Veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces and were separated under honorable conditions may be eligible for veterans preference. Veterans Preference gives eligible veterans preference in appointment over many other applicants. Veterans preference applies, to virtually all new appointments in both the competitive and excepted service. Veterans preference does not guarantee veterans a job and it does not apply to internal agency actions such as promotions, transfers, reassignments and reinstatements.
If you are a "retired member of the armed forces" you are not included in the definition of preference eligible unless you are a disabled veteran OR you retired below the rank of major or its equivalent.
There are basically two types of preference eligibles, disabled (10 point preference eligible) and non-disabled (5 point preference eligibles). You are a 5 point preference eligible if your active duty service meets any of the following:
1. 180 or more consecutive days, any part of which occurred during the period beginning September 11, 2001 and ending on a future date prescribed by Presidential proclamation or law as the last date of Operation Iraqi Freedom, OR
2. Between August 2, 1990 and January 2, 1992, OR
3. 180 or more consecutive days, any part of which occurred after January 31, 1955 and before October 15, 1976.
4. In a war, campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized or between April 28, 1952 and July 1, 1955.
You are a 10 point preference eligible if you served at any time, and you have a service connected disability, OR received a Purple Heart.