What’s the Veteran Recruitment Appointment?

Veteran Recruitment Appointment

Have you ever heard of the special hiring authorities for veterans who are seeking federal employment? Typically, job announcements under the federal government are classified as competitive with lengthy hiring processes.

Special hiring authorities are non-competitive and are designed to help service members successfully transition to civilian employment after the military. Although there are several hiring authorities, Empire Resume is turning your attention to the well-known hiring authority – Veteran Recruitment Appointment (VRA).

In this article, you’ll learn the benefits of the VRA, the eligibility requirements, documentation required, and how to apply for Veteran Recruitment Appointment. First, it’s best to understand what non-competitive federal appointment means.

What is Non-Competitive Federal Appointment? 

In the federal hiring process, non-competitive appointment means the job is open to select candidates, like veterans. Under this type of hiring authority, hiring managers can hire you without having to go through the lengthy application process.

Non-competitive hiring authorities are established by law or Executive Order (EO) and allow quick appointment of qualified candidates while adhering to Merit System Principles. It does not require a USAJOBS Job Opportunity Announcement (JOA), formal ranking of candidates, or developing an assessment process.

Who is Eligible for Non-Competitive Appointments?

Job announcements specify whether a position is competitive or non-competitive under the “Who May Apply” section. Examples of individuals eligible for non-competitive job assignments include:

  • Veterans
  • Persons with disabilities
  • Current and former federal employees
  • Returning Peace Corps volunteers


The Veteran Recruitment Appointment

Veteran Recruitment Appointment

Veterans Recruitment Appointment (VRA) allows a federal agency to VRA allows agencies to hire eligible Veterans based on VRA eligibility or based on a Veteran’s service-connected disability without competition.

According to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), you can be appointed to positions at any grade level up to GS-11 or equivalent without having to compete for the position.

Below are four main highlights of the VRA:

  1. Upon satisfactory completion of 2 years of substantially continuous service, you can be converted to a career or career-conditional appointment.
  1. Agencies may also use VRA to fill temporary (not to exceed 1 year) or term (more than 1 year but not to exceed 4 years) positions. You can be hired to fill a temporary/term position under VRA, you will not be converted to after 2 years of service.
  1. You do not have to be on a list of eligible candidates for the position: however, you must meet the basic qualification requirements for the position, which we’ll discuss below.
  1. Veterans Preference applies and there is no limit to the number of VRA appointments you may receive.


The Benefits of Veteran Recruitment Appointment

If you are eligible to take advantage of the VRA special hiring authority, the benefits are worth it if you’re seeking federal employment. The benefits are as follows: 

  • You can be appointed without the delays normally associated with the federal competitive hiring process.
  • You are not required to respond to a vacancy announcement.
  • There is no limit to the number of times you can apply under VRA.
  • You can express consideration at any time. 


VRA Eligibility

Veteran Recruitment Appointment

To be for VRA eligible, the veteran must be separated under honorable conditions and:

  • In receipt of a campaign badge for service during a war or in a campaign or expedition; or
  • A disabled veteran, or
  • In receipt of an Armed Forces Service Medal or Global War on Terrorism Service Medal for participation in a military operation, or
  • A recently separated veteran (within the last 3 years)

There is no minimum service requirement, but the individual must have served on active duty, not active duty for training.

Documentation Required for Veteran Recruitment Appointment

You must provide acceptable documentation of your preference or appointment eligibility. These documents include:

  • DD-214 (Member 4 Copy): Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty
  • Form SF-15: Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference

The DD-214 is issued to military members upon separation from active service. It contains information about the veteran’s dates of military service and separation.

How Veterans’ Preference Works

If you’re claiming 10-point Veterans’ preference, you will need to submit the SF-15.

Veterans’ Preference places veterans at the top of the applicant list when applying for federal government jobs.

10-Points Preference: This type of preference applies to you if you served at any time and:

  • Have a service-connected disability with more than a 30% rating or
  • Received a Purple Heart

To claim a 10-Point Preference and get an extra ten points during the hiring process, you must submit several documents, including your Form DD-214, the Application for 10-Point Veterans’ Preference and a letter from the VA Regional Office stating your disability rating. Failure to submit the necessary documents during your job search and the hiring process will result in withdrawal of Veterans’ Preference.

How to Apply for Veteran Recruitment Appointment

Veteran Recruitment Appointment

Applying for VRA is a simple process and includes the following steps:

  1. Gather Documentation
  2. Claim Veterans Preference
  3. Prepare Resume
  4. Apply


1. Gather Information

As a reminder, you’ll need the Member-4 copy of your form DD-214. You can access this document online with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

2. Claim Veterans Preference

If you’re claiming 10-point preference, don’t forget your SF-15.

3. Prepare Resume

You’ll need a strong military to civilian resume and be sure to translate your military experience into easy-to-understand civilian terms. Your resume should be polished and professional. Avoid using military specific jargon that hiring managers may not understand.

4. Apply

Once you find the job that piques your interest, go ahead and apply! You’ll fill out the application online. It is important to be thorough and honest during the application process. You don’t want to jeopardize your chances of landing the job of your dreams.

The Veteran Recruitment Appointment as a Knowledgeable Tool

Getting hired by the Federal Government presents its own set of challenges and can be a hurry up and wait game. As a Veteran, you’re not entitled to appointment under the VRA. However, knowing that an agency is considering candidates who are eligible, can enhance your chances of being considered.

Dr. Phillip Gold is President/CEO of Empire Resume and has vast experience writing resumes for both professionals and servicemembers transitioning from the military into civilian roles. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and was responsible for leading nuclear missile security. Phillip is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and holds a BA in Communications from The Ohio State University, an MS in Instructional Technology, an MBA in Finance, and a Ph.D. in Finance.

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