Eligibility

Definition of a Veteran

Era of Service

Dates

Requirement for Veteran Status

WWI

6-Apr-1917

11-Nov-1918

90 days of active duty service, one (1) day during "wartime" and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions.

Peacetime

12-Nov-1918

15-Sep-1940

180 days of regular active duty service and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions.

WWII

(Merchant
Marine:

7-Dec-1941 to

31-Dec-1946)

16-Sep-1940

25-Jul-1947

 

 

90 days of active duty service, one (1) day during "wartime" and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions.

Peacetime

26-Jul-1947

24-Jun-1950

180 days of regular active duty service and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions.

Korea

25-Jun-1950

31-Jan-1955

90 days of active duty service, one (1) day during "wartime" and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions.

Korean Defense
Service Medal

28-Jul-1954

(to be determined later)

90 days of active duty service, last discharge under honorable conditions and the Korean Defense Service Medal.

Vietnam I

1-Feb-1955

4-Aug-1964

180 days of regular active duty service and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions.

Vietnam II

5-Aug-1964

7-May-1975

90 days of active duty service, one (1) day during "wartime" and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions.

Peacetime

8-May-1975

1-Aug-1990

180 days of regular active duty service and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions.

Lebanon Campaign*

25-Aug-1982

(to be determined later)

90 days of active duty service, one (1) day during "wartime" and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions.

Grenada Campaign*

25-Oct-1983

15-Dec-1983

90 days of active duty service, one (1) day during "wartime" and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions.

Panama Campaign*

20-Dec-1989

31-Jan-1990

90 days of active duty service, one (1) day during "wartime" and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions.

Persian Gulf

2-Aug-1990

(to be determined later)

90 days of active duty service, one (1) day during "wartime" and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions.

*Naval and Marine DD214 must indicate Expeditionary Medal. All DD214's must specify campaign: Lebanon, Granada, or Panama.

For Guard Members to qualify they must have 180 days and have been activated under Title 10 of the U.S. Code -OR- Members who were activated under Title 10 or Title 32 of the U.S. Code or Massachusetts General Laws, chapter 33, sections 38, 40, and 41 must have 90 days, at least one of which was during wartime, per the above chart.

NATIONAL GUARD UPDATE:  A bill signed into law in 2016 gives official veteran status to National Guard members who served 20 years or more.  Previously, Guard members were considered veterans only if they served 180 days or more in a federal status outside of training.  Anyone who has reached 20 years of service, even if they were never activated on a [federal] order for more than 180 days outside of training are considered to be a Veteran.

For Reservists to qualify, they must have been called to regular active duty, at which point their eligibility can be determined by the above chart.

Training Duty Exception:

Active duty service in the armed forces shall not include active duty for training in the Army or Air National Guard or active duty for training as a Reservist in the Armed Forces of the United States.

Minimum Service Exception (for Death or Disability):

It is not necessary that an applicant have completed the minimum service for wartime or peacetime campaign if he/she served some time in the campaign and was awarded the Purple Heart, or suffered a service-connected disability per the Discharge Certificate, or died in the service under honorable conditions.