topics related to the Disaster Workforce Transformation.
  • The Employee Information and Resource Center Page at - this page is a great one-stop shop where you can find announcements, timelines, and videos. We posted step-by-step instructions for the application process—so be sure to download those.
  • The FEMA Weekly – another great place to find announcements and information about the transition. If you aren’t subscribed via e-mail, you can find the most recent newsletters posted to
  • The FEMA Employee call center--the call center can be reached by calling 1-855-377-FEMA (3362), hours are from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. EDT Monday – Friday.
  • Webinars – to discuss the Reservist Program, we will be conducting ongoing webinars on weekly basis with senior leadership from the appropriate offices. Be sure to closely monitor your e-mail or visit the employee resource page for upcoming dates and times.

I hope to hear from during one of the upcoming webinars, and look forward to sharing more news about the Reservist Program as it becomes available. In the meantime, feel free to post a comment below or visit the employee page on for more information.

Back to Top