Skip to Main Content
Federal Employment

The federal government has laws providing veterans' preference and special appointing authorities for veterans and recognizes that hiring veterans is just good business.

By law (Title 5 USC, Section 2108), veterans who are disabled or who serve on active duty in the Armed Forces during certain specified time periods or in military campaigns are entitled to preference over non-veterans both in federal hiring practices and in retention during reductions in force.

Furthermore, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-163) extends veterans' preference to those individuals who served on active duty for a period of more than 180 consecutive days, any part of which occurred during the period beginning on September 11, 2001, and ending on a future date prescribed by Presidential proclamation or by law as the last date of Operation Iraqi Freedom; and, who were discharged or released from active duty in the armed forces under honorable conditions.

Preference does not have as its goal the placement of a veteran in every vacant federal job; this would be incompatible with the merit principle of public employment. It does not apply to promotions or other in-service actions either. However, preference does provide a uniform method by which special consideration is given to qualified veterans seeking federal employment.

Preference applies in hiring from civil service examinations, for most excepted service jobs, and when agencies make temporary appointments or use direct hire and delegated examining authorities from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM). The OPM's Vet Guide  explains the special rights and privileges that veterans enjoy in federal civil service employment and how veteran's preference and the special appointing authorities for veterans operate within the system.

When applying for federal jobs, eligible veterans should claim preference on their application or resume. Applicants claiming 10-point preference due to a service-connected disability must complete Standard Form (SF) 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference.

The Department of Labor's Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy and Veterans' Employment and Training Service helps veterans determine the type of preference to which they are entitled, the benefits associated with the preference and the steps necessary to file a complaint due to the failure of a federal agency to provide those benefits.

U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s Government-wide Veterans Employment Website, called Feds-Hire-Vets, is a valuable resource regarding veterans seeking federal employment. This website is a critical component of the Federal Government’s strategy for the recruitment and employment of Veterans to help the men and women who have served our country in the military find employment in the Federal Government. It also underscores the importance of aligning the talents of these individuals with key positions so the Government is better positioned to meet mission objectives and citizens are better served. 

For more information, go to the United States Office of Personnel Management jobs website.

​For more information, go to the United States Office of Personnel Management website at USA Jobs or Feds-Hire-Vets.



Veteran Services Benefits - Card

Federal Employment