Skip to main content

SEC Veterans Program

May 27, 2016

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is actively committed to recruiting veterans. We value their understanding of leadership, teamwork, and integrity and their array of experience, skills, and abilities, proven in real-world situations.

Veterans have certain entitlements by law in competing for federal government employment. The following information is provided to help clarify veterans' preference and other hiring flexibilities available to veterans.

Federal Employment

For many veterans, pursuing opportunities in the federal government is a natural transition, and those positions, therefore, are highly competitive. A veteran will be competing against other highly skilled, highly educated, and highly qualified veterans as well as other applicants interested in federal service. To assist military service members with the transition from the military to the federal government, there is veterans' preference as well as special hiring authorities for veterans seeking employment within the federal government. Eligibility for veterans’ preference and special hiring authorities does not guarantee job placement at the SEC.

Veterans’ Preference

Veterans' preference recognizes the economic loss suffered by citizens who have served their country in uniform, restores veterans to a favorable competitive position for employment in the federal government, and acknowledges the larger obligation owed to disabled veterans. By law, veterans who are disabled or who served on active duty in the Armed Forces during certain specified time periods or in military campaigns are entitled to preference over others in hiring from competitive lists of eligibles and also in retention during reductions in force. Only veterans discharged or released from active duty in the armed forces under honorable conditions are eligible for veterans' preference.

There are three types of veterans’ preference eligibility: sole survivorship (0-point preference eligible), non-disabled (5-point preference eligible), and disabled (10-point preference eligible). If you are a veteran, to determine your preference eligibility, visit FedsHireVets or use the Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Preference Advisor.


A veteran must provide acceptable documentation of their preference or appointment eligibility. Acceptable documentation may be:

  • A copy of their DD-214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, which shows dates of service and discharge under honorable conditions; or
  • A "certification" that is a written document from the Armed Forces that certifies the service member is expected to be discharged or released from active duty service in the Armed Forces under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date the certification is signed; or
  • A Standard Form (SF-15), Application for 10-Point Veterans' Preference, that includes supporting documentation.

A veteran may obtain a letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) reflecting their level of disability for preference eligibility by visiting a VA regional office, contacting a VA call center, or online at Veterans eBenefits.

Special Hiring Authorities

Veterans Recruitment Appointment (VRA) Authority

VRA allows agencies to make appointments of eligible and qualified veterans up to the SK-11 (equivalent to the GS-11); promotion potential of the position is not a factor. Veterans are hired under excepted service appointments to positions that are otherwise in the competitive service. Individuals placed under this hiring authority are subject to a trial period (i.e., probationary period) that can last up to two years, based on veteran status. During probation, employees hired under VRA are held to the same performance standards as all other employees. After two years of satisfactory service, veterans are noncompetitively converted to the competitive service.

VRA eligibility applies to the following categories of veterans who separated under honorable conditions:

  • Disabled veterans;
  • Veterans who served on active duty in the Armed Forces during a war declared by Congress, or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized;
  • Veterans who, while serving on active duty in the Armed Forces, participated in a military operation for which the Armed Forces Service Medal (AFSM) was awarded, to include the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; and
  • Veterans separated from active duty within the past three years.

30 Percent or More Disabled Veterans

This hiring authority enables a hiring official to appoint an eligible 30 percent or more disabled veteran to any position for which the veteran is qualified; there is no grade level limitation. Initial competitive service appointments are time-limited (e.g., temporary or term appointment), but must last more than 60 days; however, a veteran can acquire permanent status at any time during the time-limited appointment. Individuals placed under this hiring authority are subject to a one-year probationary period.

Eligibility applies to the following categories of veterans who separated under honorable conditions:

  • Disabled veterans who were retired from active military service with a service-connected disability rating of 30 percent or more; and
  • Disabled veterans rated by the VA as having a compensable service-connected disability of 30 percent or more.

Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 (VEOA)

This hiring authority permits preference eligibles and certain eligible veterans the ability to compete for jobs that otherwise would only be available to status employees. In VEOA appointments, preference eligibles and veterans are not afforded preference as a factor, but they are allowed to compete for job opportunities that are not offered to other external candidates. A VEOA eligible who is selected will be given a competitive service appointment. Individuals placed under this hiring authority are subject to a one-year probationary period.

VEOA eligibility applies to the following categories of veterans who separated under honorable conditions:

  • Preference eligibles; and
  • Military service members separated after three or more years of continuous active service.

Current or former federal government employees meeting VEOA eligibility can apply; however, current employees applying under VEOA are subject to time-in-grade restrictions like any other General Schedule employee. "Preference eligible" under VEOA includes those family members entitled to derived preference.

Applying for Federal Employment

Veteran Hiring Authorities allow eligible veterans to apply through either the competitive or noncompetitive hiring process. For placement at the SEC, individuals must be U.S. citizens.

An applicant applying through the competitive hiring process (e.g., Delegated Examining, VEOA, VRA, 30 Percent or More Disabled Veterans, etc.) will apply directly to a job opportunity announcement on USAJOBS. It is the responsibility of the applicant to determine if they are both eligible and qualified for a position vacancy when applying to a job opportunity announcement as well as ensuring all supporting documentation is submitted. A human resources specialist will verify eligibility and qualifications once a job opportunity announcement is closed.

An applicant applying through the noncompetitive hiring process (e.g., VRA or 30 Percent or More Disabled Veterans) may submit their application for consideration whether or not a job opportunity announcement exists at the time of application submission. Applicants interested in the noncompetitive hiring process should send an email to in order to receive information on next steps in the process.

Additional Resources

Special Hiring Authorities for Veterans via FedsHireVets

Veterans via USAJOBS

Military to Federal Jobs Crosswalk via Maryland Department of Labor

Special Hiring Authorities for Military Spouses and Family Members via FedsHireVets

Contact the Veterans Program Team at the SEC

For more information about Veteran Hiring Authorities, individuals may contact the SEC’s Veterans Program Manager at

Learn more about the SEC’s Reasonable Accommodation Program. Individuals may contact the Disability Program Officer (DPO) at

If an individual is in need of an accommodation because of a disability in order to access information on this website or is having web accessibility problems, contact

Return to Top