Proposed Changes to Veterans Preference Points

| June 25, 2020

Honorably discharged veterans with a service-connected disability are eligible for veterans preference points. So are those who deployed to an overseas conflict. Most veterans; however, do not qualify. Proponents wanting to change this want to include additional veterans under the veterans preference umbrella.

From the Military Times:

But he also said that officials should expand the eligibility pool to include more veterans and extend programs like Veterans Recruitment Appointment to longer terms after military service, to encompass veterans who opt to return to school before searching for jobs.

Whether those changes will be enough to win over veterans advocates remains unclear.

In a recent opinion piece on the issue of federal veteran hiring, American Legion National Commander James Oxford said that veteran status should not be “the only factor in federal hiring. But it should be an important factor.”

He argued against watering down current programs but voiced support for the idea of veterans preference as a tie-breaker among worthy job candidates.

Military service often hurts veterans entry into the civilian job market but “when their military obligation ends, the experienced veterans are more often than not physically fit, highly disciplined, professional and equipped with a skill set obtained through some of the best training in the world.”

Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla. and chairman of the committee’s federal management panel, called the commission proposals “interesting” but also acknowledged the potential for controversy.

“We want a better workforce, but also to honor our veterans,” he said. “We’re not trying to block someone from a job, but it may not be the right position. So we need to figure out the best place to put them.”

The Military Times has more information here.


Category: Veterans Issues

Comments (14)

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  1. 5th/77th FA says:

    Give the job to the most qualified person. May make one all warm and fuzzy to consider the Vet FIRST, and that’s all well and good. However, as we all know, just because someone is a Vet, doesn’t mean they have the qualifications required. And, as we all know, at the end of the day, it will boil down to “who you know.” My Vet’s “points preference” never did me one damn bit of good for any type civil service job, tho I had the quals, I didn’t have the connection. Until that part changes, the rest is mute.

    I’d of been with a group of former wing wipers when Brother J took me to visit here today. Back in ’96 when he was still active duty, the 2 star let me fly the B1B simulator on a strike to Kiev. Blowed hell out of a dam and the town. Got to go out to watch touch and goes and out to the bombing range to see some practice. Good Times!

    • Green Thumb says:

      I agree.

      I have no issue with Vet preference, but I have seen some straight up shitbgas get jobs based on that criteria alone.

      If you are a good Soldier, it will always show down the road. If you are a dirtbag Soldier, it will always show down the road.

      That said, in reading the proposal, some of ideas were interesting (accounting for school time, etc.), and some were just weak.

    • timactual says:

      ” I had the quals, I didn’t have the connection.”

      Applied for a civil service job with the VA once. Scored 94+ on the exams, used my 10 points preference, got as far as having an interview for the position. Drove an hour to get to the interview, first thing the secretary says is “the job has been filled” and the interviewer was out of the office.

      ON the other hand, have a friend who already worked for the feds and applied for a better job. She was all bent out of shape because even though she had been promised the job she found out the job had been advertised. By that time I had caught on and I reassured her that she was going to get the job. She did, of course.

      I think we all know how the game is played; regs say the job must be posted, but that doesn’t mean an outsider will get the job.

  2. Comm Center Rat says:

    I was hired under VRA for a VA position. I also qualified for the job based solely on having a master’s degree in a related area. The VA division which selected me was hiring only veterans at the time and continued that practice for at least three consecutive years. My division was composed of over 68% veterans which is astronomically high even for VA.

    Prior to working for VA I received an unsolicited GS position in the Army Reserve’s Military Technician Program. The BN Commander did a “by name request” to hire me in return for my agreeing to deploy with the unit even though I had recently returned from a OIF rotation. I took the position but the unit’s deployment orders were canceled and later I deployed as a individual augmentee to AFG.

    In general, I think Veteran’s Preference excludes way too many better qualified non-veterans. It’s a useful way to ensure Veterans get a look for a position but often it becomes too exclusionary because the selection authority will only hire vets.

    The happiest day of my life was just over three years ago when I retired from VA and federal civil service! I can honestly say I miss nothing and nobody from that agency. I learned first hand the meaning of Reagan’s quip about the most terrifying words in the English language: “I from the government and I’m here to help.” There were many days I thought I was actually making VA beneficiary’s and their family’s lives more difficult than was justified. Never Again!

    • MustangCryppie says:

      “The happiest day of my life was just over three years ago when I retired from VA and federal civil service! I can honestly say I miss nothing and nobody from that agency.”

      You’re reading my mail. I retired from the FAA after a series of different agencies and I do not miss it one teensy weensy bit.

      Reminds me of an O-6 in my community who retired and then showed up at my command flogging some equipment.

      We asked him if he missed the USN. “Oh, yeah, I missed it. For about 30 SECONDS!!!”

      When I was a little PO3, one of my Chiefs told me that I would know when it was time to retire. Boy, was he right! My fun meter was broken and the maintenance contract was NOT renewed!

    • penguinman000 says:

      Testify! I stuck it out for a little over 4 years and am so much happier being in the private sector.

      The hiring process is so broken I can’t even begin. Vet preference is the low lying fruit. All the preferences taken into account for a fed job have made it damn near impossible to hire the most qualified person. And it goes beyond the hiring process.

      There is zero accountability and far too much favoritism. Bad behavior abounds, regulations/rules are frequently in opposition to mission, and money is wasted at levels/frequency that is staggering.

      Wait…did we find a topic everyone agrees on?

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      Hmmm… I guess I was better off than I realized when the application I had sent to the Navy Yard came back 6 months after I had sent it in, with “There are no jobs here” scribbled on it. And I had that “valuable” veteran’s preference, too.

      I thought that was strange, but I was taking classes so I let it go and at the end of the semester went to a civilian job interview in a different city and got hired on the spot. Never looked back once. Much better off, in fact.

  3. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    As a tie-breaker I don’t see a huge problem with this notion.

    I agree with previous commenters that the best person should get any job, it’s how we hire here in the private sector.

    I have a personal preference for vets and have made sure the last couple of hires were guys I knew from previous organizations who were service members. Because they could do the job number one, but also because I knew they had the required work ethic as well.

    When it come to work ethic I’ve only been disappointed by one vet in 35 years of hiring people when all other qualifiers were checked off for the position.

    Many of those without service in their background only confirm what I fear is a bias in my head and my heart when it comes to hiring. Veterans don’t seem to mind working OT when it’s needed to get the job done. They sort of inherently understand the give and take of private sector work. Especially in a deadline environment. Their civilian counterparts, not so much.

    I remain convinced some of the civilian members of this company think there’s a tree in the basement that grows money regardless of whether or not we complete projects on time to client satisfaction.

    • Green Thumb says:

      “Veterans don’t seem to mind working OT when it’s needed to get the job done. They sort of inherently understand the give and take of private sector work. Especially in a deadline environment. Their civilian counterparts, not so much.”

      Word, my man, word.

  4. OWB says:

    For a tie breaker, no prob. Others here have more experience than I in the direct comparisons between vets and non vets in the private sector.

    My experience ran toward all my best coworkers, those who I could most trust to be watching my back, were almost exclusively veterans. Then again, I always was in places with very high entry standards plus benchmarks to keep the jobs.

  5. SFC D says:

    I can’t speak for the entire government workforce. What I can say is that vet preference absolutely works in my particular piece of the pie. My shop’s work is directly related to the mission of the intel school, and vets bring the knowledge and experience that civilians off the street just don’t have. Not just the technical expertise, but also the knowledge of how to deal with the Army command structure and hierarchy. We’ve got every branch but 1, we need a coastie to expand our diversity quota.

    • Twist says:

      Working for range control my job is the same way. People who aren’t vets would have a hard time working multiple radio freqs at one time as well as understanding the lingo, granted that’s an over simple explanation on what we do.

      • SFC D says:

        It also takes a trained veteran’s ear to UNDERSTAND the radio chatter. When I was a DHS/CBP contractor, MRS D understood about every fourth word out of my radio. I’ll admit though, when she’s in full-tilt boogie RN mode with a busy staff, I don’t understand shit.

        • Green Thumb says:

          That is if you are around to hear it.

          I have seen a lot of civilian / Non DOD “smoke breaks”.