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News Release

Friday, November 12, 2004
Contact: Brendan LaCivita
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Director Kay Coles James Salutes America's Veterans and Praises Their Contributions to the Civil Service

Renews commitment to protect veterans' preference

Washington, D.C. - In recognition of Veterans' Day, U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Kay Coles James praised America's veterans and thanked them for their service to America. She also praised those veterans who have served in the United States civil service and reiterated her support of veterans' preference.

"In memory of those who served, I am honored to join President George W. Bush in saluting America's veterans," James said. "We must never forget the many sacrifices veterans have made to protect our country, and we owe it to them to recognize what they have done to guarantee our freedom."

James continued that veterans' employment and recruitment into the civil service is a very high priority for OPM -- a commitment demonstrated by results. For the third consecutive year, veteran representation in the federal work force has increased. Veterans composed 33 percent of full-time permanent new hires in 2003.

"We are renewing our commitment to veterans' preference, and renew the call for veterans to report possible violations of veterans' preference laws to OPM," said James. "We are taking strong measures to employ veterans and provide those eligible with employment preferences under the Veterans' Preference Act, and we will continue working to ensure veterans' preference is upheld in the future."

Yesterday, to honor America's veterans, James attended the annual wreath laying ceremony with President George W. Bush at Arlington National Cemetery.

Acting on her commitment at Walter Reed Medical Center last May to visit veterans' centers and provide veterans and disabled service members with federal job information, James instructed OPM's recruitment team to continue Phase II of the Veteran Invitational Program (VIP) at Department of Veterans' Affairs and military medical centers throughout the country.

VIP II includes seminars which explain veterans' preference and appointing authorities, workshops on resume writing and interviewing skills, and hands-on guidance with OPM's USAJOBS website -- the primary source for finding federal jobs. OPM's recruiters have visited veterans' medical centers in Fort Jackson, South Carolina; Camp LeJeune, North Carolina; Fort Hood, Texas; Hampton, Virginia; Albany, New York; Kansas City; Minneapolis; Tampa and Jacksonville, Florida; Ft. Campbell, Kentucky; and Camp Pendleton, California.

"On behalf of the president and his team at OPM, I am proud to commemorate the service of those veterans who have paid such a high price for our country and thank them for their sacrifices to secure this great nation," James concluded.

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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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