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News Release

Thursday, August 19, 2004
Contact: Brenda Bertrand
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Upholds Commitment to Employ Veterans and Honor Veterans' Preference

55 Veterans Join OPM Team Over Short Time

Washington, D.C. -  The U.S. Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) Director Kay Coles James said, "OPM continues to fulfill its commitment to veterans' employment in the federal government."  From March 2003 through June 2004, OPM has hired 55 veterans out of a total of about 300 hires.  Of the 55 OPM veterans hired, 10 are in supervisory positions, with 4 serving as senior executives. 

"President George W. Bush is committed to honoring America's veterans. Because of their selfless service, our Nation is an example to the world of what can be accomplished by a free society, governed by law and defended by the world's most advanced military force," James said.  "Veterans offer federal employers proven loyalty in service to this nation, requisite skills, dedication and the know-how that make America's government work well.  OPM will continue to encourage and work with federal agencies to provide program information on employment and advancement opportunities for all qualified veterans.  In very practical ways, we will continue to honor the sacrifice, memory, and work our veterans have performed in making this a great Nation."

Compared to the civilian labor force, the federal government employs twice the percentage of veterans, over three times the percentage of Vietnam-era veterans, and over five times the percentage of disabled veterans.

Additionally, for the second year in a row, new hires of veterans showed steady improvement. The total number of veteran new hires increased from a total of 17.4% in FY2002 to 18.2% in FY2003 governmentwide. Veterans currently represent 33 percent of all full-time permanent new hires.  James highlighted that agencies can still do more, and she strongly encouraged all agencies to ensure that veterans' preference laws are fully upheld. 

"I am pleased that OPM is a leading example in fulfilling the federal government's commitment to those who served their country by our effort to hire veterans," said James. "The federal HR community has an obligation to uphold and enforce veterans' preference in the hiring process, not just because it is the right thing to do, but because it is the law of the land. Veterans' preference is critical to fulfilling our promise to those who have selflessly served this Nation.  Agencies need to stay committed to upholding and defending veterans' preference, putting eligible veterans at the front of the line of applicants for federal positions."

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OPM leads and serves the Federal Government in enterprise human resources management by delivering policies and services to achieve a trusted, effective civilian workforce. By Empowering Excellence in Government through Great People, we provide leadership and support to U.S. agencies on issues including human resources policy and oversight, background investigations, federal employee benefits, retirement services, guidance on labor-management relations, and programs to improve workforce performance. For more information, visit or follow OPM on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

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