Vets’ hiring preference changes for Guard, reserve

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Vets’ hiring preference changes for Guard, reserve

Beginning last Friday, National Guard and reserve members released from active duty will get the same veterans’ hiring preference for federal jobs as those who are separated or retired from regular active-duty assignments.

The Office of Personnel Management announced the new hiring rules in Friday’s Federal Register, where new rules and regulations are published. Normally, there is a three- or four-month delay in implementing newly announced federal rules. OPM officials, however, said in a statement accompanying the rule that they chose not to waiting for the traditional comment period before implementing the new hiring policy so as to not unwittingly deny veterans’ preference based upon regulations that are now obsolete.

If OPM’s regulations were permitted to remain as currently written while OPM solicited comments upon its proposed revisions there is a chance that reservists recently released from active duty in Iraq or Afghanistan, for example, might be denied veterans’ preference based upon the language of current regulations, the statement says…

     

The federal personnel office said a factor in the rush to implement the policy were the sacrifices being made by individuals who do not serve full time in the armed forces but who have been called to active duty for significant service.

Under the new rules, which Congress approved last year as part of the 2006 Defense Authorization Act, the definition of a veteran expands for the purposes of getting extra credit when seeking a federal job. Previously, veterans’ preference applied only to people separated from active duty under honorable conditions.

Under the new policy, hiring preference would extend to any person discharged or released from active duty if they had more than 180 consecutive days of duty since Sept. 11, 2001, served in a war or in a campaign for which a campaign badge or expeditionary medal was authorized. Also, the person who is discharged or released must have received an honorable or general discharge.

The interim policy is still open to comments, and could be modified. Comments will be accepted through August 8, with revisions possible after a review.

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