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News Release

Thursday, March 09, 2006
Contact: Brenda Bertrand
Tel: 202-606-2402

Veterans' Preference extended to Operation Iraqi Freedom Servicemen and Women

Law broadens number of people eligible for veterans' preference

Washington, D.C. - More service men and women now will be eligible for veterans' preference according to a recent memo issued by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management to Chief Human Capital Officers and Veterans Service Organizations. OPM Director Linda M. Springer announced the Defense Authorization Act for FY 2006, recently signed into law by President Bush, contains two provisions which broaden the definition of a "veteran" for purposes of preference eligibility and clarifies eligibility for those released or discharged from active duty.

The first provision accords preference for those who served on active duty during the period beginning on September 11, 2001 and ending at the close of Operation Iraqi Freedom provided they meet other conditions. (The provision broadens the number of individuals who may be entitled to veterans' preference).

The second provision, clarifies veterans' preference eligibility for federal hiring as available to individuals "who are discharged or released from active duty service" provided these individuals meet other applicable veterans' preference eligibility requirements. This new language replaces the previous statement of "individuals separated from the armed forces." The revised section is consistent with OPM's long-standing policy pertaining to the application of veterans' preference for individuals released from active duty military service.

Director Springer said, "This is good news. These provisions recognize veterans for their service during a critical time in U.S. history. As a result, more eligible veterans who served on active duty during the designated period will be entitled to veterans' preference."

OPM is revising its regulations and web-based guidance (Vetguide at and the Delegated Examining Operations Handbook at to reflect this change of stature.

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