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Veterans Employment Fact Sheet

By: Transportation Security Administration

Does TSA provide a hiring preference to veterans?

Yes! TSA is committed to supporting the employment of veterans and provides a hiring preference to eligible veterans. See question #4 below for specific information on how veterans’ preference is applied at TSA.

Does TSA follow the policies and procedures from the Office of Personnel Management?

In 2001, Congress passed the Aviation and Transportation Security Act (P.L. 107-71) which established TSA as an excepted service agency. As a result, TSA is not governed by most of the policies and procedures established under Title 5 by the Office of Personnel Management. In addition, certain requirements and qualifications for some of TSA’s mission critical positions such as the Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) and the Federal Air Marshals are based in statute and may not be adapted.

How does a veteran apply for employment with TSA?

Our standard process is for applicants to apply directly to open vacancy announcements. TSA vacancy announcements are posted on USAJOBS at: If you are not already aware, USAJOBS offers some valuable services that help to reduce the stress and streamline the process of applying for jobs. On the USAJOBS website, you can click on the tab at the top of the page labeled “My USAJOBS” to create your account. This will allow you to do certain things online, such as posting your resume, applying to Federal jobs, and receiving automated job alerts. You may set up your automated job alerts to send you an email each time a TSA vacancy announcement is posted.

How is veterans’ preference applied at TSA?

Preference consists of giving qualified, eligible veterans an advantage over others when recruiting under competitive external procedures (announcements open to anyone in the general public). Depending on the position being filled and the evaluation method being used, it may mean adding 5 or 10 points to a candidate’s earned score or placing the veteran ahead of other candidates in a category. TSA will provide preference at the point of selection to eligible veterans who were discharged or released from military service under honorable conditions. Veterans’ preference is only applicable when the applicant applies under external procedures. This means current TSA employees do not receive veterans’ preference when applying under the internal merit promotion procedures.

Transportation Security Officer (TSO) positions: TSA provides the broadest application of veterans’ preference in the Federal Government by applying veterans’ preference as defined in P.L. 107-71 and to those individuals eligible under the provisions of Section 2108 of Title 5 United States Code (U.S.C). To be eligible for veterans’ preference under P.L.107-71 you must be a member or former member of the U.S. Armed Forces, and entitled under statute to retired, retirement, or retainer pay. Information on eligibility for veterans’ preference under 5 U.S.C. §2108 can be found in the VetsInfo Guide available on the OPM’s Web site at

All other TSA positions: TSA provides preference at the point of selection to those eligible for veterans’ preference as defined under the provisions of 5 U.S.C. §2108 and the governing policies mentioned above. Information on eligibility for veterans’ preference under 5 U.S.C. §2108 can be found in the VetsInfo Guide available on the Office of Personnel Management’s Web site at

How do I claim veterans’ preference?

You must identify your claim for veterans’ preference on your application and provide proof of your entitlement by submitting appropriate documentation such as a copy of your DD-214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (Member 4 copy). If you are claiming a disability you must submit an SF-15, Application for 10 Point Veteran Preference, (this form is available at: and the appropriate documentation from the military service or a current letter of disability from Department of Veterans Affairs.

Can I apply for a vacancy when I am on active duty?

TSA will consider applications from individuals, not already employed by TSA, who are about to be released from active duty military. Such an applicant will be removed from consideration if not separated or released from active duty prior to the effective date for filling the position. This does not apply to individuals on terminal leave from U.S. military service. A member of the uniformed service may accept a civilian position if they have performed active duty service and are on terminal leave pending separation or release from active duty under honorable conditions. In addition, current TSA employees who are absent for the purpose of performing military duty may apply for any vacancy announced in their absence and will be given consideration for vacancies as if they were present in their TSA civilian positions.

If I am hired by TSA, will I be able to move to other Federal agencies since TSA is an excepted service agency unlike most of the other Federal agencies which are in the competitive service?

TSA and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) have entered into agreement for an Interchange Agreement, which allows certain permanent TSA employees to apply and be selected for vacancies in competitive service agencies. Information from OPM on this or other Interchange Agreements is available at

Who can I contact if I have additional questions?

TSA is committed to the hiring of veterans and your interest in employment with TSA is appreciated. If you have any questions on the above information, please feel free to contact Ms. Jacki Pickett, Selective Placement Coordinator, at telephone (571) 227-2357 or via email at