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Veterans and Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security is committed to engaging the skills, talents, and experience of our nation’s veterans. We are proud to be one of the three agencies that hire the most veterans across the federal government; veterans enrich our workforce and help us meet our mission.   

All year round, we highlight and recognize the veterans at DHS who are still proudly serving – just wearing a new uniform – whether that be through efforts to increase veteran employment opportunities, expand contracting opportunities for veteran-owned businesses, or enhancing veteran engagement.

The Department counts more than 52,000 veterans – 24% of the entire Department civilian workforce – among its employees, in addition to the 44,800 active-duty members of the United States Coast Guard.

The Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer leads the Department's efforts in veteran recruiting including coordinating with other departments on special veteran programs. They are also responsible for training components in veteran hiring tools and developing standardized training materials for recruiters to be used by components.

Learn about working at the Department.

DHS awarded more than $2.4 billion in contracts to veteran owned small business, in fiscal year (FY) 2022 based on preliminary data. In addition, preliminary data shows that 6.8 percent of DHS’s total contracting dollars in FY 2022 went to service-disabled veteran owned small businesses (SDVOSB) – exceeding the Small Business Administration’s 3 percent target for the entire Federal government. That amounts to $1.5 billion in spend to SDVOSBs – the highest in the Department’s history.

One way DHS is expanding these contracting opportunities is through use of the Program Management, Administrative, Clerical, and Technical Service (PACTS) contract solution. Drawing on the services of multiple SDVOSBs, the PACTS program streamlines the procurement process and allows prescreened and preapproved SDVOSB companies to support the Department. The Office of the Chief Procurement Officer and the Office of Small Disadvantaged Business Utilization work to ensure that Department procurement opportunities are accessible to veteran and service-disabled veteran business owners.

Learn about contracting opportunities for veterans.

Given the vital role veterans play in advancing the Department of Homeland Security’s mission, the Department works every day to cultivate a stronger relationship with the veteran community. 

DHS meets regularly with veteran service organizations and military service organizations to share information about how veterans can find jobs and contracting opportunities at DHS and get involved in community-based efforts.  For example, DHS was one of the first federal agencies to establish a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Defense SkillBridge Program. SkillBridge provides retiring and transitioning Service members the opportunity to intern with DHS to obtain training while transitioning out of their Military careers.   

DHS is an active participant in Operation Warfighter, a temporary assignment and internship program developed by the Department of Defense for service members that are convalescing at military treatment facilities.  

DHS is also a partner of the Military Spouse Employment Partnership. The Military Spouse Employment Partnership is a targeted recruitment and employment solution for spouses representing all military services.

We are proud that 25.3% of our DHS workforce is made up of veterans who are continuing to serve in new ways. Veterans at DHS are our colleagues, friends, and neighbors, and they strengthen our organization and enrich our diverse workforce. DHS has an established Veterans Employment Council that serves as an internal advisory group to provide leadership, recommendations, and assistance in the development of DHS veteran-related programs. The Veteran Employment Council promotes veteran outreach and recruitment, inclusive diversity, employment and retention, and program evaluation, training, and best practices.

Based on data from DHS Headquarters in FY22:

  • DHS Headquarters - 40.7% Veterans / 22.6% Disabled Veterans
  • Customs and Border Protection (CBP) – 28.2% Veterans / 9.3% Disabled Veterans
  • Cyber and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) - 40.8% Veterans / 25.4% Disabled Veterans
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) - 16.2% Veterans / 8.5% Disabled Veterans
  • Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC) - 50.1% Veterans / 28.0% Disabled Veterans
  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) - 31.4% Veterans / 14.6% Disabled Veterans
  • Transportation Security Administration (TSA) - 16.6% Veterans / 4.8% Disabled Veterans
  • United States Coast Guard (USCG) - 58.3% Veterans / 25.9% Disabled Veterans
  • United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) - 25.6% Veterans / 18.0% Disabled Veterans
  • United States Secret Service (USSS) - 21.4% Veterans / 6.2% Disabled Veterans
Last Updated: 10/24/2023
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