US Department of Defense Reviews | Glassdoor

US Department of Defense Reviews

Updated June 27, 2017
1,459 reviews

Filter

Filter

Full-time Part-time

1,459 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date

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

  • Great benefits & compensation package (in 125 reviews)

Cons
More Pros and Cons

  1. "Cyber Defense Analyst"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC

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

    Pros

    Excellent work-life balance, excellent professional development, excellent benefits, excellent mission, good pay. There is always the trade-off of hire pay at a private company but with longer work days.

    Cons

    Many of the computer-development platforms are outdated, bureaucracy is painful (a form for everything), low-energy colleagues who will never get fired, lack of direction by management.

    Advice to Management

    I would ask management to provide better direction to those that actually do real work. Reward hard workers rather than those who "suck up." Get rid of dead wood.


  2. "Working for DoD"

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

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

    Pros

    Amazing benefits and wonderful work environment

    Cons

    There are no Cons that I see with this employer

  3. "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


  4. "Military Officer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - O6 - Air Force - Colonel in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - O6 - Air Force - Colonel in Washington, DC
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Excellent comaraderi and health benefits

    Cons

    Challenging and Difficulty to innovate


  5. Helpful (1)

    "DoD for STEM Professionals"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Electrical Engineer in Point Mugu NAWC, CA
    Current Employee - Electrical Engineer in Point Mugu NAWC, CA

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

    Pros

    Given the diversity of the US Department of Defense, there are a plethora of different projects and fields of interest that one can pursue throughout their career. There's everything from basic science projects (engineering/modeling and simulation/testing/etc) through to research opportunities and management (project lead/manager/supervisor/etc).

    The work schedule is a very big plus. As expected, civilian employees are given every federal holiday off -- or the nearest working day, should a federal holiday fall on a weekend. Many departments/locations also work on a Flex Schedule -- typically a 9/80 schedule where employees are off every other Friday.

    Vacation time can also be a plus. New employees start out earning 4hrs of vacation leave and 4hrs of sick leave every pay period -- equaling 13 8hr days of annual leave and 13 8hr days of sick leave a year. After 3 years, this bumps up to 6hrs of vacation leave every pay period (20 8hr days) and 8hrs per pay period (26 8-hr days) at 15 years. Due to the typical 9/80 Flex Schedule, this results in occasional 3-for-9 weeks - where a federal holiday falls during an off-Friday week, meaning that an employee can take 3 days of leave (usually 26/27 hrs) and get a total of 9 days off. This happens a lot around the big 'end-of-year' holidays, so it can really make planning vacations easier. Sick leave earned stays at 4hrs per pay period forever; however, it has no 'cap' -- meaning you can save up as much as you want. Annual Leave has a cap of 240hrs per year. If you have more than that 'on the books' toward the end of the year, you run into a 'use or lose' situation; meaning you either take the leave and get it credited or you lose it completely. There are some instances during which you can apply to have 'use or lose' leave re-credited, but it can be a hassle to do and is not always granted.

    Cons

    The politics -- both workplace AND governmental are a huge downside.

    Be prepared to 'pay the price' for the failure of the Legislative/Executive Branches not working together. Nearly every single year there is a 'budget crisis' that results in funding gaps and the threat of sequestration/furlough. Due to this, there is a regular issue with resource availability which greatly affects your ability to get your job done. This causes a snowball effect that results in projects becoming late/being cancelled because of schedule and money conflicts. This can be extremely stressful to deal with. And the worst part is, so long as you're employed for the Federal Government, there isn't a thing you can do about this regular hiccup to the entire system. Moreover, because of national politics, the federal workforce is subject to regular 'hiring freezes'; meaning that projects and departments can suddenly find themselves short-handed because of attrition (retirement/leave for private industry/etc) and still has the workload for a full department. This can mean being assigned to 'pick up the slack' that results and trying to juggle the new/added responsibilities along with the ones that were already assigned. This can be a huge problem because of the need to seek and receive overtime/compensatory time approval before it can be worked. Given the constant state of 'funding issues' that results from national political issues, this can cause one to have to decide which tasks get done and which fall by the wayside -- meaning someone, somewhere up the hierarchy is not going to be happy no matter what gets done.

    There also tends to be A LOT of internal politics that can be extremely difficult for new people -- or even those with fewer than 20 years -- to navigate. Because of the inherent job security of government civilian work, there tend to be a lot of people who just 'skate by'; they don't really seem to ever get their exact job done, but they never seem to be in trouble for it. There are also issues with new supervisors looking to 'leave their mark' on a department or project. This means that there tends to be a period of tension and upheaval every time management makes a change. There is also the issue that management, once installed, tends to stop being proactive about helping their employees set and reach goals or resolve conflicts when they arise. This can be a HUGE hurdle for newer employees because they fall 'between the cracks' and end up spending years without clear goals or any real chance for upward mobility without a considerable amount of effort being put in to 'hound' their supervisors to do their actual jobs.

    Another issue tends to be in workplace equality. As a female engineer with 10 years of experience, I've encountered A LOT of issues with older male employees -- both engineering and management -- when it comes to being assigned work commiserate with my skills and ability and being treated as though I have the experience and insight necessary to tackle specific projects/issues. This may partially be because the federal workforce within the research/development side of the DoD is largely comprised of men who entered the workforce in the 70's and early 80's -- a time during which females in the workforce were not overly common and particularly in STEM fields. This may get better as the federal workforce changes dynamics through attrition (retirement/new hiring/etc) but it is still a problem right now.

    Another downside is compensation. Back 20 years ago, the retirement and health benefits offered by the Federal Government were very attractive and made up for the fact that an employee didn't make nearly as much and hour as a private-industry employee. However, the overall compensation was commiserate. This has dropped off drastically, which the elimination of pensions and a shift in cost-sharing for health benefit plans. This is worsened by the fact that the wages are still significantly lower (anywhere from 10-30%, dependent upon position/experience) than private-industry positions. There is the added benefit of job security, though -- which private industry positions don't tend to have.


  6. "Employment review"

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

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

    Pros

    Every day is different. Relied upon as a subject matter expert. Given leeway to make decisions.

    Cons

    Unpredictable work hours during fiscal year close.


  7. "Contracting"

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

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

    Pros

    Work life balance high pay lots of training work at home opportunities child care discounts pension good benefits free gym

    Cons

    Bureaucracy too heavy management lots of reporting old technology systems small acquisition workforce in city typically travel to Dayton for training

    Advice to Management

    Better leadership reach out

  8. "Dept of Defense"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Human Resources Director in Atlanta, GA
    Current Employee - Human Resources Director in Atlanta, GA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    Great pay, great hours, I work from home everyday!

    Cons

    I do not have any negative comments!

    Advice to Management

    Encourage Upward Mobility


  9. "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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    Federal job with good benefits, free parking downtown Pittsburgh. Work with a small group people in the operations section conducting interviews and fingerprinting. Great boss with a positive attitude.

    Cons

    No upward mobility and lots of downtime. If you need to stay busy and like a challenge this would not be a good fit.


  10. "Supporting our national defense, seeing the results every day"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Manager in Robins AFB, GA
    Current Employee - Program Manager in Robins AFB, GA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Get involved in cutting-edge defense strategies, directly supporting the national defense of our country. Depth AND breadth of experience is encouraged, you're never locked into one place if you have a shorter attention span. Education is supported and encouraged. Depending on where you live, salary is pretty competitive. Maybe less so in major metropolitan areas, but in middle GA it's solid.

    Cons

    Lots of bureaucracy, nothing happens fast. The way people are selected for promotion is sometimes head-scratching, the interview process is ridiculous.

    Advice to Management

    Trim the fat, spend more time developing and selecting good management talent. Do not be afraid to "clean house" when it comes to policies, procedures, and regulations.


Showing 1,459 of 1,499 reviews
Reset Filters