Veteran employment

*The video above features former employees, Tyeshia M. and Raj C.

Learn more about our Military Spouse Fellowship Program

At the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), we are strongly committed to hiring our nation’s veterans and aim to be the employer of choice for veterans.

Our more than 900 veteran colleagues have a proven track record of success after transitioning from the military into federal service. Veterans contribute to our mission in the areas of science and engineering, information technology, contracts, procurement, finance, administration, project and program management, and customer support.

We hire many veterans using special hiring authorities, which are direct hiring authorities outside of the typical USAJOBS process. For more information about available positions at the USPTO, email

Documentation for veteran preference or appointment eligibility

When applying for jobs, you must provide a DD-214, Member-4 copy reflecting that you have been discharged or released from active duty in the Armed Forces under honorable conditions (5-point veteran preference). Additionally, applicants requesting 10-point veteran preference (veterans with service-connected disability rating) must submit an SF-15 and a copy of your Department of Veterans Affairs letter certifying the percentage of the service-connected disability.

USPTO veteran hiring program

Our veteran hiring program is managed by veteran employment program coordinators. Our program uses veteran and military spouse hiring authorities to efficiently hire qualified candidates non-competitively.


Additional special hiring authority for veterans

Most positions within the USPTO are in the competitive service and may be applied for under currently open vacancy announcements listed on the USAJOBS website. The Veterans Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA) of 1998 as amended is an appointing authority that can be used when filling permanent positions. 

The VEOA allows veterans to apply to announcements open to individuals outside of USPTO only if they are "status" candidates, which normally means "current or former permanent federal employees."

To be eligible for a VEOA appointment:

  1. Your latest discharge must be issued under honorable conditions (this means an honorable or general discharge), and
  2. You must be either:
    1. A preference eligible; or
    2. A veteran who substantially completed three or more years of active service.

Additional veteran and military spouse career opportunities

In addition to the Veteran Hiring Program, the USPTO offers the following opportunities:


USPTO Military Association

Clifton R. and Angela J. sit at the USPTO Military Association table during a Women in IP event March 2024.

The USPTO Military Association (UMA) is one of many voluntary employee organizations at the USPTO that promote and support the diversity goals of our agency, and it is one of the most active. The 260+ members of the UMA serve as a resource for hiring and retaining veterans; support USPTO employees and families during times of recall to active duty; educate the USPTO community about the valuable service veterans have rendered; and cultivate a network of people and resources devoted to veterans' issues and concerns. The UMA hosts special events for Memorial Day, Veterans Day, the agency's Community Day, and many other special emphasis days and months. Additionally, the UMA meets weekly for virtual "coffee breaks" featuring guest speakers and member career stories.


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