Eligible veterans receive preference in competitive or excepted service appointments and may be considered for special noncompetitive appointments and agency merit promotion announcements (refer to the VetGuide for more information).
Veterans' Preference in Appointments pertains to applications to competitive appointments. To receive preference, a veteran must have been separated from active duty in the Armed Forces with an honorable or general discharge. Veterans' Preference entitles eligible veterans to receive 5 or 10 points added to the passing examination score.
The Veteran's Recruitment Appointment (VRA), previously entitled Veteran's Readjustment Appointment, is a special authority which enables agencies to appoint eligible veterans without competition to positions at any grade level through General Schedule 11 or equivalent.
Veterans eligible for this appointment are disabled veterans; veterans who served on active duty in the Armed Forces during a war or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized; veterans who, while serving on active duty in the Armed Forces, participated in a military operation for which an Armed Forces Service Medal was awarded; and "Recently separated veterans" - meaning veterans last separated from active duty within the past three years.
The Veterans Employment Opportuntities Act (VEOA) of 1998 provides that agencies must allow eligible veterans to apply for positions announced under merit promotion procedures when an agency is recruiting from outside its own workforce. Veterans' preference is not a factor in these appointments.
To be eligible for a VEOA appointment, a veteran must be preference eligible OR a veteran separated after three or more years of continuous active service performed under honorable conditions. Veterans who were released shortly before completing a three-year tour are considered to be eligible. ("Active service" defined in Title 37, United States Code, means active duty in the uniformed services and includes full-time training duty, annual training duty, full-time National Guard duty, and attendance, while in the active service, at a school designated as a service school or by the Secretary concerned.)