US Department of Defense Reviews | Glassdoor

US Department of Defense Reviews

Updated June 18, 2017
348 reviews

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2.9
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US Department of Defense Secretary of Defense James Mattis
James Mattis
18 Ratings

348 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Realistic work / life balance for employees (in 56 reviews)

  • Great benefits & compensation package (in 124 reviews)

Cons
More Pros and Cons

  1. "Good Learning Experience, but Sometimes Slow"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Intern - Engineering Co-Op in Fort Meade, MD
    Current Intern - Engineering Co-Op in Fort Meade, MD
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at US Department of Defense as an intern (More than a year)

    Pros

    +You get exposed to a lot of different parts of the department over the 52 week period.
    +Almost guaranteed a position if you complete the 52 week period.
    +The program offers undergraduate tuition reimbursement.
    +After each work tour you get to choose the next office that you want to go to (assuming the office thinks that you're a good match).
    +Completing this program looks really good on your resumé when applying for jobs.

    Cons

    -If you don't have a place or an apartment in Maryland to stay at, commuting can be kind of long. There is an apartment program that the DoD participates in to give its Co-Op students a closer place to live, but results may vary and cost can easily take half of your salary away (Co-Ops don't earn that much to begin with).
    -There are dry periods where there's no work to do. These periods can last for weeks. Not uncommon whatsoever, but it depends on the office that you choose.
    -One office had me share one desk with 3 other Co-Op students. While this may vary by office, this happened to me more than once.
    -Outdated hardware and software for computers (recently upgraded from 2001 computers to 2009 computers).
    -Internet regularly screeches to a halt.

    Advice to Management

    Give Co-Op students more hands on projects. Sometimes it's agonizing to have nothing to do for an entire week or month.


  2. "Meaningful work and goals"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Section 508 Coordinator in Fort Meade, MD
    Current Employee - Section 508 Coordinator in Fort Meade, MD
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at US Department of Defense full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    A lot of latitude to grow into different roles, opportunities to work overseas, usually great colleagues to work alongside. Very secure job and paycheck.

    Cons

    Bureaucracy runs deep. What would take 3 weeks to get done in industry could take months or longer. Promotions are not merit based or related to cost savings you've produced or process improvements you've made - these things are unimportant to the government who prints the $$ we keep spending.

    Leadership ranks are a mess, at best, with over 80% not knowing the fundamental skills taught in Leadership-101.

    Advice to Management

    Don't hire people into leadership roles because they're good at XYZ task; hire them because they demonstrate the correct skill set and penchant for leadership.

  3. "Work.as Civilian at Air Force Base"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Edwards, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Edwards, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at US Department of Defense full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Benefits are great, sick time is separate from vacation, veterans buy back their time with military put towards retirement.

    Cons

    No way to advance until you want to go into management. They are open to changes or trying new things. Everything is built on Microsoft, you try to bring open source technology into the shop and they grt scared of change. Everyone wants to juat do an average job and retire someday. They give awards to people that shouldn't get it. Thinking out of the box isnt liked. No training.

    Advice to Management

    Be open to change. Don't let employees get stuck in a rut.


  4. "Budget Analyst"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Budget Analyst in Colorado Springs, CO
    Current Employee - Budget Analyst in Colorado Springs, CO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at US Department of Defense full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Secure Salary Benefits Tuition Training Travel

    Cons

    Not advanced finance function or application


  5. "Overall a decent place to work."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Human Resources Specialist in Fayetteville, NC
    Current Employee - Senior Human Resources Specialist in Fayetteville, NC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at US Department of Defense full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Many great places to work and awesome people. Great opportunities to see the world. Great training opportunities can be afforded to you depending upon the command you work for.

    Cons

    Hard to excel once you are in the government system. Structured promotion system that is not effective. Unless you are willing to move to undesirable places promotion maybe impossible.

    Advice to Management

    Don't forget about the ultimate resource, PEOPLE!


  6. "Career"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Officer in Nashville, TN
    Current Employee - Officer in Nashville, TN
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at US Department of Defense full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Challenging and risky that pays off in the long run.

    Cons

    Very unpredictable year to year. You will move every two years. The personnel turn over is both a pro and con.

    Advice to Management

    Take care of your people and they'll take care of you.


  7. "Systems Engineering Intern - CERDEC"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Intern - CERDEC Engineering in Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD
    Current Intern - CERDEC Engineering in Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at US Department of Defense as an intern

    Pros

    Fantastic benefits, including earned leave, training opportunity, funded education, pension, and more
    Excellent pay and fast vertical advancement
    Great work/life balance
    Options for teleworking and 9/80 schedule

    Cons

    The work is incredibly tedious, mostly excel spreadsheets, emails, and telephone calls.
    Zero hands-on for at least 90% of employees
    Mandatory periodic/annual training programs that never change
    Little to no actual engineering work
    Everything takes a ridiculous amount of time
    Complete lack of workforce motivation (I was actually discouraged from working hard)
    Many tasks are required by policy, but are completely pointless and meaningless
    Seeing how much taxpayer dollar is wasted is sickening

    Advice to Management

    The government needs to start over. No one in management will change anything unless it makes them money, gets them a promotion, or earns them favors.

  8. "LPN"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Licensed Practical Nurse in Fort Lee, VA
    Former Employee - Licensed Practical Nurse in Fort Lee, VA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at US Department of Defense (Less than a year)

    Pros

    great work hours, great with requested days off

    Cons

    They have a 2 year probation period


  9. "Supervisory Recreation Specialist"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Superisory Recreation Specialist in White Sands Missile Range, NM
    Current Employee - Superisory Recreation Specialist in White Sands Missile Range, NM
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at US Department of Defense full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great training, benefits, travel opportunities and service to military. Job satisfaction

    Cons

    Lots of red tape and regulations out of your control

    Advice to Management

    Remember where you came from and what it is like starting out.


  10. "GOOD"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Human Resources Assistant in Pittsburgh, PA
    Current Employee - Human Resources Assistant in Pittsburgh, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at US Department of Defense full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Military Entrance Processing Station:Great leadership, very flexible with requesting time off, nice atmosphere processing military applicants. Nice group of people to work with.

    Cons

    A lot of down time and no challenge, very monotonous daily work

    Advice to Management

    none


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