Welcome to the National Guard Technician Program!
Congress established the Technician Program in “The Technician Act of 1968,” which is also known as Public Law 90-486. The Technician Program is a critical component of the
National Guard in all fifty-four states, territories and District of Columbia. This program was
established to provide National Guard technicians with fair and just compensation, employment
benefits, and entitlement to a retirement system that is equitable to other federal employees. The
law also designates, through the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force, The Adjutant Generals
of each state, to employ and administer the Technician Program. This authority is further
delegated to the Human Resources Officer (HRO). It is the HRO’s responsibility to review and
administer human resource policies and procedures for the National Guard Technician Program.
The HRO staff is committed to administering these policies and implementing systems that
ensure fair and equitable treatment, job satisfaction, just compensation, and recognition for work
Our National Guard members continue to face many new and exciting challenges. We are accepting new roles and missions and are transforming to stay abreast with the constant
changes in weapon systems, technology, military doctrine, and the mobilization of soldiers and
airmen. New legislation and reduced funding levels continue to challenge the Technician
This Technician Handbook is intended to guide and assist you in answering many of your
questions involving working conditions and benefits. It is designed to serve as a quick reference
resource. The Handbook outlines procedures that are applicable, but detailed procedures may
vary. For those of you in a labor bargaining unit, this handbook is not intended to replace the
negotiated agreement. If there is a difference in language between the agreement and this
handbook, the negotiated agreement language will take precedence.
I am especially grateful to the Employee Relations Committee of the Human Resources Advisory Council and the NGB Employee Relations Team in compiling this handbook. We
dedicate the design and development of this handbook to these outstanding human resource
professionals! We consider it a privilege to provide this very important handbook to our
technicians. We encourage you, our customers, to contact your Human Resources Office should
you have any questions regarding technician career and benefits.
JIMMY L. DAVIS, JR.
Chief, Office of Technician Personnel
10 November 2004
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Background 5
Chapter 2 Excepted Service 6
Military Membership Requirement
Compatible Military Assignment
Civil Service Competitive Status
Compensatory Time 7
Employment Tenure Group
Tenure Group 0
Tenure Group 1
Tenure Group 2
Tenure Group 3 8
Chapter 3 Official Personnel Records 8
Chapter 4 Pay Administration 8
Earnings Statements 9
Environmental Differential Pay 9
Hazardous Duty Pay
Within Grade Increases
Chapter 5 Hours of Duty 10
Chapter 6 Absence and Leave 10
Advancement of Annual Leave
Advancement of Sick Leave 11
Intermittent Use of Leave
Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Chapter 6 Absence and Leave (Continued)
Leave Transfer Program 11
Bone Marrow or Organ Donor
22 Day Leave
44 Day Leave 12
Leave Without Pay (LWOP)
5 Days Excused Absences
Adverse Weather Dismissals
Absence Without Leave
Chapter 7 Performance Evaluations 13
Chapter 8 Incentive Awards 14
Quality Step Increase (QSI)
Length of Service Award
Chapter 9 Federal Employee Group Life Insurance 15
Leave Without Pay Status
Chapter 10 Federal Employee Health Benefits 15
Who Is Covered 16
Choice of Plans and Options
Leave Without Pay Status
Temporary Continuation of Coverage
Chapter 11 Additional Optional Programs 17
Flexible Spending Accounts
Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program
Chapter 12 USERRA 17
Annual Leave 18
Leave Without Pay
Thrift Savings Plan 19
Return to Civilian Duty
Appeal Rights 20
Chapter 13 Injury Compensation 20
Injured At Work
Chapter 14 Retirement 21
Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS)
Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS)
Withdrawals Upon Separation 22
Prior Federal Service Time
Military Deposit Service
Interest Accrual Date
Chapter 15 Thrift Savings Plan 23
Withdrawal from Your TSP Account
Chapter 16 Political Activities 24
What Technicians May Do
What Technicians May Not Do
Chapter 17 Standards of Conduct 25
Chapter 18 Discipline and Adverse Action 26
Appeal and Grievance Procedures
Chapter 19 Voluntary Separation from the Technician Program 26
Chapter 20 Life Events 27
Change in Family Status
Designation of Beneficiary
Chapter 21 Classification 27
Chapter 22 Merit Promotion and Placement 28
Chapter 23 Reduction-in-Force 28
Chapter 24 Training and Development 29
Individual Development Plan
Chapter 25 Labor-Management Relations 29
Chapter 26 Equal Employment Opportunity 30
Chapter 27 Employee Assistance Program 30
Alcohol and Drug Abuse 31
Chapter 28 Miscellaneous 31
Acronyms and Abbreviations 32
The National Guard grew out of the various State militias that have been a significant part of American defense history since the late 17th Century. With your selection as a National
Guard Technician, you have become a federal employee covered by the National Guard
Technician Act of 1968 (Public Law 90-486). Because of this law, you are referred to as a
military technician. Your primary mission as a military technician is to provide day-to-day
continuity in the operation and training of Army and Air National Guard units.
Military Technicians are employees of the Department of Army or Department of the Air Force. Military Technicians are required to maintain military membership in the National Guard
in order to retain employment. These military technicians are referred to as dual-status
technicians. However, unlike other Federal employees, the State Adjutant General has the
authority to affect employment and is the level of final appeal for most personnel actions. With
few exceptions, a military technician enjoys the same benefits, privileges and rights as other
The National Guard also employs non-military technicians referred to as competitive technicians or Non Dual Status (NDS) technicians. If you are an NDS technician, your terms
and conditions of employment are very similar to those described in this handbook, but not
identical in all cases. Because the vast majority of our technicians are military technicians (not
NDS), this handbook primarily addresses the military technician workforce. For additional
information on the NDS Technician Program, please contact the Human Resources Office.
Positions in the National Guard Technician Program that require military membership in
the National Guard as a condition of technician employment are in the excepted service under
the provisions of 32 USC 709. This status means you are “excepted” from the rules that govern
civil service employees in the areas of tenure and competitive requirements for appointments.
Loss of military membership for any reason will cause termination of technician employment.
VETERAN’S PREFERENCE: This is not applicable in the National Guard Technician Program.
MILITARY UNIFORM: You are required to wear the uniform while performing technician duties. Additionally, compliance with established grooming, weight management and
physical fitness requirements is essential. While in uniform, even after duty hours, proper
customs and courtesies will be extended as appropriate.
COMPATIBLE MILITARY ASSIGNMENT: You are required to be assigned to a
military position and unit compatible with your military technician position. Failure to maintain
military compatibility is grounds for termination.
TRAVEL: When travel in connection with your duties is required, travel and per diem
will be authorized in accordance with Department of Defense Joint Travel Regulations. If you
are required to travel, you may be issued a government credit card. This card may be used to
obtain a cash advance (within per diem limits) from an ATM for travel and other travel expenses
such as airfare, lodging, meals, etc.
Under no circumstance should a government travel card be used for personal use. It is
your responsibility to promptly pay your credit card bill. Disciplinary action will result
from abuse or improper use of your government travel card.
Upon completion of TDY travel, submit a travel voucher (DD Form 1351-2) to the appropriate
reimbursement office within five days. You are required to furnish receipts for any official
miscellaneous expenses over $75. These receipts should be attached to your travel voucher
claim. If you need assistance in completing your voucher, ask your supervisor. A correctly
completed voucher will assist the Comptroller Travel and Voucher Section in promptly
processing your claim.
CIVIL SERVICE COMPETITIVE STATUS: Employment as a military excepted
service technician does not result in civil service competitive status.
OVERTIME PAY: National Guard technicians are not entitled to overtime pay.
Compensatory time off for pre-approved overtime work to include travel time will be granted.
COMPENSATORY TIME: In lieu of overtime pay, you will be granted compensatory time. The amount of time off given is equal to the time you spent outside your normal duty
hours or irregularly scheduled work. In order to be compensated, you must receive your
supervisor's approval before performing such work. Compensatory time must be used within 26
pay periods from the pay period in which it was earned or the time will be forfeited.
PERMANENT EMPLOYMENT: All National Guard technicians who must maintain military membership as a condition of employment are appointed in the excepted service and
must serve a one-year trial period. The technician may be removed during this trial period if
performance and/or conduct do not measure up to expected standards.
INDEFINITE EMPLOYMENT: Indefinite employment is temporary in nature that will normally last more than one year. Benefits are the same as a permanent technician with the
exception of tenure. Indefinite technicians are in Tenure Group 3. Indefinite technicians may
be separated after a 30-day written notice memorandum is issued by the HRO.
TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT: Technicians may be employed for short periods of time with a not to exceed ending date. Temporary limited employees are in Tenure Group 0.
These temporary appointments do not confer the same benefits as permanent or indefinite
appointments and the employee may be separated at any time.
EMPLOYMENT TENURE GROUP: Tenure is the period of time you as an employee may reasonably expect to serve under your current appointment. It is granted and governed by
the type of appointment under which you are currently serving. It is used to determine rank
order in cases of reduction-in-force. There are four Excepted Service tenure groups: Tenure 0
(Temporary appointment), Tenure 1 (Permanent), Tenure 2 (Trial or Probationary Period), and
Tenure 3 (Indefinite appointment). Usually the order of release would be employees with
Tenure 0 before any others, then Tenure 3 employees before Tenure 2 employees, then Tenure 2
before Tenure 1.
TENURE GROUP 0: If you were employed in a temporary status with a “Not to Exceed” date, you were placed in Tenure Group 0. As a tenure group 0 employee, you will not
receive an advance written notice prior to your release from service. Also as a tenure Group 0
employee, you do not have any appeal rights.
TENURE GROUP 1: If you were employed in a permanent status, you were placed in Tenure Group 1. As a permanent employee, your appointment carries no restriction or condition
such as conditional, indefinite, specific time limitation, or trial period.
TENURE GROUP 2: If you are serving on a trial or probationary period, you were placed in Tenure Group 2. As a Tenure 2 employee, you must serve a 12-month trial period in
which your job performance and behavior are monitored by your supervisor. Your supervisor
will recommend your retention or non-retention at the end of 12 months. You can be released
anytime during the trial or probationary period if your performance or behavior falls below the
required expectations without the right to an appeal.
TENURE GROUP 3: If you were employed as an indefinite employee, your appointment is normally expected to last more than one year. As an indefinite employee, you
were placed in Tenure Group 3. As such, you must receive a 30-day written notice prior to your
OFFICIAL PERSONNEL RECORDS
Official Personnel Folders (OPFs) are established and maintained in the Human
Resources Office and are for official use only. This folder will contain official documents
pertaining to your technician employment. You are encouraged to periodically review your OPF.
If an employee decides to leave federal employment, the OPF is forwarded to the Federal
Records Center, St. Louis, MO.
Supervisors are required to maintain an employee work-folder and NGB Form 904 or its
election equivalent. This folder may be reviewed at any time by the technician.
Technicians are furnished copies of all Standard Form 50s (Notification of Personnel
Action). You are strongly encouraged to maintain these SF 50s together with other personnel
documents such as your job application and resume.
GENERAL INFORMATION: Technicians are paid bi-weekly via electronic funds transfer (EFT). Allotments may be deducted from your pay for the following purposes:
• Union dues
• Savings bonds
• Allotments to financial institutions
• Charitable institutions such as the Combined Federal Campaign
EARNINGS STATEMENTS: A Department of Defense Civilian Leave and Earnings
Statement (LES) is available to each technician every pay period. The statement shows current
and year-to-date earnings and deductions, TSP contributions, and leave balances. Technicians
should review each LES and assure calculations and accruals are correct. You may view your
LES via DFAS, MY PAY system. Check with your HRO on how to obtain access to MY PAY.
After reviewing your LES and you find an error or you have questions about the information,
such as incorrect earnings, leave accumulation, taxes or other listings; you should contact your
supervisor immediately for assistance.