Proclamation 5217 -- Veterans' Preference Month, 1984

July 5, 1984

By the President of the United States

of America

A Proclamation

Forty years ago -- on June 27, 1944 -- President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the Veterans' Preference Act. This statute brought together, for the first time, laws, Executive orders, and regulations extending back to the Civil War which granted preference in Federal employment to veterans.

The primary purpose and philosophy of the Veterans' Preference Acts are to assist veterans in obtaining and retaining Federal jobs for which they qualify. They constitute not only a means of rewarding veterans for their service in the Armed Forces, but also a means of preventing them from being penalized, in the search for employment, by the fact that the months or years they spent in the service of their country isolated them from the civilian world. In recognition of the economic disadvantage suffered by this service, these Acts seek to give these veterans a favorable position in competing for Federal employment. At the same time, the veterans' preference laws have been drafted so that they are compatible with the merit principle of public employment.

Veterans' preference is but a partial recognition of the great debt of gratitude that the country owes to those who have served in the Armed Forces. Its success is evidenced by the fact that 40 years after World War II, 30 years after Korea and 10 years after Vietnam, veterans comprise 39 percent of the non-Postal Federal work force and 52 percent of the Postal work force.

In recognition of the fortieth anniversary of the Veterans' Preference Act, and to honor the men and women who have served their country in the Armed Forces, the Congress of the United States, by Senate Joint Resolution 297, has designated June 1984 as ``Veterans' Preference Month,'' and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of that month.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim June 1984 as Veterans' Preference Month.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this fifth day of July, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and ninth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 4:37 p.m., July 5, 1984]