OPM's VetGuide (Veterans Preference)

"To Care for Him who Shall Have Borne the Battle, and for his Widow and his Orphan..." Abraham Lincoln

VetGuide explains the special rights and privileges that veterans enjoy in Federal civil service employment. The guide conveniently summarizes in one place material from many laws and regulations that affect the employment of veterans. The guide will help Federal personnel specialists ensure that veterans receive the advantages they have earned.

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) administers entitlement to veterans' preference in employment under title 5, United States Code, and oversees other statutory employment requirements in titles 5 and 38. (Title 38 also governs veterans' entitlement to benefits administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).)

Both title 5 and title 38 use many of the same terms, but in different ways. For example, service during a "war" is used to determine entitlement to veterans' preference and service credit under title 5. OPM has always interpreted this to mean a war declared by Congress. But title 38 defines "period of war" to include many non-declared wars, including Korea, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf. Such conflicts entitle a veteran to VA benefits under title 38, but not necessarily to preference or service credit under title 5. Thus it is critically important to use the correct definitions in determining eligibility for specific rights and benefits in employment.

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