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How to answer questions about military service

In the Eligibility section of your profile, you must provide information about current or past military service.

Have you served in the U.S. Armed Forces or are you a family member eligible for derived preference?

Select No if you’ve never served in the U.S. Armed Forces or you’re not a family member eligible for derived preference. If you answer no, the remaining military questions will disappear and you will not have to answer them.

What is derived preference?

Derived preference is when a spouse, widow/widower, or parent of a veteran is eligible to claim veterans’ preference when your veteran is unable to use it. You’re not eligible for derived preference if you have any other relationship with the veteran or if the veteran is living and is qualified for federal employment. Learn more about derived preference.

Do you claim Veterans’ Preference?

Veterans’ Preference gives eligible veterans preference over many other applicants in the hiring process. Veterans’ Preference can be used when applying to permanent and temporary positions in both the competitive and excepted service (of the executive branch). However, Veterans’ Preference does not guarantee you a job.

Learn more about Veterans’ Preference.

You must select one of the following options:

No, I do not claim Veterans’ Preference

Select this option if you don’t want to claim Veterans’ Preference. Even if you’re a veteran, you do not have to claim preference.

Sole Survivorship Preference

Select this option if you’re the only surviving child in a family where your mother or father or sibling(s) died, is captured or missing in action or is 100 percent disabled, while on active duty and NOT by intentional misconduct or willful neglect. Learn more about Sole Survivorship.

Active Duty in the U.S. Armed Forces

Select this option if you served in the U.S. Armed Forces for more than 180 consecutive days, not including training. You must have served during specific time periods. Learn more about Active Duty qualifications and time periods.

Compensable service connected disability of at least 10% but less than 30% (CP)

Select this option if you have a disability rating from the VA, of at least 10 percent but less than 30 percent, due to your military service.

Compensable service connected disability of 30% or more (CPS)

Select this option if you have a disability rating from the VA, of at least 30 percent or more due to your military service.

Non-compensable disability or Purple Heart (XP)

Select this option if you have received the Purple Heart or have a disability of less than 10 percent.

Widow/widower or parent of a deceased veteran, or spouse or parent of a disabled veteran (XP)

Select this option if your spouse or child was a veteran and is deceased or is a disabled veteran. Learn more about family member preference.

Learn more about claiming Veterans’ Preference based on a disability.

Are you a veteran who was separated from the armed forces under honorable conditions after completing an initial continuous tour of duty of at least 3 years (may have been released just short of 3 years) (VEOA)?

Select Yes if you’re a veteran who has served at least three continuous years and was discharged under honorable conditions. You may be eligible for a special hiring authority called Veterans Employment Opportunity Act of 1998 (VEOA).

What is Veterans Employment Opportunity Act of 1998 (VEOA)?

VEOA is a hiring authority used to fill permanent, competitive service jobs. Under VEOA, eligible veterans can apply to jobs that are only open to “status” employees (i.e. jobs that are not offered to candidates outside of the federal government). Learn more about VEOA.

Military Service Dates

Enter the start and end dates of your service. Click Add Service Dates if you served over two different time periods.

Additional resources

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