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Announcment Number: NNSA-QH-DE-04-0018
Vacancy Description: Nuclear Materials Courier, GS-084-8 (GS) GS-84-8/8

Open Period: 04/19/2004 - 04/30/2004
Salary: $36,626.00 - $47,615.00
Hiring Agency: NNSA Service Center
Duty Location: Throughout the Nation, DC


National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) NNSA Service Center Human Resources Department P.O. BOX 5400 ALBUQUERQUE, NM 87185-5400

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT OUR JOB INFORMATION CENTER AT: 1-800-825-5256 extension 845-5651; FAX Number: 505-284-7321.

TITLE: Nuclear Materials Courier (Federal Agent)

ABOUT THE WORK ENVIRONMENT: The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is responsible, under law, for safeguarding and transporting nuclear weapons, components, and other sensitive nuclear materials between authorized destinations. In fulfilling that responsibility, the NNSA, through the Office of Secure Transportation (OST), employs, trains, and administers a work force of Federal Agents (Nuclear Material Couriers) whose primary responsibility is the safe and secure transport of such materials. Since 1974, OST has been assigned responsibility to develop, operate, and manage a system for the safe and secure transportation of all government-owned, NNSA-controlled special nuclear materials in "strategic" or "significant" quantities. Shipments are transported in specially designed equipment and are escorted by armed Agents. NNSA/OST is looking for highly capable individuals who qualify for Federal Agent positions.

WHAT FEDERAL AGENTS DO: Federal Agents spend about three weeks per month (approximately 5 days a week) traveling throughout the contiguous forty-eight states by air and highway on mission assignment or in training. Agents operate motor vehicles up to and including tractor-trailer trucks. Duties require scheduled and irregular hours, personal risks, exposure to inclement weather, extensive around-the-clock travel, close-working environment, and arduous exertion under real and potentially adverse environmental conditions. Agents may be called upon to use deadly force, if necessary, to prevent the theft, sabotage, or takeover of protected materials by unauthorized persons.

WHEN WILL POSITIONS BE FILLED? Candidates who satisfactorily complete all parts of the selection process (application, interview, medical examination, background investigation, suitability determination, and granting of the appropriate clearance) prior to August 2004, will be appointed to the training academy beginning August 8, 2004. The remaining candidates will be considered for positions in the academies tentatively scheduled for February and August of the following year.

SALARY: This is a full-time, permanent position. Agents are initially hired at the GS-8 grade level with a current annual salary of $36,626. The position has an established career path the GS-10 grade level. After one year of satisfactory job performance you may be promoted to the GS-9 grade level with a current annual salary of $40,454, and within another year of satisfactory performance, may be promoted to the GS-10 grade level with a current annual salary of $44,550. Keep in mind that the nature of the job will require numerous hours of overtime pay that will be in addition to the above quoted annual salaries. Competitive promotional opportunities to higher graded positions are possible within the overall career field (GS-11 through GS-15).

BENEFITS: As a new employee you are eligible to participate/enroll in Health Insurance, Life Insurance, Long Term Care Insurance, and Flexible Spending Accounts.

Agents are covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System. This retirement system is comprised of Social Security Benefits, a Basic Benefit Plan, and a Thrift Savings Plan (similar to a 401K Plan) that offers matching agency contributions. As an agent, you are also covered by the special 20-year retirement provision that includes a higher paying basic benefit plan. An agent can retire after completing 20 years of special service and is at least age 50 or after completing 25 years of special service at any age. Note: Military service does not count towards the "special service" requirement.

Please go to the following website for more information. OST Web Page

Employees also earn annual leave at a rate of 4 hours every two-week pay period. After 3 years of service this increases to 6 hours every 2 weeks, and at 15 years of service it increases to 8 hours every 2 weeks. You can carry over up to 30 days of annual leave into the next calendar year. Most prior creditable military and federal civilian service counts towards the time required to go into the next higher leave-earning category. Employees also earn 4 hours of sick leave every two-week pay period. You can accrue sick leave without a limit.

WHERE DO WE HAVE FEDERAL AGENTS? Agents are hired for three different duty locations, specifically, Amarillo, Texas, Albuquerque, New Mexico and Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Agents will be permanently assigned to one of these duty locations based on the staffing needs of the organization. Although selected candidates will be given an opportunity to indicate a preference of duty location, the needs of the organization will determine where candidates will be placed. Currently, the major staffing need exists in Amarillo, Texas. The majority of candidates will be assigned to the agent facility in Amarillo, Texas.


For information on the Basic Qualification requirements for this position series click on the link below. NOTE: Applicants are strongly encouraged to visit this website to become fully knowledgeable of all the requirements of this position, including experience and medical requirements, prior to beginning the application process.

Qualifications WHAT KIND OF BACKGROUND MUST AN APPLICANT HAVE? In addition to meeting the Basic Qualification requirements above, applicants must also have at least one full-time year of specialized experience that is in or directly related to the line of work of the position. This experience must include armed security experience which could have been gained in the armed forces, Coast Guard, or other Federal, State, Local government or private organization which involved armed guard or armed-security duties on a regular basis. Such experience should have involved: protecting property against theft; sabotage; fire; damage; accident; trespass; maintaining law and order; or protecting lives, etc. Applicants must meet this qualification at the time of application. To be competitive, applicants should have significant training and experience in handgun and rifle use, manipulation, and shooting, and tactical operations.

HOW WILL APPLICATIONS BE EVALUATED? Applicants will be evaluated against prescribed qualification requirements. An applicant must have one year of specialized experience as defined above. Applicants who meet this requirement will be further evaluated to determine the degree to which they possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for the position. The rating and ranking process will take place in the following steps:

All applications will be assessed and provided a numerical score based on answers provided to the questions in the application. The applications will then be screened by a panel of Subject Matter Experts (SME's) who will consider information on the application, most importantly responses to the essay questions, the resume, and supporting documentation such as the DD214. Scores will be combined. The organization has approximately 60 interview openings. Those applicants who score in the top 60 of all who are qualified and available, will then be invited for the next step of the assessment process which is an in-person interview process, to include a medical examination, to be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico. (Veteran's preference will be applied and considered as appropriate.)

The interview process will result in candidates being categorically ranked into one of three different quality categories, Best Qualified, Well Qualified, and Minimally Qualified. Candidates will be ranked based on such areas as level of special operations experience, firearms experience and proficiency, special tactics experience, physical conditioning, driving record, leadership skills, and ability to accomplish goals and objectives while under internal and external pressures.

WHO CAN APPLY FOR THESE POSITIONS? Applications will be accepted from all sources. You do not have to be a current or former federal employee to apply, nor have served in the military. HOWEVER, IF YOU ARE CLAIMING VETERANS PREFERENCE IN THIS PROCESS, YOU MUST SUBMIT THE REQUIRED DOCUMENTION, (e.g. DD 214, proof of 10 point eligibility, statement of military service, if still active duty). FAILURE TO DO SO WILL SERIOUSLY IMPACT THE CONSIDERATION YOUR APPLICATION IS GIVEN.


Human Reliability Program (HRP): Federal Agents are certified under the HRP (similar to the military personnel Reliability Program) for critical duty assignment. HRP is a human reliability program designed to ensure that individuals assigned to Nuclear Explosives Duties do not have emotional, mental, or physical incapacity that could result in a threat to nuclear materials safety. PLEASE visit the following site for all the details and requirements of the HRP.

OST Web Page

AGE REQUIREMENT: Because this position is covered by a Federal 20-year retirement system, there is a minimum and maximum age requirement for entry into this position. To be considered for appointment to the August 2004 training academy, you must have been born after August 8, 1966 and before August 9, 1983. To be hired in the next or later training academies, an applicant must be at least 21 and not older than 37 on the beginning date of the academy. NO waivers will be considered for this age requirement. BACKGROUND REQUIREMENT: The Omnibus Consolidated Act of 1997 amended the Gun Control Act of 1968 to make it unlawful for a person convicted of a "misdemeanor crime of domestic violence" to ship, transport, possess, or receive firearms or ammunition. This amendment applies to all applicants for this position, and as such, any such conviction (unless expunged, set aside, pardoned, or civil rights restored) will be disqualifying.

ALCOHOL AND DRUG TESTING: This position is subject to the Department of Energy's Random Drug Testing Program. The Federal Agents are subject to random unannounced alcohol and drug testing under the Department of Transportation regulations. All tentatively selected applicants must submit to alcohol testing before any final job offer is made.

SECURITY CLEARANCE INFORMATION: A selectee's appointment is contingent upon: satisfactory granting and maintaining a "Q" level security clearance/access authorization; verification of U.S. citizenship; and if a male applicant born after 12/31/59, confirmation of selective service registration. Selected candidates are required to undergo a complete background investigation (including financial, motor vehicle, and criminal history) by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) prior to being appointed. This process will take several months.

SPECIAL NOTE: Due to the nature of this position, an individual's driving history is seriously considered in the selection process. Prior alcohol related driving offenses are taken into account. If you have a recent (within 5 years) DUI/DWI conviction, you may not be considered for this position. FORMAL TRAINING ASSIGNMENT: All candidates selected will attend an approximate four month training academy at Ft. Chaffee, Fort Smith, Arkansas. Travel and per diem expenses will be provided during the candidate training academy. Candidates will reside in a government dormitory while attending the academy.

Training at the academy will consist of firearms, tractor-trailer operations, tactics, and other required field and classroom instruction. Candidates will be evaluated during each portion of the training as well as evaluated for overall performance. Failure to perform satisfactorily will result in termination from the program and from employment in the Federal Service. Shortly after arrival at the academy, candidates will be required to qualify on the one-mile run at eight and one-half minutes or less and the forty yard dash from a prone position in eight seconds or less. Candidates will be required to qualify on assigned weapons at 85%, day and night, and complete the requirements for a Commercial Driver's License during the academy. Failure to meet any qualifications during the training will result in termination from the program and from Federal employment.

WHO IS SUITABLE FOR THIS POSITION? In addition to the security clearance, an applicant must be found suitable for Federal employment based on character and conduct. Misconduct in prior employment, criminal, dishonest or disgraceful conduct, habitual use of intoxicating beverages, abuse of narcotics, drugs or other controlled substances, or reasonable doubt of loyalty to the United States are some reasons an offer of employment may be denied.

IF YOU ARE CLAIMING VETERAN PREFERENCE: You MUST provide proof if you are claiming any of the following:

¤ 5 Point Veteran's Preference (Copy of DD214) ¤ 10 Point Veteran's Preference (Copy of DD214 and Standard Form 15 and required proof of entitlement as described in SF-15) ¤ Compensable Service-Connected Disability of 10 Percent Or More (Copy of DD-214, SF-15, and letter from the Veterans Administration identifying the percentage of disability, dated within one year.) NOTE: THE REQUIRED PROOF MUST BE RECEIVED IN THE PERSONNEL OFFICE WITHIN 48 HOURS AFTER THE VACANCY HAS CLOSED. You must fax your required proof to (505) 284-7321 or you may mail them to the above address. INCLUDE VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT # ON YOUR DOCUMENTS. FAILURE TO PROVIDE THE APPROPRIATE DOCUMENTATION MAY ELIMINATE AN APPLICANT FROM FURTHER CONSIDERATION.

For additional information on veterans' preference click here: Vet Guide

CAREER TRANSITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (CTAP) AND INTERAGENCY CAREER TRANSITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (ICTAP): Applicants claiming CTAP/ICTAP eligibility must submit proof that they meet the requirements of 5 CFR 330.605(a) for CTAP and 5 CFR 330.704 for ICTAP. For CTAP/ICTAP this would include: (1) a copy of certificate of expected separation or in the case of CTAP eligibility, this would also include other official certification that their position is surplus, (2) their most recent Performance Rating, (3) and their most recent SF-50 noting current position, grade level, and duty location. CTAP and ICTAP eligibles must be considered well qualified as defined above. The documentation must be faxed to the fax number indicated in the vacancy announcement within 48 hours of the closing date. Failure to do so will cause you to lose consideration under CTAP/ICTAP provisions.

CTAP applicants will be considered for both competitive and excepted service positions (providing they are eligible for appointment to both) unless they indicate otherwise in their applications).

A CTAP eligible employee who applies and is selected for a NNSA vacancy through the CTAP process only to subsequently decline the job offer, forfeits further CTAP selection priority for other NNSA vacancies.

Selection priority is offered for a position that is at the same, or lower grade, than your current position; you will not receive selection priority for promotion. If applying for a career ladder position, a CTAP eligible will receive selection priority consideration only at the same grade level of their current position. The promotion potential cannot be higher than the CTAP eligible's current promotion potential. A CTAP eligible applying from competitive service to excepted service is not eligible to apply for a pay band that contains grades higher than their current grade. (e.g., GS-12 cannot apply for a pay band III position because a pay band III position is equivalent to a GS-12 and GS-13).

For more information on CTAP/ICTAP eligibility requirements, please visit:


HOW TO APPLY FOR THIS VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT: Applications (resume AND application questions) for this vacancy MUST be received on-line via the DOE Jobs ONLINE web site ( BEFORE midnight Eastern Time on the closing date of this announcement. NOTE: IF YOU FAIL TO SUBMIT A COMPLETE ONLINE RESUME OR SUBMIT AN INCOMPLETE RESUME, you WILL NOT be considered for this position. Paper applications WILL NOT be accepted and requests for extensions WILL NOT be granted. If applying online poses a hardship to any applicant, the Servicing Personnel Office listed on the announcement will provide assistance to ensure that applications are submitted on-line by the closing date. Applicants MUST CONTACT the Servicing Personnel Office PRIOR TO THE CLOSING DATE to speak to someone who can provide assistance for on-line submission.

If applicable, applicants MUST submit copies of military discharge certificate, DD214, and supporting veteran's preference documentation as identified above, and/or most recent Notification of Personnel Action, SF 50, if a current or former Federal employee. You must fax this information to (505) 284-7321 or you may mail them to the above address. INCLUDE VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT # ON YOUR DOCUMENTS.

DECLARATION OF APPOINTMENT: Applicants selected for Federal employment will be required to complete a "Declaration of Federal Employment," (OF-306), prior to being appointed to determine their suitability for Federal employment and to authorize a background investigation. Failure to answer all questions truthfully and completely or providing false statements on the application may be grounds for not hiring the applicant, for dismissing the applicant after they begin work, and may be punishable by fine or imprisonment (U.S. Code, Title 18, section 1001).

EEO/DIVERSITY POLICIES: Selection for this position will be based solely on merit, fitness, and qualifications without regard to race, sex, color, religion, age, marital status, national origin, non-disqualifying handicap conditions, sexual orientation, parental status, or any other non-merit factors. This agency provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the agency. The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be on a case-by-case basis.

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