Senior Executive Service

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by eaglescout68, Mar 15, 2015.

  1. eaglescout68

    eaglescout68 Member

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    Hello,
    I've been on these forums for a while posting about wanting to go to the Coast a Guard Academy before deciding not to apply. I am currently a Freshmen at Western Illinois University studying emergency management with a minor in Environmental and Occupational safety. After a long time researching various options within the military and outside the military. I've came to the conclusion that the Senior Executive Service may be the best bet for what I want to do with my career. Does anyone have any experience with the Senior Executive Service. If so how would you suggest one plan their career so maybe they can hold that rank of Senior executive one day?
     
  2. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    SES is the federal civil service equivalent of the military flag and general officer ranks. You get there one of two ways: starting at the bottom of the white collar civil service ranks, and deliver outstanding performance in a series of increasingly more complex positions, taking advantage of graduate education opportunities, gaining business administration skills, and working your way to the top of the heap. The other way is to gain those skills in the private sector and gain a direct appointment. There are also political appointments, but that's another route entirely.

    Looking at your major, I would tell you to look at the FEMA website, do some research on the bios of the SES to see how they got there. Explore opportunities to do Federal civil service internships or other programs designed to attract college grads. The boomers are retiring in huge numbers out of the civil service work force, and millennials are being recruited.

    Your state will also have its own non-Fed civil service and emergency management agency. Another place to research.



    Good luck!

    It's good to see a college freshman with long-term goals, but always be open to the twists and turns of the life journey.
     
  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I have three people in my life that are SES. I concur with CaptMJ, making it to SES before you are 40-45 is highly unlikely. It is a position for Generals/Admirals. Of course because they have a great network/connectiona they slide into the SES position easier.

    One thing they all have in common is post graduate degrees. Masters is not going to be enough impo. You need to be the specialist, and that usually includes years and years of work experience with additional degrees.
     
  4. Falcon A

    Falcon A Member

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    eaglescout -- I am a retired AF O-6 and currently an SES at NASA HQ. I agree with Capt MJ and Pima. Also recommend you check out the SES job ads on the USAJOBS.gov website to give you an idea of the educational degree requirements and experience levels required for SES positions. Sounds like FEMA, DHS, DOT or perhaps FAA would be prime for your education, but you will have to see what your job experience and your life experience provides you. "Emergency Mgmt" could also be useful within the EPA, DoD or State Dept. My best advice is to work hard, get your degree, and then get to work. :) You should try to become an expert in your field, but also try to get some breadth. Be willing to volunteer for special assignments and to be stationed in different parts of the country -- that is how you develop both breadth and depth. Feel free to PM me if you'd like to know more.
     
  5. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    Very nice, Falcon A. Transitioning from uniformed service at either separation or retirement to civil service is also a common path. I was invited to apply for an SES appointment, which I felt very honored by, when I was retiring from the Navy, but I chose another direction. Since OP is now not planning to enter the Armed Forces, I didn't mention that possibility, but for readers unfamiliar with military going civil service after transitioning, it's a viable path.
     
  6. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    If I may, you shoujld reconsider your career plan/goals. Although other might disagree, a simple way to look at the Senior Executive Service is non political appointed senior leadership positions in the federal government. To say you want to lead your career to the Senior Executive Service is like saying you just want to become a high ranking official in the federal government. Do you care if you become a SES for the Department of Defense or Department of Veterans Affair or it doesn't matter as long as you become a SES?
     
  7. eaglescout68

    eaglescout68 Member

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    I was thinking the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
     
  8. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    This thread is sort of hilarious.

    "I've decided the best role for me would be to be important and well paid. I would also not like to serve in the military."
     
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  9. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    If so, how can rephrase your career goal?
     
  10. eaglescout68

    eaglescout68 Member

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    I was thinking a Federal Security Director or something with FEMA
     
  11. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Doesn't it sound better than "the Senior Executive Service"?
     
  12. eaglescout68

    eaglescout68 Member

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    It does. I appreciate everyone's information on this. I know it will take a long time to accomplish this goal, but honestly I think it will be worth it.
     
  13. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    If you're so set on DHS, why avoid the Coast Guard? A career in the CG or any military branch, even for 5 years, would be a feather in your cap when seeking employment with a federal agency.
     
  14. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Haha, but don't join the military for a feather in your cap.

    I'm confused by this thread. It's essentially saying "I've thought about it, and I think the best course of action is become an admiral." Huh?

    As others have said, SES is just the civilian equivalent of an O-7-O-10ish, in the military. There is a LOT of crap in between.

    If we're looking at the General Schedule (GS) pay scale, you have rough equivalents in "ranks". A GS-15 is like a colonel or captain (O-6). A GS-14 is like a lieutenant colonel or commander (O-5). A GS-13 is like a major or lieutenant commander (O-4). A GS-10 to GS-12 is something like a captain or lieutenant (O-3) and a GS-9 is like a first lieutenant or lieutenant junior grade (O-2).

    SES isn't some agency or select secret group. It's a rank or paygrade of civilian employees who generally have a great deal of experience or connections with specific issues. Maybe senior military officers go into the SES not because it's another route, but because they have the equivalent experience or more of the GS-15 paygrade or higher. My old boss, who was rear admiral (O-8) is an SES. I've had old coworkers who were captains (O-6) who became SES, because they had a year in O-6 paygrade, which is equivalent to the duties and responsibilites of a GS-15.

    So, what's odd to is, you've skipped thinking about all of the important stuff and skipped straight to "I want to get paid well and be important." Wouldn't we all? You have to develop a lifetime of skills and experiences, none of which are categorized under the "make me a SES" subject head.
     
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  15. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Nothing wrong with having SES as your long-term goal, but recommend you focus on more short-term objectives. What do you want to do 8-10 years from now? Do you want to work in the field or behind a desk? Are there certain parts of the country or the world that are more desirable? Do you want to work on your own or work for others -- before you say the former, consider that most SES come from an enviroment of gradually supervising more individuals, which often starts in an organization where they worked for others. Do you want to work 9-5 or a flexible schedule?

    Think about what you want to do and then, once there and if you like it, figure out how you can advance to the highest level in that organization or consider moving to a different organization, whether in government or out.
     
  16. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    The other thing to remember is, unlike the military, you do not have to work your way up, entirely, through the federal system. You have to have EQUIVALENT experience. If' you're a big wig somewhere, and you have the experience that is at the GS-15 level or above, you could apply.

    But, it is easier to apply from within the federal government. If you look at USA Jobs, some solicitations are for all U.S. citizens and some are merit based within the federal government. To be honest, I'm not entirely sure how SES falls into that, but it's just another thing to consider.
     
  17. eaglescout68

    eaglescout68 Member

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    I've thought about the Coast Guard but within emergency management there's jobs in the local, county(parish), or even state government. I would much rather start in the local, county(parish), or state government
     
  18. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    You should understand that, while each state and local governments have their own homeland security organizations, they are not part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. You would not be in the "GS" system working in anything but the federal government. That said, there are opportunities to coordinate between federal, state and local agencies.
     
  19. eaglescout68

    eaglescout68 Member

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    Thank you everyone for your thoughts.
     
  20. eaglescout68

    eaglescout68 Member

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    I was thinking of working in the state or local level and then make the jump to SES.
     

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