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Operations Research Analyst - (rFED)

CAPE -- Department of Defense
Washington, DC 20301
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Operations Research Analyst - GS 2021-1515-11 (rFED)


Department: Department of Defense

Agency: Office of the Secretary of Defense

Hiring Organization: Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation

Salary Range: $87,198 to $172,500 Per Year

Open Period: Jan 03, 2022 Jan 14, 2022

Pay Scale & Grade: GS-12/13/14/15

Series: 1515 Operations Research

Appointment Type: Permanent - Schedule B Excepted Service. A current Federal Career or Career-Conditional employee selected must voluntarily relinquish his or her competitive status prior to appointment to this position.

Work Schedule: Full Time

This job is open to All US Citizens

Clarification from the agency: This public notice is to gather applications that may or may not result in a referral or selection.

Location: Pentagon, Arlington, VA Relocation expenses reimbursed: No

Telework Eligibility: As determined by agency policy.

Travel Required: Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.

Supervisory status: No

Promotion Potential: 15


This position is in the Office of the Director, Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE). The Director, CAPE is the principal staff advisor and assistant to the Secretary of Defense for planning, analysis, and evaluation of the Defense Program, including formulating the force planning, fiscal, and policy guidance upon which DoD force and program projections are based; analyzing and evaluating planned and proposed military forces, weapons systems and major programs; preparing independent cost analyses of major DoD programs and weapon system acquisitions; evaluating U.S. and foreign force capabilities; developing and evaluating alternative forces and programs; and identifying the key issues and developing information and analyses for use by the Secretary of Defense in decision-making.

The primary purpose of this position is to serve as an Operations Research Analyst in the Readiness and Force Employment Division (RFED). The Division supports the Department of Defense (DoD) leadership's decision making by providing analytic insights on the Department's ability to achieve its priority objectives. With a focus on the operational readiness, defense infrastructure, and force posture, RFED explores a range of potential futures and key variables to ensure that DoD's limited resources support feasible and affordable future concepts and plans.

Responsibilities May Include:

  • Leading a Program Review Team to characterize readiness risks in proposed Service budget submissions and develop mitigation options that will be reviewed by the Deputy Secretary of Defense
  • Executing in-depth analyses of military readiness issues such as modeling the impact of different sustainment funding portfolios on unit readiness or determining the impact of past events on current weapon system availability
  • Executing quick-turn analyses of military readiness and funding issues such as determining the lowest risk distribution of sustainment funding by platform given an overall budget constraint
  • Developing deep subject matter expertise in a specific readiness portfolio (e.g. fighter aircraft or brigade combat teams)
  • Building coalitions across the Department of Defense to develop a common understanding of program performance and available data
  • Presenting findings to senior leaders and non-technical audiences clearly and concisely.
  • Conducting analysis in a programming or statistical software suite such as R, Python, Excel, AI/ML techniques, MATLAB, ArcGIS (specific requirements may vary).
  • Performing independently and/or acting as a senior analyst in a team setting. As a GS-15, expected to be a subject matter expert advising senior leaders on methodological or analytical issues.

Conditions of Employment

  • U.S. Citizenship is required.
  • Males must be registered for Selective Service, see www.sss.gov.
  • This position is subject to provisions of the WHS/OSD PPP Pilot Program.
  • May be required to successfully complete a trial period.
  • Required to participate in the direct deposit program.
  • Position is subject to random drug testing.
  • Must be able to obtain and maintain a Top Secret or a Top Secret/SCI clearance.
  • Employee may be required to work other than normal duty hours, to include evenings, weekends and/or holidays.
  • This position may require travel away from your normal duty station on military or commercial aircraft.
  • Employee may be required to submit an annual financial interest statement.
  • Recruitment incentives may or may not be authorized.
  • Per National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of fiscal year (FY) 2017. Section 1111 modifies 5 United States Code (U.S.C.) 3326; Veterans who are retiring within 180 days of the appointment effective date may require a 180-day waiver package.,
  • Due to COVID-19, CAPE is currently in an expanded telework posture. If selected, you may be expected to temporarily telework, even if your home is located outside the local commuting area. Once employees are permitted to return to the office full-time, you will be expected to report to the duty station listed on this announcement upon consultation with the hiring manager. At that time, you may be eligible to request to continue to telework one or more days a pay period depending upon the terms of CAPE's telework policy.

    On September 9, 2021, President Biden signed Executive Order (EO) 14043, titled, Requiring Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Federal Employees. As stated in Section 1 of the EO, the President has determined that in order to promote the health and safety of the workforce and the efficiency of the civil service, it is necessary for all agencies to require COVID19 vaccinations for Federal employees covered by EO 14043, subject only to such exceptions as required by law.


Basic Requirements:

  • A degree in operations research; or at least 24 semester hours in a combination of operations research, mathematics, probability, statistics, mathematical logic, science, or subject-matter courses requiring substantial competence in college-level mathematics or statistics. At least 3 of the 24 semester hours must have been in calculus.
  • Education must be obtained from an accredited institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Click here on the following link to view education and/or experience requirements for this position.

Click here to view occupational requirements for this position.

Applicants must meet all qualifications requirements by the closing date of the announcement. In addition to meeting the basic requirement above, you must also meet the qualification requirements listed below:

Specialized Experience:

  • GS-12: One year of specialized (equivalent to GS-11) experience that equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties and responsibilities of the position listed above. Your experience includes conducting quantitative analytics under supervision and reporting results to management and non-technical audiences.


Ph.D. or equivalent Doctoral Degree

  • GS-13: One year of specialized (equivalent to GS-12) experience that equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties and responsibilities of the position listed above. Your experience includes conducting quantitative analytics, developing research plans, and reporting results to management and non-technical audiences.

NOTE: There is no substitution of education for specialized experience at the GS-13 level.

  • GS-14: One year of specialized (equivalent to GS-13) experience that equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties and responsibilities of the position listed above. Your experience includes formulating and conducting independent research programs; defining and selecting basic problems for investigation; interacting with individuals across organizational boundaries to reach a common understanding of issues and data; and reporting results to management and non-technical audiences.

NOTE: There is no substitution of education for specialized experience at the GS-14 level.

  • GS-15: One year of specialized (equivalent to GS-14) experience that equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties and responsibilities of the position listed above. Your experience includes formulating and conducting independent research programs; defining and selecting basic problems for investigation; building coalitions across organizational boundaries; advising managerial personnel on technical subject areas and research methodologies; developing resourcing options and reporting results to management and non-technical audiences. At the GS-15 level, experience with at least one of DoD readiness, infrastructure, programming, or budgeting issues is required.

NOTE: There is no substitution of education for specialized experience at the GS-15 level.

  • Part-time or unpaid experience: Credit will be given for appropriate unpaid and or part-time work. You must clearly identify the duties and responsibilities in each position held and the total number of hours per week.
  • Volunteer Work Experiences: Refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service Programs (i.e., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community; student and social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge and skills that can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs): Your resume and application materials should reflect the depth and breadth of your competencies for the position. Do not submit a separate written statement addressing the KSAs below.

  • Quantitative Analytics: Mastery of mathematical reasoning that involves designing, developing, and applying operations research, mathematical, statistical, and/or other scientific research methods. Demonstrated experience in using quantitative analytics to solve complex problems with innovative solutions sufficient to receive recognition as an authority in a particular subject. Includes ability to develop new methodologies and/or theories where current approaches are obsolete or do not support evolving directions and strategies.
  • Influencing/Negotiating: Demonstrated ability to negotiate with individuals and groups internally and externally to develop plans and timelines for completing complex projects.
  • Building Coalitions: Ability to work with and collaborate with individuals across a broad spectrum of internal and external organizational representatives. Demonstrate ability to independently work across organizations, successfully navigate a complex bureaucracy, to share and obtain information, and to influence outcomes. Must have the ability to develop an expansive professional network with other organizations and to identify the internal and external politics that impact the work of the organization.

  • Communication: Ability to translate complex concepts, findings, and limitations into concise, plain language through varied types of written communication to include emails, memos, PowerPoint briefs, white papers, and full reports. Oral communications may include formal presentations or briefings in front of large groups of senior officials and could occur with little to no forewarning and may require communicating on matters with opposing views. Must be able to explain, advocate, and express facts and ideas in a convincing manner, and to negotiate with individuals and groups internally and externally.

Background Checks and Security Clearance

  • You will be required to obtain and maintain a Top Secret or Top Secret/SCI. For more information regarding security clearances click here.
  • Employed Annuitants (Reemployed Annuitants): Applicants in receipt of an annuity based on civilian employment in the Federal Service are subject to the DoD Policy on The Employment of Annuitants. Click here for more information.
  • Selective Service: Males born after 12-31-59 must be registered or exempt from Selective Service. For additional information, click here.
  • Washington Headquarters Services uses E-Verify to confirm the employment eligibility of all newly hired employees. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, visit: http://www.dhs.gov/E-Verify
  • Nepotism: Under the provisions of 5 USC 3110, an individual may not be appointed into a position if the position is under the supervisory chain of command of a relative.

How To Apply:

To be considered for this position, you must submit your completed application no later than 11:59pm U.S. Eastern Time on the closing date of this announcement. Requests for extensions will not be granted, so please begin the application process allowing yourself enough time to finish before the deadline. Submit a completed application package to the CAPE Website: https://www.cape.osd.mil/

Required Documents:

The following documents are required and must be provided with your application for this announcement:

1. Resume:

  • You must include months, years and hours per week worked to receive credit for your work and/or volunteer experience. One year of specialized experience is equivalent to 12 months at 40 hours per week. Part-time hours are prorated. You will not receive any credit for experience that does not indicate exact hours per week or is listed as "varies". If your resume does not contain this information, your application may be marked as insufficient and you will not receive consideration for this position.
  • If your resume includes a photograph or other inappropriate material or content, you will not be considered for this vacancy. Do not include any Personally Identifiable Information (i.e., Social Security Number, Birthdate).

2. Assessment Questionnaire - You must select an answer to each question.

3. Writing Sample: Demonstrate your analytical ability and writing skills in (one) 1 page, addressing the following: Describe (one) 1 aspect of the current National Defense Strategy that you believe needs to be changed in the next revision. Provide a rational argument defending your position and a recommendation for improvement.

4. Transcripts: Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for it to be credited towards qualifications requirements. Therefore, provide only proof of attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Copies of a diploma alone are not sufficient. FOREIGN EDUCATION: Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet the requirements. You must show proof the education credentials have been deemed to be at least equivalent to that gained in conventional U.S. education program. It is your responsibility to provide such evidence when applying.

5. Veterans Preference: veteran eligibility documentation (DD-214 Member #4 Copy, VA Letter, Standard Form (SF) 15 as applicable). Please note: If you are a veteran who has not yet been discharged, you may provide a statement of intent to discharge from your agency to receive Veterans Preference under the VOW (Veterans Opportunity to Work) to Hire Heroes Act of 2011.

6. SF 50: Your latest SF-50 (if applicable) showing your tenure, grade and step, and type of position occupied (e.g., Excepted or Competitive Service). Remove all Personally Identifiable Information (Social Security Number and Birthdate). If you receive an updated SF-50 after initially applying, please provide the updated document to CAPE to be added to your application.

NOTE: Ensure all submitted documents contain your full name. Failure to provide all the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.


A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career extremely rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits.

Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.

How You Will Be Evaluated

The qualifications for this position will be evaluated by Subject Matter Experts prior to a referral. If you meet the minimum qualifications for this position, your application will be evaluated under a multi-hurdle assessment approach, culminating in a ranking and referral.

  • Resume Review (First Hurdle): Subject matter experts will review your resume to determine qualifications based on the required competencies identified above.
  • Qualifying Structured Interviews (Second Hurdle): If the subject matter experts determine that your resume reflects the required competencies, you will have a panel interview (virtual or phone) to further assess whether your experience meets the required competencies. This panel interview may include in-depth questions, detailed review of writing sample, or exercise/case study to measure your depth of knowledge in relation to the required competencies.
  • Ranking and Preference: Preference will be applied to applicants who move forward after the qualifying Interviews.
  • Selection Process: Hiring Managers will receive a certificate listing of qualified candidates who are eligible for selection. If you are not selected for this position, you may be considered for similar positions for up to 6 months (from the certificate date). This certificate may also be shared with other CAPE Hiring Managers. If you are selected for an interview, you may be asked to give a presentation and/or analyze a case study. You may also be asked to participate in several rounds of interviews.

Qualified candidates will be assigned a score between 70 and 100 not including points that may be assigned for veterans' preference. Your answers will be verified against information provided in your application and/or by reference checks. If your resume does not support the responses in your application, or if you fail to submit required documentation before the vacancy closes, you may be rated 'ineligible', 'not qualified', or your score may be adjusted accordingly.

Agency Contact Information:

Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation | Email: osd.pentagon.cape.mbx.esd-support@mail.mil
Address: 1800 Defense Pentagon, Room 3E231, Washington, DC 20301-1800

Fair & Transparent
The federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.

Equal Employment Opportunity Policy

The United States Government does not discriminate in employment based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor. Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) for federal employees & job applicants

Reasonable Accommodation Policy:

Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.

Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:

  • An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.

You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application, hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Learn more about disability employment and reasonable accommodations or how to contact an agency.

Legal and Regulatory Guidance:


Jobs Rated Reports for Operations Research Analyst

Posted: 2022-01-03 Expires: 2022-02-04

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Operations Research Analyst - (rFED)

CAPE -- Department of Defense
Washington, DC 20301

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