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Veterans Hiring

Veterans group on a hike.

While in active duty, veterans serve a valuable role in our nation by protecting and serving American citizens. A job with the USDA Forest Service allows veterans to continue serving their country by managing over 193 million acres of national forests and grasslands.

Individuals who have served in active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces and separated under honorable conditions may be eligible for various special hiring authorities. Veterans must provide acceptable documentation of their preference and/or appointment eligibility, including a copy of their DD-214 “Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty.”

Veterans Employment Opportunity Act of 1998 (VEOA)

The Veterans Employment Opportunity Act of 1998 is a veteran hiring authority that can be used to fill competitive, permanent positions. To qualify, applicants must have substantially completed 3 or more years of active service or are a family member entitled to derived preference. Applications are accepted to merit promotion vacancy announcements where an agency is hiring outside of its workforce. VEOA eligible veterans may be appointed to any occupational series or grade level, but must rate and rank among the best qualified to be considered for a position.

Veterans’ Recruitment Appointment (VRA)

Veterans’ Recruitment Appointment is a veteran hiring authority that allows federal agencies to appoint eligible veterans without competition. To qualify for VRA, applicants must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Disabled veteran.
  • Receipt of campaign badge for service during war or in a campaign or expedition.
  • Receipt of an Armed Forces Service Medal for participation in a military operation.
  • Recently separated veteran (within the last 3 years).

VRA qualified veterans may be appointed to permanent, temporary, or term positions in any occupational series up to a GS-11. If appointed to a permanent position, the veteran will be converted to the competitive service after successfully completing 2 years in federal civil service.

30 Percent or More Disabled Veteran Appointment

A “30 percent or More Disabled Veteran” appointment allows any veteran with 30 percent of more service-connected disability to be noncompetitively appointed. To qualify, applicants must be retired from active military service, or have a rating from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, showing service-connected disability rating of 30 percent or more. Qualified veterans may be appointed to permanent, temporary, or term positions in any occupational series and grade level. Appointments must be a minimum of at least 60 days.

Certain Military Spouses

Federal agencies can use the military spouse non-competitive hiring process to fill positions on either a temporary or permanent basis. You’re eligible if you are:

  • A spouse of an active duty member of the armed forces.
  • A spouse of a service member who is 100% disabled due to a service-connected injury.
  • A spouse of a service member killed while on active duty and you have not remarried.

You will need to provide documentation verifying your marriage, a copy of your spouse's active military orders, and depending on your circumstances, your spouse's DD-214 and/or DD 1300.

How to Apply

The Forest Service accepts all job applications on USAJOBS. USAJOBS connects job seekers with Federal employment opportunities across the United States and around the world. Your eligibility for veterans hiring authorities provides opportunity, but does not guarantee you a job within Federal employment. To apply for a position in the Forest Service:

  1. Visit
  2. Create a USAJOBS profile.
  3. Upload or create a Federal resume.
  4. Search for jobs in USAJOBS. You can search by positions hiring veterans.
  5. Review the job announcement.
  6. Apply! On the application, include your interest and eligibility to be considered under one of the veterans hiring authorities,


Please direct questions about career opportunities and applications to Human Resources Management at 1-877-372-7248 (select Option 2 and follow prompts). The Contact Center is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. (MST) Monday through Friday and closed on all federal holidays.

You can also find specific information related to Forest Service jobs on our Next Steps page, including our jobs resource directory, our webinar schedule, or contact information for our recruiters.