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National Archives

Public Papers - 1991

Memorandum on the Return of Desert Shield/Desert Storm Participants to Federal Civilian Employment

1991-03-08

Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies

Subject: Return of Desert Shield/Desert Storm Participants to Federal Civilian Employment

Now that our Armed Forces and their Coalition partners have achieved success in meeting our military objectives in the Gulf region, we can look forward to the return of the valiant men and women who participated in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm.

Many of these participants are members of the Reserve Forces and the Air and Army National Guard who left their regular civilian employment to join in this national effort, with great disruption to their families and their normal pursuits. In recognition of the sacrifices they have made, it is essential that their civilian employers do everything possible to ease their return to civilian life.

The Federal Government has always been a model for other employers in the protections and benefits provided for those who serve, and I am committed to ensuring that we continue to set an example for the Nation in this regard. Accordingly, I have determined that the following actions by executive departments and agencies are appropriate:

-- Military reservists and members of the Air and Army National Guard who are returning to their Federal civilian employment should be restored to the same jobs they left, and the legal flexibility of placement in equivalent jobs should be used only when absolutely necessary.

-- Desert Shield/Desert Storm participants who are returning to their Federal civilian employment should be afforded 5 days of excused absence from their duties, without charge to leave.

-- Federal employees who have served in the Armed Forces during this emergency and who qualify for retirement may do so without returning to their civilian employment under 5 U.S.C. 8332(g).

The Office of Personnel Management will be issuing guidance on these matters, and I urge the heads of executive departments and agencies to take all necessary action to provide for prompt implementation.

As our regular troops return, we can expect many to be seeking civilian employment in the future. I am directing the Office of Personnel Management to take such actions as are appropriate, in cooperation with executive departments and agencies, to ensure that Federal civilian employment opportunities are made available to the greatest extent possible to these veterans, particularly those who have become disabled as a result of their military service. This will assist not only the veterans, but also the Federal Government, which will be able to benefit from their skills and abilities.

Finally, we must all recognize the many contributions that have been made to our successful military operations by Federal civilian employees, both in the Department of Defense and elsewhere in the Government. I urge the heads of executive departments and agencies to recognize these accomplishments and to use fully the Federal employee incentive awards program for this purpose.

George Bush

George Bush Presidential Library and Museum
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