US flag Official website of the Department of Homeland Security


CBP Hires Veterans
CBP values the experience, commitment, and work ethic that veterans bring to the job, as well as their relevant skills and abilities. CBP is proud to provide employment opportunities to those who wish to continue to serve their country. CBP’s culture is a great fit for veterans. Click the buttons below to learn more:
Military Community Culture: Discover the reasons why CBP is a good fit for veterans.
Veterans Preference: Learn more about how CBP applies veterans preference.
Expedited Hiring Process: Find out if you are eligible for the process and how to apply.
National Guard/Reserve Commitment : Learn what having a military obligation means at CBP.
Jobs and Internships for Military Skills: Explore which positions your military occupation translates well into.
 CBP values the experience, commitment, and discipline that Separating Service Members and veterans bring to the job. That’s why CBP is proud to offer rewarding careers and unique benefits to veterans seeking employment with CBP. Click the links below to learn more.
Military Community Culture:
Discover the reasons why CBP is a good fit for veterans.
Graphic Representing Military Community Culture, Veterans Preference, National Guard/Reserve, Expedited Hiring Process, Jobs/Internships for Military SkillsVeterans Preference:
Learn more about how CBP applies veterans preference.
National Guard/Reserve Commitment:
Learn what having a military obligation means at CBP.
Expedited Hiring Process:
Find out if you are eligible for the process and how to apply.
 Jobs and Internships for Military Skills:
Explore which positions your military occupation translates well into.
Additional Benefits: By continuing employment with the Federal government, Veterans joining CBP may also be eligible to count their time in the military towards CBP retirement and leave accrual, and may be eligible to receive a GI-Bill monthly housing allowance benefit for On-The-Job Training.
 Military CommunityMilitary Community CultureBack to Top
Roughly a third of CBP’s staff has served in the military. If you are a veteran joining CBP, you will find many others that share your military background and principles. When it comes to principles, veterans personify CBP’s core values vigilance, integrity and service to country. Furthermore, veterans fit in well with CBP’s culture of teamwork, integrity, and innovation.
Below are a series of testimonials from officers and agents that were previously in the military and transitioned into positions at CBP.

Officer Black

Meet CBP Officer Black / Army Veteran
“US Customs and Border Protection was a natural transition from military service for me. CBP has allowed me to continue to serve in a uniformed, goal orientated atmosphere that respects my status as a veteran. I have found a place where my skills and experiences are not only welcomed but desired.”

Border Patrol Agent Adams

Border Patrol Agent Adams / Army Veteran
“After serving in the United States Army, first on active duty and then the reserves, I wanted a career that was structured and provided that same sense of esprit de corps. The Border Patrol has given me that and more. After 20 years in the Army and 21years in the Border Patrol, I can truly say both have been rewarding experiences that I will continue to be proud of.”

Agent Gayle

Air Interdiction Agent Gayle / Army Veteran
“I served in the United States Army during Operation Desert Storm. During that time I took advantage of the GI Bill. Doing so helped me pay for my college and pursue my ambitions of becoming a pilot. The education I received using the GI Bill opened the door to a career with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Air and Marine Operations flying helicopters, airplanes and jets. Customs and Border Protection has given me the opportunity to utilize the training, skills and education I acquired while enlisted in the Army. I’m enjoying a great career flying and I hope to share this opportunity with others.”

Officer Rowe

CBP Officer Rowe / Marine Corps Veteran
“There was a large time gap between my time in the Marine Corps and starting my career with US Customs and Border Protection. However, CBP afforded me the opportunity to once again serve my country and  contribute to the success of our great nation. I have found that my success with CBP has been mostly attributed my experience in the Marine Corps.”

CBP: Serve in Federal Law Enforcement

[Video] CBP: Serve in Federal Law Enforcement U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) needs dedicated men and women in the field to protect what matters most: our homeland.
 National Guard Reserve CommitmentNational Guard/Reserve CommitmentsBack to Top

Officer Cannon

CBP Officer Cannon/Army Reserves (Ret)
“I was in the U.S. Army Reserve when I started my career with Customs and Border Protection, in fact I was deployed when I received the job offer. Three more deployments and one mobilization later I retired from the reserves and never once felt that my military career interfered with my CBP career. Even though I spent half of my first 10 CBP years activated for one mission or another, it never had a negative impact. My supervisors and coworkers were always supportive and the training I received in both uniforms helped me with both of my careers.”
Receive paid time off
CBP strongly supports employees that have a national guard or reserve commitment. In fact, CBP employees whose appointment is not limited to one year are entitled to time off from their Federal position, at full pay, to perform certain types of active or inactive duty in the Reserves or National Guard. Return to your job, as if you never left
CBP employees who complete their national guard/reserve commitments are covered under The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). USERRA protects service members' reemployment rights when returning from a period of service in the uniformed services, to include:
  • Promotions and grade increases:
    Employees are entitled to receive within-grade increases and career ladder promotions at the same time they normally would have had they not been serving their military commitment.
  • Accrual of Benefits:
    Military duty is counted as covered service with CBP for eligibility, vesting, and benefit accrual purposes.
  • Retirement plans:
    Returning service members are treated as if they had been continuously employed regardless of the type of retirement plan the employer has adopted.
  • Reemployment by seniority:
    Returning service members are to be reemployed in the job that they would have attained had they not been absent for military service, with the same seniority, status and pay, as well as other rights and benefits determined by seniority within the required time limits.

Learn more about National Guard/Reservist Benefits
 Veterans PreferenceVeterans PreferenceBack to Top
Does CBP provide hiring preference to veterans?
Yes! CBP is committed to supporting the employment of veterans and provides a hiring preference to eligible veterans.
What is veterans preference?
Preference consists of giving qualified, eligible veterans an advantage over others when recruiting under competitive external procedures (i.e., announcements open to anyone in the general public). Depending on the position being filled, veteran applicants may be placed ahead of other candidates in a ranking category.
Who is eligible for veterans preference?
To easily learn what preference you may qualify for, follow the step by step question service offered by the Department of Labor’s Veteran Preference Advisor
CBP will provide preference at the point of selection to eligible veterans who were discharged or released from military service under honorable conditions AND must be eligible under one of the preference categories listed on the OPM site or on the Standard Form 50. Visit OPM’s page on Types of Preference for more information.

Most common types of veterans preference (click arrow on left for details) How do I claim veterans preference?
To claim veterans preference, you will be prompted to indicate that you are a veteran during your application in USAJOBS. When you indicate you are a veteran, you will also be asked to upload supporting documentation, which varies based on what kind of preference you are claiming:
  • 5-Point Preference: DD 214 (Member-4 Copy)
  • 10-Point Preference: DD 214 (Member-4 Copy) and supporting documentation as listed on the Standard Form 15, Application for 10-Point Veterans Preference. View a copy of the SF-15. Veterans with a service-connected disability must also submit a VA Disability Award letter dated 1991 or later.
  • If you are currently serving on active duty: A statement of service from your unit identifying the branch of service, period(s) of service, campaign badges or expeditionary medals earned, the date you will be separated or be on approved terminal leave, and that you are expected to be discharged or released from active duty service in the armed forces under honorable conditions. If you submit a statement of service at this stage, your preference will be verified by a DD 214 (Member-4 Copy) upon separation from the military.

Example Statement of Service
Example DD214 Member-4 Copy For more information on Veterans’ Preference please visit: If you are not sure of your preference eligibility, visit the Department of Labor's Veterans' Preference Advisor at:
 Expedited HiringExpedited Hiring ProcessBack to Top
CBP uses a Veteran Recruitment Appointment (VRA) to streamline the hiring process for eligible veterans. To apply under the VRA process, go to the Apply Now! Page and select the VRA announcement that corresponds to the appropriate position that you are interested in.

CBP recruiters talking to soldiers

What are the features of the expedited hiring process?
If you are a separating service member, your recent military fitness test and military medical examination may provide credit for successful completion of the required CBP medical qualification and fitness test requirements (which may reduce the amount of time it takes to be hired). In addition, you may meet the criteria to receive a waiver for the polygraph examination. 
Medical Evaluation Requirement: VRA applicants have the option of requesting medical reciprocity by providing DoD medical records in lieu of attending a CBP Medical Examination. DoD medical exam and documentation must be dated within one year of the request from CBP. DoD applicants may be requested to submit a supplemental health history questionnaire to meet CBP medical information requirements. PFT-1 Requirements: CBP will offer reciprocity on the PFT-1 requirement if an applicant has a transportable DoD fitness exam conducted within 1 year of CBP’s request to complete the fitness requirement. **Applicants may attend CBP medical and fitness exams in lieu of requesting reciprocity. Polygraph Waiver: CBP has the authority to grant waivers to certain veterans under section 1049 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2017 as outlined below:
  • Veteran status, as defined in section 2108 or 2109a of title 5, USC
  • Possess an active Top Secret/SCI level security clearance granted without a waiver and currently “read-in” to access SCI
CBP’s Personnel Security Division (PSD) staff reviews waiver requests under this authority to ensure the applicant meets all criteria and makes a recommendation to the Assistant Commissioner, Office of Professional Responsibility for the final approval/denial determination. Polygraph Reciprocity: The CBP Reciprocity Directive allows applicants who have passed a previous federal pre-employment polygraph examination to apply for polygraph reciprocity. CBP’s Credibility Assessment Division staff reviews all reciprocity requests under this authority to ensure the applicant meets all criteria for the final approval or denial determination. All applicants will receive instruction on how to apply for the polygraph waiver or reciprocity within their background information packets. Submissions received outside of this process are not accepted.
Can I apply for a vacancy while I am still on active duty?
Yes! You are encouraged to apply for a position at CBP while you are in your final 12 months of active duty, to ensure a smooth transition between jobs.
How do I know if I am eligible? You are eligible if you separated under honorable conditions and meet one of the following conditions:
  • Recently separated veterans
  • Disabled veterans
  • Veterans who served on active duty during a war, or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized
  • Veterans who, while serving on active duty, participated in a United States military operation for which an Armed Forces Service Medal was awarded
  • Veterans claiming eligibility on the basis of service in a campaign or expedition for which a medal was awarded must be in receipt of the campaign badge or medal
What if I am ineligible for the expedited hiring process? If you are not eligible as a VRA applicant, please apply to the competitive announcement on the apply now page.
 JobsJobs and Internships for Military SkillsBack to Top

Whatever your military branch or occupation background, you can find a job at CBP that builds upon your existing skillset. All military occupations are welcome to apply to our positions.

  • Border Patrol Agent: All military occupations are welcome to apply. If selected, you will go to the Border Patrol Academy where you will be trained in how to perform all functions of the job.
  • CBP Officer: All military occupations are welcome to apply. If selected, you will go to the CBP Officer Academy where you will be trained in how to perform all functions of the job.
  • Air Interdiction Agent: Military pilots may meet the minimum flight hour requirement.
  • Air Enforcement Agent: All military occupations are welcome to apply. If selected, you will be trained in how to perform all functions of the job.
  • Marine Interdiction Agent: As part of the application process you are required to pass a 3 part vessel assessment. Military experience with vessels is not required, but can serve as foundational knowledge to help pass the assessment. Agents receive full training in job duties when they come on-board.
  • CBP Office of Intelligence: Military members from the intelligence community may have skills that translate well to CBP’s office of intelligence.


Department of Defense (DoD), Operation Warfighter (OWF) Program

CBP provides internships for service members who are convalescing at U.S. military treatment facilities nationally via its partnership with the DOD’s OWF Program. This internship program matches qualified wounded, ill and injured service members with Federal internships in order for them to gain valuable work experience during their recovery and rehabilitation. Participants continue to receive their active duty salary throughout their internship.

The OWF experience assists with the service members’ reintegration to duty, or transition into the civilian work environment where they are able to employ their newly acquired skills in a non-military work setting.

If you are a wounded, ill or injured service member looking for an opportunity as an intern within CBP, please contact or your OWF Regional Coordinator via the map on the aforementioned website today who will then work with CBP to identify an internship host location.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Non-Paid Work Experience (NPWE) Program

CBP provides eligible veterans and service members who actively participate in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) the opportunity to obtain concurrent training and practical job experience via the Non-Paid Work Experience (NPWE) Program. The VR&E program enables most participants to complete any required certifications, bachelors or master’s degrees, which aids in their transition into the civilian labor market.

The NPWE internship serves as an additional vehicle to full-time placement within CBP. Veterans and service members must independently enroll in the VA’s VR&E program and then have their VA counselor approve participation in an internship within CBP.  An internship opportunity will then be identified.

Although the NPWE program is labeled as a “non-paid” internship this refers to the fact that Federal agencies like CBP do not pay interns salary’s since they are considered strictly volunteers during their internship experiences. NPWE internship selectees receive a small monthly stipend from the VA during these full-time, 6 to 12 month internships, which is generally the equal to the military Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for an E-5 with dependents.

Once selected by one of our CBP program offices, all VA NPWE participants are required to complete a full background investigation (BI), which takes between 5 to 7 months prior to beginning their 6 to 12 month internships in the agency.

For more information about the Department of Veterans Affairs Non-Paid Work Experience Program, please review the On-the-Job & Apprenticeship Training Programs Fact Sheet.

For more information on the CBP Veterans Internship Programs please, contact Jeff Jack, CBP Veterans Program Manager, at or 202-281-8268.

Last modified: 
May 11, 2020