Questions and Answers about Gulf War Preference

It means the person must have been separated from the service under honorable conditions and have served continuously for a minimum of 24 months or the full period for which called or ordered to active duty. For example, someone who enlisted in the Army and was serving on active duty when the Gulf War broke out on Aug 2, 1990, would have to complete a minimum of 24 months service to be eligible for preference. On the other hand a Reservist who was called to active duty for a month and spent all his time at the Pentagon before being released would also be eligible. What the law did was to add an additional paragraph (C) covering Gulf War veterans to 5 U.S.C. 2108(1) (on who is eligible for preference). But, significantly, the law made no other changes to existing law. In particular, it did not change paragraph (4) of section 2108 (the Dual Compensation Act of 1973), which severely restricts preference entitlement for retired officers at the rank of Major and above. When the Dual Compensation Act was under consideration, there was extensive debate in Congress as to who should be entitled to preference. Congress basically compromised by giving preference in appointment to most retired military members (except for "high-ranking officers" who were not considered to need it), but severely limiting preference in RIF for all retired military because they had already served one career and should not have preference in the event of layoffs.

So, "otherwise eligible" means that the individual must be eligible under existing law.

Posted 11 months agoby Kristijan

The 24 month service requirement provision is found in Section 5303A of title 38, United States Code which defines the minimum active-duty service requirement for those who initially enter active duty after September 7, 1980.

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Can an applicant claim preference based on Gulf War service after January 2, 1992?

The law specifies that only those on active duty during the period beginning August 2, 1990, and ending January 2,…

The law specifies that only those on active duty during the period beginning August 2, 1990, and ending January 2, 1992, are eligible for preference. Applicants who served on active duty exclusively after these dates would have to be in receipt of a campaign badge or expeditionary medal.

Posted 11 months agoby Kristijan

We are not aware of any plans to extend Veterans' preference to any other group of individuals.

Posted 11 months agoby Kristijan

An applicant is claiming preference based on service in Bosnia, but he/she has no DD Form 214 to support his claim. Can we give him/her preference?

A service member whose record appears to show service qualifying for Veterans' preference (for example, there is an indication that…

A service member whose record appears to show service qualifying for Veterans' preference (for example, there is an indication that the person served in Bosnia in 1996), may be accorded 5 points tentative preference on that basis alone. However, before the person can be appointed, he or she must submit proof of entitlement to preference. That proof may be an amended DD Form 214 showing the award of the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (AFEM) for Bosnia in the case of service members who served there and were released prior to enactment of the recent Veterans' preference amendments, or it may be other official documentation showing award of the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal.

Posted 11 months agoby Kristijan

A Reservist will always have orders placing him (or her) on active duty -- (it is the only way the Reservist can be paid). While the individual may also have a letter saying that he or she is being called up, there will always be orders backing this up. Similarly, when the Reservist is released from active duty, he or she will always have separation or demobilization orders.

Posted 11 months agoby Kristijan

The employees cannot be given Veterans' preference without required documentation. The agency should work with the employee and the appropriate military service record organizations to obtain this documentation as soon as possible to avoid having to "rerun" the Reduction In Force at the last minute.

Posted 11 months agoby Kristijan

Regardless of where you are in the process of carrying out the Reduction In Force, you must correct the Veterans' preference of employees who will now be eligible as a result of the statute. Veterans' preference cannot be "frozen" like qualifications or performance appraisals--it must be corrected right up until the day of the Reduction In Force. If a change in preference results in a different outcome for one or more employees, amended Reduction In Force notices must be issued. If such a change results in a worse offer, the affected employee must be given a full 60/120 day notice period required by regulation. This may require the agency to use a temporary exception to keep one or more employees on the rolls past the Reduction In Force effective date in order to meet this obligation.

Posted 11 months agoby Kristijan

If an agency finds that an eligible employee reached for Reduction In Force separation or downgrading effective on or after November 18, 1997, was not provided retention preference consistent with P.L. 105-85, The Office of Personnel Management recommends that the agency take appropriate corrective action.

An employee not provided appropriate retention preference may appeal the Reduction In Force action to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). MSPB normally requires the appeal to be filed within 30 days of the Reduction In Force effective date, but Merit Systems Protection Board may, at its option, accept later appeals filed within 30 days of the employee becoming aware of the change.

If an employee was separated or downgraded by Reduction In Force, the agency should determine whether or not the employee would have been affected differently based on the change in Veterans' preference. If the employee would still be separated or downgraded, the agency should correct the employee's notice. If the employee was separated, the agency should also correct the Reemployment Priority List (RPL) registration (if any) to accurately reflect their Veterans' preference.

If the corrective action results in a surplus of employees in one or more competitive levels, the agency may have to run a new Reduction In Force. However, the agency cannot retroactively adjust the results of the prior Reduction In Force.

Posted 11 months agoby Kristijan

The employee's registration status on the Reemployment Priority List should be corrected immediately so that the employee will be considered as a I-A for the remainder of their time on the Reemployment Priority List. If the agency finds that a lower standing person was selected over the employee, the agency must notify the employee of the selection and their right to appeal to Merit Systems Protection Board. If the employee files a Reemployment Priority List appeal, Merit Systems Protection Board may order a retroactive remedy which could include extending the employee's time period for consideration under the Reemployment Priority List.

Posted 11 months agoby Kristijan