The John S. McCain Strategic Defense Fellowship Program is a 12-month Department of Defense (DoD) leadership development program for recent advanced degree program graduates from across multiple academic disciplines. Established by the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2019, this program provides the DoD headquarters staff offices with the ability to recruit and develop future leaders from across the United States. Fellows are provided with challenging developmental opportunities and flourish into problem solvers, strategic thinkers, and future leaders. The Program instills a spirit of public service and a commitment to the larger DoD community. Fellows that successfully complete the program are eligible for conversion into a position with the DoD.

The Fellowship Opportunity

Key Fellowship Benefits
  • A full-time job with salary at the GS-10 level
  • Employment benefits (e.g., health, life, dental and vision, Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), paid holidays and leave, and flexible work schedules)
  • Additional benefits including public transportation subsidies and telework
  • Program Incentives including Student Loan Repayment and Relocation
  • Professional development and training opportunities
  • The Opportunity to Serve!
Program Requirements
  • Individual Development Plan (IDP)
  • Assignment to a senior-level mentor
  • Formal professional training and development
  • Potential opportunity to non-competitively convert to a permanent Federal Position upon successful completion of the Fellowship
Career Series
  • Miscellaneous Administration and Program Analysis (0301)
  • Foreign Affairs (0130)
  • Operations Research Analysis (1515)
  • Management Analyst (0343)
  • Financial Administration and Program Analysis (0501)
  • Information Technology (2210)
  • Budget Analyst (0560)