Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Definition of veteran

Last updated: June 6, 2024

Definition of veteran for preference in WA State public employment

The definition below defines a veteran eligible for preference in public employment under RCW 73.16.010 and is described in UW’s UWHIRES applicant tracking system at time of application to staff jobs.

A veteran is defined as every person who has received a qualifying discharge as defined in RCW 73.04, and who has served in at least one of the following capacities:

  • As a member in any branch of the armed forces of the United States, including the national guard and armed forces reserves, and has fulfilled his or her initial military service obligation;
  • As a member of the women’s air forces service pilots;
  • As a member of the armed forces reserves, national guard, or coast guard, and has been called into federal service by a presidential select reserve call up for at least one hundred eighty cumulative days;
  • As a civil service crewmember with service aboard a U.S. army transport service or U.S. naval transportation service vessel in oceangoing service from December 7, 1941, through December 31, 1946;
  • As a member of the Philippine armed forces/scouts during the period of armed conflict from December 7, 1941, through August 15, 1945; or
  • A United States documented merchant mariner with service aboard an oceangoing vessel operated by the department of defense, or its agents, from both June 25, 1950, through July 27, 1953, in Korean territorial waters and from August 5, 1964, through May 7, 1975, in Vietnam territorial waters, and who received a military commendation.

Definition of veteran under the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA)

As a federal contractor, the UW is subject to the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, as amended by the Jobs for Veterans Act of 2002, 38 U.S.C. 4212 (VEVRAA), which requires government contractors to take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment veterans in the following classifications:

  • Disabled veterans
  • Recently separated veterans
  • Active duty wartime or campaign badge veterans
  • Armed Forces service medal veterans

The definitions below define classifications of veteran for reporting purposes to the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).

  • A “disabled veteran” is one of the following:
    • a veteran of the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service who is entitled to compensation (or who but for the receipt of military retired pay would be entitled to compensation) under laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs; or
    • a person who was discharged or released from active duty because of a service-connected disability.
  • A “recently separated veteran” means any veteran during the three-year period beginning on the date of such veteran’s discharge or release from active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval, or air service.
  • An “active duty wartime or campaign badge veteran” means a veteran who served on active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service during a war, or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized under the laws administered by the Department of Defense.
  • An “armed forces service medal veteran” means a veteran who, while serving on active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service, participated in a United States military operation for which an Armed Forces service medal was awarded pursuant to Executive Order 12985.