United States Office of Personnel Management


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October 4, 2001

Contact: Sharon Wells
(202) 606-2402

OPM Reaching Out to Veterans

Washington, DC - Kay Coles James, the Director of the The U.S. Office of Personnel Management, today announced she is planning a series of meetings to open direct lines of communication with veterans' service organizations. The first meeting is October 25.

"During the current situation in our country, I want to make certain that our veterans understand that the federal government places high priority on ensuring that veterans receive due preference in competitive hiring and all of the other benefits to which they are entitled." said James. "OPM intends to take an aggressive role in seeing to it that veterans are treated with the respect, fairness, and dignity befitting their service and sacrifice to the nation."

Since the time of the Civil War, veterans of the Armed Forces have been given some degree of preference in appointments to federal jobs. Recognizing their sacrifice, Congress enacted laws to prevent veterans seeking federal employment from being penalized for their time in military service. Veterans' preference recognizes the economic loss suffered by citizens who have served their country in uniform, restores veterans to a favorable competitive position for government employment, and acknowledges the larger obligation owed to disabled veterans.

A study completed by OPM in December 2000 shows there has been a slight but steady growth in the percentage of veterans hired through competitive examining each fiscal year since 1995. There are currently 445,282 in the federal workforce.

OPM recently issued guidance to departments and agencies, "Rights and Benefits of Reservists Called to Active Duty." Said James, "The federal government is by far the largest single employer of members of the Armed Forces Reserves, and we as federal employees are proud of the dedication and commitment of these fellow workers in a time of international crisis."

"I am looking forward to meeting with the various veterans service organizations and having a meaningful dialogue on how the federal government can better serve those who have already given so much to this great country," said James.


United States
Office of
Office of
Theodore Roosevelt Building
1900 E Street, NW
Room 5347
Washington, DC 20415-1400
(202) 606-2402
FAX: (202) 606-2264

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