On November 9, 2009, President Barack Obama signed Executive Order 13518, Employment of Veterans in the Federal Government, which establishes the Veterans Employment Initiative. The Initiative is a strategic approach to helping the men and women who have served our country in the military find employment in the Federal Government.
FEMA offers many opportunities for Veterans, whether you are looking for a new position to leverage your skills or to advance your career. FEMA also offers competitive benefits, financial incentives, and family friendly programs, including telework.
Veterans' Preference gives eligible veterans preference in appointment over many other applicants. Veterans’ preference eligibility is based on dates of active duty service, receipt of a campaign badge, Purple Heart, or a service-connected disability. Not all active duty service may qualify for veterans’ preference. Veterans’ preference applies in all Delegated Examining vacancy announcements (open to all United States citizens). Veterans’ preference does not guarantee veterans a job and it does not apply to internal agency actions such as promotions, transfers, reassignments and reinstatements.
Veterans’ Recruitment Appointment (VRA)
Under the VRA, eligible veterans may be hired up to the GS-11 or equivalent grade level. After satisfactorily completing 2 years of service, the individual is non-competitively converted to a career or career conditional appointment. VRA appointments can be made to eligible veterans without applying to a vacancy announcement; however VRA eligibles should apply to any FEMA Merit Promotion announcement (open to all Federal employees).
- 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
- Send documentation from the military or a letter of disability from the V.A.
30 Percent or More Disabled Veterans
Under this authority, eligible veterans may be hired into any position to which they are qualified without applying to a vacancy announcement. Initial appointments are time-limited, lasting more than 60 days; however individuals may be converted to a permanent appointment at any time during the time-limited appointment.
- Disabled Veterans who were retired from active military service with a service-connected disability rating of 30 percent or more
- Disabled Veterans rated by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as having a compensable service-connected disability of 30 percent or more
Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 (VEOA)
Under the VEOA, eligible veterans may apply for positions announced under FEMA’s merit promotion procedures when the agency is recruiting from outside of the DHS workforce. Veteran’s preference is not a factor under VEOA; however this authority allows eligible veterans to apply for positions that are not offered to other external candidates.
- Preference eligibles
- Service personnel separated after 3 or more years of continuous active
Disabled Veterans Programs
Searching for a Federal Job
All federal jobs are posted on USAJobs.gov. Use the advanced search options on USAJobs.gov to expand or refine your search for homeland security careers. To view all jobs open to veterans, select “Yes” under “Applicant Eligibility” at the bottom of the search screen.
Applying for a Federal Job
Once a veteran has identified the job(s) they would like to apply for, they should click on the job, review the duties and qualification requirements, and click "Apply Online." During the application process, veterans may be asked to identify Veterans Preference status. Refer to the Determining Veterans Preference sections above.
- Department of Veterans Affairs — gets veterans the services they have earned.
- Federal Jobs by College Major — OPM has prepared a table that provides a list of comparable federal occupations to various college degrees. Veterans can then use the skills or occupational series search function to find emergency management opportunities that relate to their education.
- FedsHireVets.gov — provides information about the Veterans Employment Initiative, a White House initiative that underscores to federal agencies the importance of recruiting and training veterans, aims to increase the employment of veterans within the Executive Branch, and helps recently hired veterans adjust to service in a civilian capacity.
- O*Net Online (Occupational Information Network) — matches your military experience to civilian occupation codes.
- Veterans Employment and Training Center (Department of Labor) — provides veterans and transitioning service members with the resources and services such as transition and employment services (TAP) and Compliance Assistance for Employment disputes to succeed in the 21st century workforce by maximizing their employment opportunities, protecting their employment rights and meeting labor-market demands with qualified veterans today.
- Veterans' Preference Advisor is a tool that assists veterans in determining Veterans Preference eligibility through a series of questions. Veterans should note their preference points for use in the application process.