Navy Legislative Fellowship
The Navy Legislative Fellows program provides an opportunity for Navy officers to broaden their experience and knowledge in the operations and organization of Congress while enhancing the Navy's ability to fulfill its role in the national policy development process.
Program Details and Requirements
The fellowship consists of a year-long full-time assignment to the office of a U.S. Congressional member, either in the Senate or the House of Representatives, who serves on a defense-related committee. The Fellow serves as a member of the staff and is assigned duties and tasks based on the needs of the office. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, drafting legislation; preparing the Member for hearings, meetings, and briefings; advising the Member on Defense, Navy, and/or National Security issues; answering constituent inquiries; coordinating with Professional Staff Members of the various defense committees and subcommittees; and traveling to the district or state.
A follow-on utilization tour in a legislative affairs billet is preferred, but depends on community-specific billet requirements, needed officer progression, and availability of legislative assignments.
The Legislative Fellowship is open to Participation is limited to Active and Full-Time Support, unrestricted, restricted line, and staff corps eligible officers serving in the permanent grades of lieutenant junior grade (that will be in the permanent paygrade of lieutenant by the time they report to the Office of Legislative Affairs), lieutenant, lieutenant commander, or commander. Enlisted participation is open to all rates in the permanent grades of Chief through Master Chief.
Competition is keen, and the selection process will focus primarily on individual performance, promotion potential, career, timing, breadth of experience, academic and subspecialty qualifications, needs of the Navy, and availability for follow-on assignment. Although not required, an appropriate subspecialty, related postgraduate education, and/or staff level experience is desired.
Legislative Fellows earn a Legislative AQD
Officers selected for the Legislative Fellows program may not resign or retire while in the program and will be required to agree in writing to serve on active duty for a period of three years following completion of the fellowship. This obligation is to be served concurrently with any other service obligation. Officers beginning their final tour of duty before retirement are not eligible.
For administrative purposes, nominees will be assigned to the Office of Legislative Affairs (OLA), Washington, D.C. This is a PCS move, not TAD. The Legislative Fellows receive a FITREP from the Congressional Member and a concurrent FITREP from the Chief of Legislative Affairs.
In general, the program follows the timeline below (see NAVADMIN for specific dates on application deadline):
November/December - A NAVADMIN is released providing the specifics of the application process.
February/March - Military applications are due to PERS.
April/May - Interviews are conducted at the Navy Office of Legislative Affairs (OLA) in Washington, D.C. Individuals selected for interviews should be prepared to discuss their official Navy record, career goals, and fellowship expectations with an interview board consisting of senior officers and civilians representing the various divisions of OLA. VTC or teleconference will be arranged for those living out of the DC area or on deployment.
June - Nominees are proposed by OLA for SECNAV and DOD approval; nominees are given notification of tentative acceptance.
June/July - Navy OLA will notify selectees after final approval.
November - LEGIS fellow selectees report to OLA by the second week of November for orientation.
January through December (calendar year)- One year serving as a staff member in a Senate or House of Representative office.
The details of the application process are outlined in BUPERSINST 1560.21FE.
Amplifying guidance is provided below.
Submit applications in standard Naval letter format addressed to Chief, Office of Legislative Affairs, via the appropriate chain of command.
Include the following items:
Nomination statement. Written by the applicant, outlining unique qualifications for selection (please use standard naval letter format, with the letter addressed from the applicant, Chief, Office of Legislative Affairs, via their appropriate chain of command). Please see Enclosure (1) of BUPERSINST 1560.21E.
Professional resume. Please see Enclosure (2) of BUPERSINST 1560.21E.
Biography. Standard Navy biography format is preferred (running commentary/narrative format that one might be accustomed to hearing at a change of command ceremony) with a formal seated portrait in dress blues (covered or uncovered). Please see United States Navy Biographies website: http://www.navy.mil/navydata/bios/bio_list.asp
Signed privacy act release statement permitting access to Officer Summary Record and service record. Please see Enclosure (3) of BUPERSINST 1560.21E.
Standard Form 182 (pages 4-5 only). A signed SF182 (pages 4-5 only), documenting agreement to remain on active duty for a period of three years upon completion of the fellowship.
Official photograph. Should be an official photograph in the member's current rank.
Commanding Officer's Endorsement. Please see Enclosure (1) of BUPERSINST 1560.21E.
Detailer Endorsement/Impact Statement. A signed letter from the member's detailer is required prior to package submission. Since this requirement often takes weeks to obtain, interested applicants are encouraged to contact their detailers as soon as possible. PERS-440 will not coordinate/obtain detailer endorsements for members that fail to include one as part of their application submission. Please see Enclosure (1) of BUPERSINST 1560.21E.
Writing sample. The writing sample should be in Information Paper format. The writing sample must be on an unclassified topic of the member's choice not to exceed one page. The sample can be a previously written document.
Letters of Recommendation. Optional. No more than three.
Complete applications must be received by the date indicated in the NAVADMIN.
Points of Contact
All questions and applications should be sent to the Navy Fellows Program Manager at OLA:
CDR Danielle Wooten
(703) 697-2885 or DSN 227-2885
DON Civilians interested in the Navy Legislative Fellows program must contact the Office of Civilian Human Resources (OCHR):
Ms. Janet Evans