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Return Rights

Career and career-conditional employees in the competitive service who are employed in the United States or in a non-foreign area and who accept an assignment in a foreign area or in a non-foreign area different from the one in which they are currently employed shall be granted statutory return rights in accordance with section 1586 of Reference (h) for a period of 5 years if continuously employed in a foreign or non-foreign area. This policy:

  1. Applies whether the employee moves to a position with the same DoD Component or with a different DoD Component.
  2. Applies to both the initial movement and any subsequent movement within the 5-year period (e.g., the employee initially moves to a position with the same DoD Component, and subsequently moves to another foreign area position with a different DoD Component).
DOD Instruction 1400.25

Contacting your previous command

It is hoped that you have maintained contact with your home command AT LEAST QUARTERLY during your overseas tour. If so, the conversation on the timing of your return and your job assignment will be easily completed. (If you are reading this as you prepare to go overseas PLEASE look at the KIT MODEL.)


In order to successfully place you back with your home command you should take a proactive role and make contact no later than 12 months prior to your return. This will allow you time to "market" the skills you have gained overseas and get your name back into their minds.  If you have not already done so begin your discussion on your return and potential jobs that you are qualified to fill. Your home command should be identifying a position that you will occupy upon your return and provide this information to the CONUS HRO in order to start the transition back. 

Continuous contact with your gaining/home command throughout the return process can ensure your transition goes well.


Updating your Resume

Your resume should always reflect your current job status and be available to send to your gaining command or to search and apply for jobs across government agencies and commands.

For information on building your resume and on jobs available in the government it is suggested that you visit the USAJOBS website at: https://www.usajobs.gov/