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More Military Members Now Eligible for Veteran's Preference


Updated April 10, 2006
Military members now have increased eligibility for veterans’ preference when released or discharged from active duty, Office of Personnel Management officials wrote in a recently released memo.

More servicemembers are now eligible for veterans’ preference when applying for government civilian jobs. Pres. George W. Bush signed into law the Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2006, which contained two provisions that broadened the definition of a “veteran” and clarified eligibility for those released or discharged from active duty, said the statement.

The first provision gives preference to those who have served on active duty for a period of more than 180 consecutive days, any part of which occurred during the period beginning Sept. 11, 2001, and ending at the close of Operation Iraqi Freedom, regardless of location, provided they meet other eligibility conditions.

The second provision clarifies veterans’ preference eligibility for individuals “who are discharged or released from active-duty service”, provided that they, too, meet other eligibility requirements. In the past, the statement only gave eligibility to “individuals separated from the armed forces.”

Linda Springer, director of OPM, said the changes are good news for servicemembers.

“These provisions recognize veterans for their service during a critical time in U.S. history,” she said. “As a result, more eligible veterans who served on active duty during the designated period will be entitled to veteran’s preference.”

Since the Civil War, veterans have been given preference in appointments to federal jobs. Congress enacted laws to prevent veterans seeking Federal employment from being penalized for their time in military service.

For more information, visit www.opm.gov/employ/veterans/.

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