DOD created PPP in the 1970s to find new jobs for civilian employees returning from overseas and losing the right to return to their previous positions and for employees whose ranks had increased during their international degree and who therefore decided not to return to their previous and lower positions. Under the PPP, workers returning to the United States choose a geographic area of the United States where they wish to work. If they do not receive a DOD job offer with the same seniority, status and issued (although not necessarily the same position) that was exercised in that geographic area prior to their employment abroad, they must expand the area in which they are willing to accept a job. If they do not accept the first offer they receive, they are made redundant from the DOD job. For example, a returning employee who has lost his right to return may have to decide to live far from where he wants, to accept a job he does not like, or to be fired by DOD. Civilians working for the DOD may be assigned to a mission that typically lasts three years for a mission abroad.  They have a « right of return » to their former DOD jobs in the United States, at the same rank and salary as they left if they stayed abroad for less than five years. Civilian personnel meeting certain criteria, including satisfactory work benefits, were granted extensions from DOD to allow them to remain abroad for more than one mission. The complainants assert that the proposed sub-chapter 1230, which they consider invalid, has ended the practice of granting extensions, thereby unfairly limiting the amount of time they can work abroad.
Under the rule, DOD required civilian staff to sign rotation agreements before working abroad, which the complainants and most of the members of ouag did.  Rotation agreements provide that if employees wish to continue working for DOD upon their return to the United States, they must either make use of their right of return if they still have it, or enroll in the Priority Placement Program (« PPP »). In 1981, doD liberalized the five-year rule and removed previous restrictions on the number of extensions a civilian employee could obtain. However, the 1981 rule, such as the 1966 rule, continued to revoke the right to return after five years of service abroad by a civilian employee. It provides that the applicants accuse the defendant of having implemented the sub-silentio project of sub-silentio, thereby preventing them from obtaining further extensions and forcing it to return to the United States before having to or having to do so under the 1981 rule. They accuse the defendant of adopting the proposed sub-chapter 1230 as the final rule, without following the procedures required by the APA. They also assert that by refusing extensions and thus forced return to the United States, the accused violated his contract with them and violated the Constitution. The draft sub-chapter 1230 has never been formally adopted as a final rule, although the applicants claim that it was adopted and implemented informally.