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Human Resource Practitioners
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) administers entitlement to veterans'
preference in employment under title 5, United States Code, and
oversees other statutory employment requirements in titles 5 and 38. (Title
38 also governs Veterans' entitlement to benefits administered
by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).)
Both title 5 and title 38 use many of the same terms, but in different ways.
For example, service during a "war" is used to determine entitlement to Veterans'
preference and service credit under title 5. OPM has always interpreted this
to mean a war declared by Congress. But title 38 defines "period of war"
to include many non-declared wars, including Korea, Vietnam, and the Persian
Gulf. Such conflicts entitle a veteran to VA benefits under title 38,
but not necessarily to preference or service credit under title
5. Thus it is critically important to use the correct definitions in determining
eligibility for specific rights and benefits in employment.