Pre-offer Self ID Legal Disclosure

War Service Creditable for Veterans Preference
In the absence of statutory definition for "war" and "campaign or expedition," OPM considers to be "wars" only those armed conflicts for which a declaration of war was issued by Congress. The title 38, U.S.C., definition of "period of war," which is used in determining benefits administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs, includes the Vietnam Era and other armed conflicts. That title 38 definition is NOT applicable for civil service purposes.

Thus the last "war" for which active duty is qualifying for Veterans preference is World War II. The inclusive dates for World War II service are December 7, 1941, through April 28, 1952.

Non-combat operations that are not qualifying for Veterans preference.
Many medals are awarded for non-combat operations. These medals are not a basis for preference and include the following:

  • Global War on Terrorism Service Medal for service from September 11, 2001, to date to be determined.
  • The Medal of Merit for meritorious service in World War II.
  • The Medal of Freedom for meritorious achievements or meritorious service to the United States on or after December 7, 1941, in the war against an enemy outside the continental limits of the United States.
  • The Antarctica Service Medal for participating in a scientific, direct support, or exploratory operation on the Antarctic Continent.
  • The National Defense Service Medal for honorable service between June 27, 1950 and July 27, 1954 or January 1, 1961 and August 14, 1974; or for the period between August 2, 1990, and November 30, 1995.
  • The Armed Forces Service Medal for participation in a United States military operation deemed to be a significant activity for which there was no threat of encounter of foreign armed opposition or imminent threat of hostile action.
  • The Armed Forces Reserve Medal for 10 years of honorable service in a Reserve component; or active duty service in a Reserve component on or after August 1, 1990; or volunteer service for active duty on or after August 1, 1990.

Military Operations Since 1937 for Which a Campaign or Expeditionary Medal Has Been Awarded, Except for Operations Occurring During a Declared War
Military personnel receive many awards and decorations. To help agencies make decisions concerning entitlement to Veterans preference and other benefits, the following list identifies those awards that are campaign and expeditionary medals.

Any Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, whether listed here or not, is qualifying for Veterans Preference
The Department of Defense, not OPM, determines who is entitled to receive a medal, and under what circumstances. The list below is derived from DoD 1348.33-M, Manual of Military Decorations and Awards.

DD 214, Certificate of Discharge or Separation from Active Duty, or other official documents issued by the branch of service are required as verification of eligibility for Veterans preference.

Campaigns and Expeditions Which Qualify For Veterans Preference

 Campaign or Expedition Inclusive dates
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (AFEM)
A veteran's DD Form 214 showing the award of any Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal is acceptable proof. The DD form 214 does not have to show the name of the theater or country of service for which that medal was awarded.
Afghanistan (Operations Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Iraqi Freedom (OIF))  OEF September 11, 2001, to present; OIF March 19, 2003, to present
Berlin August 14,1961, to June 1, 1963
Bosnia (Operations Joint Endeavor, Joint Guard, and Joint Forge) November 20, 1995 to December 20, 1996; December 20, 1996 to June 20, 1998; June 21, 1998 to present
Cambodia March 29, 1973, to August 15, 1973
Cambodia Evacuation (Operation Eagle Pull) April 11 - 13, 1975
Congo  July 14, 1960, to September 1, 1962, and November 23, to 27, 1964
Cuba October 24, 1962, to June 1, 1963
Dominican Republic April 28, 1965, to September 21, 1966
El Salvador January 1, 1981, to February 1, 1992
Global War on Terrorism September 11, 2001 to present
Grenada (Operation Urgent Fury) October 23, 1983, to November 21, 1983
Haiti (Operation Uphold Democracy) September 16, 1994, to March 31, 1995
Iraq (Operations Northern Watch, Desert Spring, Enduring Freedom (OEF), and Iraqi Freedom (OIF))  January 1, 1997 to present; December 31, 1998 to December 31, 2002 (projected); OEF September 11, 2001, to present; OIF March 19, 2003, to present
Korea October 1, 1966, to June 30, 1974
Kosovo March 24, 1999 to present
Laos April 19, 1961, to October 7, 1962
Lebanon July 1, 1958, to November 1, 1958, and June 1, 1983, to December 1, 1987
Mayaguez Operation May 15, 1975 to May 15, 1975
Operations in the Libyan Area (Operation Eldorado Canyon) April 12, 1986 to April 17, 1986
Panama (Operation Just Cause) December 20, 1989, to January 31, 1990
Persian Gulf Operation (Operation Earnest Will) July 24, 1987, to August 1, 1990
Persian Gulf Operation (Operation Southern Watch) December 1, 1995, to present
Persian Gulf Operation (Operation Vigilant Sentinel) December 1, 1995 to February 1, 1997
Persian Gulf Operation (Operation Desert Thunder) November 11, 1998 to December 22, 1998
Persian Gulf Operation (Operation Desert Fox) December 16, 1998 to December 22, 1998
Persian Gulf Intercept Operation December 1, 1995, to present
Quemoy and Matsu Islands August 23, 1958, to June 1, 1963
Somalia (Operations Restore Hope and United Shield) December 5, 1992, to March 31, 1995
Taiwan Straits August 23, 1958, to January 1, 1959
Thailand May 16, 1962, to August 10, 1962
Vietnam Evacuation (Operation Frequent Wind) April 29, 1975, to April 30, 1975
Vietnam (including Thailand) July 1, 1958, to July 3, 1965

Note: Section 572 of Subtitle G of the Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 1998 (Public Law 105-85), signed into law on November 18, 1997, allows the Secretary of the military department concerned to determine whether individual members who participated in Operation Joint Endeavor or Operation Joint Guard in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and in such other areas in the region as the Secretary of Defense considers appropriate, meet the individual service requirements for award of the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (AFEM). Generally, service members will be considered eligible if they:

  • Deployed to Bosnia and Herzegovina (or other area that the Secretary of Defense considers appropriate) in direct support of one or both of the operations;
  • Served on board a ship in the Adriatic in direct support of one or both of the operations; or
  • Operated in airspace above Bosnia, Herzegovina (or other area that the Secretary of Defense considers appropriate) while the operations were in effect.

Navy expeditionary Medal and Marine Corps Medal for these Operations:

 Campaign or Expedition  Inclusive dates
Cuba January 3, 1961 to October 23, 1962
Indian Ocean/Iran November 21, 1979, to October 20, 1981
Iranian/Yemen/Indian Ocean December 8, 1978 to June 6, 1979
Lebanon August 20, 1982 to May 31, 1983
Liberia (Operation Sharp Edge) August 5, 1990 to February 21, 1991
Libyan Area January 20, 1986 to June 27, 1986
Panama April 1, 1980 to December 19, 1986 and February 1, 1990 to June 13, 1990
Persian Gulf February 1, 1987 to July 23, 1987
Rwanda (Operation Distant Runner) April 7 - 18, 1994
Thailand May 16 - August 10, 1962

Other Campaign and Service Medals Qualifying for Preference:

Campaign or Expedition Inclusive Dates
Army Occupation of Austria May 9, 1945 to July 27, 1955
Army Occupation of Berlin May 9, 1945 to October 2, 1990
Army Occupation of Germany (exclusive of Berlin) May 9, 1945 to May 5, 1955
Army Occupation of Japan September 3, 1945 to April 27, 1952
Chinese Service Medal (Extended) September 2, 1945 to April 1, 1957
Korea Defense Service Medal July 28, 1954 to (date to be determined)
Korean Service June 27, 1950 to July 27, 1954
Kosovo Campaign Medal (KCM) Operation Allied Force March 24, 1999 to June 10, 1999
Kosovo Campaign Medal (KCM) Operation Joint Guardian June 11, 1999 to (date to be determined)
Kosovo Campaign Medal (KCM) Operation Allied Harbor April 4, 1999 to September 1, 1999
Kosovo Campaign Medal (KCM) Operation Sustain Hope/Shining Hope April 4, 1999 to July 10, 1999
Kosovo Campaign Medal (KCM) Operation Noble Anvil March 24, 1999 to July 20, 1999
Kosovo Campaign Medal (KCM) Task Force Hawk April 5, 1999 to June 24, 1999
Kosovo Campaign Medal (KCM) Task Force Saber March 31, 1999 to July 8, 1999
Kosovo Campaign Medal (KCM) Task Force Falcon June 11, 1999 to (date to be determined)
Kosovo Campaign Medal (KCM) Task Force Hunter April 1, 1999 to November 1, 1999
Navy Occupation of Austria May 8, 1945 to October 25, 1954
Navy Occupation of Trieste May 8, 1945 to October 25, 1954
Southwest Asia Service Medal (SWASM) (Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm) August 2, 1990 to November 30, 1995
Units of the Sixth Fleet (Navy) May 9, 1945 to October 25, 1955
Vietnam Service Medal (VSM) July 4, 1965 to March 28, 1973
Rwanda (Operation Distant Runner) April 7 - 18, 1994
Thailand May 16 - August 10, 1962