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News Release

Wednesday, March 24, 2004
Contact: J. Porter
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Director James Issues Guidance to Agencies on New Eligibilities for Veterans' Preference

Global War on Terrorism Medals to Recognize Veterans' Service

Washington, D.C. – Kay Coles James, Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), issued guidance on the eligibility of Global War on Terrorism medal recipients for veterans’ preference, in a memo (attached) to heads of departments and agencies as well as human resource directors.

Two medals have been authorized, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. Each medal carries with it separate and unique benefits for veterans. Receipt of the Expeditionary medal qualifies veterans for veterans’ preference, provided the individual is otherwise eligible. Receipt of the Service medal qualifies veterans for a Veterans’ Recruitment Appointment (VRA). Veterans with a service connected disability or those who have received a Purple Heart are entitled to 10 point veterans’ preference regardless of eligibility for the service of expeditionary medals.

“I am pleased to inform you that the Defense Department recently announced final approval for the award criteria of the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary and Service Medals. These medals were authorized by President Bush a year ago with the issuance of Executive Order 13289,” stated James. “They recognize the outstanding work being done by our Armed Forces, both here and abroad, in combatting the global scourge of terrorism. It is now our mission to ensure that these brave men and women, and especially our disabled veterans, are afforded every right and opportunity owed to them under the veterans’ preference laws.”

The Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal will be awarded to those service members who deployed overseas for service in the Global War on Terrorism operations on or after September 11, 2001, and up to a future date to be determined by the Secretary of Defense. Initial award of this medal is limited to personnel deployed abroad in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

Initial award of the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal will be limited to domestic airport security operations and servicemembers who support Operations Enduring Freedom, Noble Eagle, and Iraqi Freedom.

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Our mission is to Recruit, Retain and Honor a World-Class Workforce to Serve the American People. OPM supports U.S. agencies with personnel services and policy leadership including staffing tools, guidance on labor-management relations and programs to improve work force performance.

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