Career Opportunities with CAPE -- Department of Defense


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Operations Research Analyst (CA)

Department: Cost Assessment
Location: Washington, DC


JOA#: GS 2024-1515-87

Department: Department of Defense

Agency: Office of the Secretary of Defense

Hiring Organization: Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation

Salary Range: $117,962 to $191,900 Per Year

Open Period: May 20 to June 20th 2024

Pay Scale & Grade: GS-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: This position is telework eligible IAW agency policy.

Remote: This is not a remote position


These positions are 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 these positions is to serve as an Operations Research Analyst in one of three divisions in CAPE: the Space and Strategic Systems Cost Analysis Division (SSSCAD), the Land and Naval Warfare Cost Analysis Division (LNWCAD), or in the Air Warfare Cost Analysis Division (AWCAD). These three Divisions focus on Cost Assessments for major DoD weapon systems. SSSCAD focuses on cost estimates for strategic and space systems including ICBMs, submarines, bombers, satellites, and associated ground systems. LNWCAD focuses on cost estimates for land and naval warfare systems including ground combat vehicles, long-range fire systems, submarines, surface ships, and torpedoes. LNWCAD also develops and operates the Enterprise-level Visibility And Management of Operating and Support Costs (EVAMOSC) data system to record actual operating and support costs for major fielded DoD systems. AWCAD focuses on cost estimates for aircraft, helicopters, and unmanned air vehicles. All of these divisions prepare cost estimates for major information technology and software programs associated with these major DoD systems.

OSD CAPE prepares or approves Independent Cost Estimates (ICEs) and cost analyses for all major defense acquisition programs (MDAPs) and major subprograms using any pathway identified in the DoD Adaptive Acquisition Framework (AAF). Independent and realistic cost estimates are vital to enable DOD leadership to make effective acquisition decisions and support the efficient and effective allocation of resources.

Responsibilities May Include:

  • Developing or reviewing an Independent Cost Estimate (ICE) to support reviews of Major Defense Acquisition Programs (MDAPs) at key acquisition milestones or decision points regardless of AAF pathway.
  • Preparing cost analyses to support DoD certification of a program following a critical Nunn- McCurdy breach.
  • Generating estimates of cost savings for multi-year procurement contracts to support the Departmentís request for Multi-Year Procurement (MYP) authorization and appropriations, and to support final DoD certification to Congress of savings from use of a MYP contract.
  • Developing or reviewing ICEs for the Operations &Sustainment (O&S) phase of a program to support Congressionally-mandated Sustainment Reviews.
  • Supporting CAPE evaluation of the Analysis of Alternatives (AOA) prepared by the military departments and components of the Department for new weapon system or national security system capabilities.
  • Conducting analyses of a DOD contractorís forward pricing rates based on historical trends and projections of the contractorís business base.
  • Preparing or supporting special studies and reports directed by Congress or senior DOD leadership.
  • Presenting the findings of analytical products, verbally or in writing, to senior leaders and non-technical audiences, clearly and concisely.
  • Performing independently and/or acting as a senior analyst in a team setting.
  • Reviewing and recommending approval of cost data reporting plans and ensuring compliance of reporting with those plans.

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

Supervisory status: No

Promotion Potential:15

Conditions of Employment

U.S. Citizenship is required

Males must be registered for Selective Service, see

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/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 will 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.


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 from the job link on the CAPE Website

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

1. Resume:


b. 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.

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

3. Writing Sample: Demonstrate your writing skills by providing a sample of a document you authored in the past of (one) 1 page or more.

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. Official transcripts will be required if selected.

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. Notification of Personnel Action (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.

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 below.

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, or exercise/case study to measure your depth of knowledge in relation to the required competencies.

Ranking and Preference: Any applicable Veteranís 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 veteransí 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.


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:

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. Your experience must be relevant and within the past 4 years as your qualifications will be evaluated based on level of knowledge, skills, abilities and/or competencies in the following areas:

  • 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. Experience developing cost estimates incorporating regression-based cost estimating relationships and learning curve equations. Includes ability to develop new cost estimating methodologies where current approaches are obsolete or do not support evolving directions and strategies.
  • Cost Estimating: Thorough knowledge of cost estimating methodologies and techniques for development, production, and operating and support cost estimates for MDAPs. An understanding of cost estimating law and policy including Congressional requirements for cost analysis, CAPE estimating guidance and procedures, and source selection procedures. Knowledge of contractor and government cost reporting requirements, Earned Value Management, and contractor pricing systems and rates. Experience evaluating the technical and program characteristics that drive cost estimates for military weapon systems or other important national security systems.
  • 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.
  • DoDís Weapon System Acquisition and Contracting Processes, and the Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution System (PPBES). An understanding of the acquisition timeline and events for Major Defense Acquisition Programs, acquisition strategies, and contracting options. Familiarity with DoDís Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution System or a similar resource allocation process. Familiarity with the methodologies used to allocate resources to provide capabilities deemed necessary to accomplish an organization/department's missions. Demonstrate familiarity with procedures used to aid decision makers in making choices through independent, objective, and fact-based analyses.
  • 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, and 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
  • Problem Solving: Ability to apply the scientific method to complex problems. Demonstrate methodology by breaking problems into core components, developing hypothesis to test different theories, creating multiple options to address the problems, and assessing the pros/cons of these different solutions

Specialized Experience:

To qualify for the GS-13 you MUST have at least a year demonstrating accomplishment of the duties and competencies described below. One year of specialized experience is equivalent to 12 months at 40 hours per week. Specialized experience includes extracting and organizing raw program data under general direction from a supervisor or senior analyst, conducting basic mathematical analysis of program information, and assisting in the collection, developmental and implementation of program related information. U.S. Defense Policies and Programs.

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

To qualify for the GS-14 you MUST have at least a year demonstrating accomplishment of the duties and competencies described below. One year of specialized experience is equivalent to 12 months at 40 hours per week. Specialized experience includes a broad range of operations research analysis assignments entailing unique problems, creativity, innovative use of quantitative analytic techniques, advanced approaches, and/or new technologies. Utilizes scientific inquiry, independent development of mathematical models and computer programs to evaluate, interpret, and analyze program and/or cost data.

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

To qualify for the GS-15 you MUST have at least a year demonstrating accomplishment of the duties and competencies described below. One year of specialized experience is equivalent to 12 months at 40 hours per week. Specialized experience includes: Leading teams in a teaming environment, performing complex statistical analyses; evaluating large and complex military programs using quantitative analytic techniques; performing complex analyses in the absence of defined goals and outcomes, providing expert consultation and technical expertise to agency senior leaders on studies and analysis, and effectively communicating with senior officials, internal and external colleagues, scientific organizations, and industry stakeholders.

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.

Background Checks and Security Clearance

You will be required to obtain and maintain a Top Secret/SCI security clearance. For more information regarding security clearances click here.

Additional information

Washington Headquarters Services is currently operating under an approved reengineered Priority Placement Program (PPP) pilot for all positions in its serviced workforce. This pilot is application based and current PPP registrants who are registered for activity codes 293A and 295A (regardless of the location) are required to apply to the job announcement to exercise their priority placement status. This pilot permits priority applicants to be assessed with other competitive applicants. Anyone claiming priority status must provide a copy of their PPP registration and supporting documentation (e.g., RIF notice, Sponsor's PCS orders, Certification of Expected Separation) at the time of application to verify priority placement and eligibility.

Military Spouse Preference (MSP) Eligible: Military Spouse Preference applicants, must be selected and placed at the highest grade level for which they have applied and been determined best qualified up to and including the full performance level. You must include a completed copy of the Military Spouse PPP Self-Certification Checklist dated within 30 days along with the documents identified on the checklist to verify your eligibility for Military Spouse Preference. Click here to obtain a copy of the Military Spouse PPP Self-Certification Checklist.

Military Reserve (MR) and National Guard (NG) Technicians PPP Eligible: MR and NG technicians PPP applicants must be selected and placed at the full performance level if determined well qualified. You must include a completed copy of the Military Reserve and National Guard Technician PPP Self-Certification Checklist to verify your eligibility for Military Reserve and National Guard Technician preference. Click here to obtain a copy of the Military Reserve and National Guard Technician PPP Self-Certification Checklist.6.

Military Reserve (MR) and National Guard (NG) Technicians Receiving Disability Retirement PPP Eligible: MR and NG technicians receiving disability retirement PPP applicants must be selected and placed at the full performance level if determined well qualified. You must include a completed copy of the Military Reserve and National Guard Technician Disability PPP Self-Certification Checklist to verify your eligibility for Military Reserve and National Guard Technician Disability preference. Click here to obtain a copy of the Military Reserve and National Guard Technician Disability PPP Self-Certification Checklist.7.

Retained Grade PPP Eligible: Retained Grade PPP applicants, must be selected and placed at the full performance level if determined well qualified. You must include a completed copy of the Retained Grade PPP Self-Certification Checklist to verify your eligibility for Retained Grade preference. Click here to obtain a copy of the Retained Grade PPP Self-Certification Checklist

This is a Schedule B Excepted Service Public Notice, under this recruitment procedure application(s) will be accepted, and selections are made for vacancies as they occur.

A tentative offer of employment will be rescinded if the selectee fails to meet the pre-employment requirements, including failure to report to any of the scheduled appointments.

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:?

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.


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.

Agency contact information:

Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation
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

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