Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1951 No. 198 -
Attorney General Smith Troy


A patrol officer who is a veteran of World War II and recalled to active military duty may, upon taking a promotional examination, receive the ten percent veterans' preference.

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                                                               December 26, 1951

Honorable James A. Pryde,Chief
Washington State Patrol
Olympia, Washington                                                                                               Cite as:  AGO 51-53 No. 198

Dear Sir:

            Receipt is acknowledged of your letter of December 13, 1951, in which you request our opinion as to whether a veteran of World War II, commissioned as a regular patrol officer, who is now recalled to active military service, but stationed in this state, who takes a promotional examination is eligible for the ten percent veterans' preference as provided in chapter 119, Laws of 1947.

            It is our conclusion that an officer of the state patrol who is a veteran of World War II, but who has been recalled to military service, who takes a promotional examination is entitled to the ten percent veterans' preference provided by statute.


            The right of veterans to be preferred in examinations relative to public employment is based upon § 1, chapter 89, Laws of 1945, as amended by chapter 119, Laws of 1947, and last amended by § 1, chapter 134, Laws of 1949 (Rem. 1949 Supp. § 9963-5).  This is the statute to which you refer in your letter as chapter 119, Laws of 1947.  In its present amended form the statute reads as follows:

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            "In all competitive examinations, unless otherwise provided herein, to determine the qualifications of applicants for public offices, positions or employment, the State of Washington, and all of its political subdivisions and all municipal corporations, shall give a preference status to all veterans, as herein defined, of all wars in which the United States of America has been, now is or may hereafter be engaged, by adding to the mark, grade or rating, based upon a possible rating of one hundred (100) points as perfect, ten per cent (10%) to his final earned test rating:  Provided, That he has received a minimum passing grade in such examination.  The term 'veteran' as herein used, shall include every person who has served, now is serving, or may hereafter serve in any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States during any such war and, upon termination of the service, has received an honorable discharge, or a physical discharge with an honorable record, or has been relieved of active services under honorable circumstances.  The provisions of this act shall not be applicable to promotional examinations to determine the qualifications of officers or employees for promotion from a lower grade position to a higher grade position:  Provided, That when such a veteran was employed in public service at the time of his entry into military service and returns to the same employment, he shall be entitled to the preference herein provided for on his first promotional examination."

            The only conditions to receiving such preference are that the individual shall be a veteran of any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States during any war and shall have received an honorable discharge or other honorable separation.  The individual about whom you inquire meets that qualification by having been honorably discharged from the military service after serving in World War II.  His recall to active duty puts him in a status of leave of absence by the provisions of § 2, chapter 201, Laws of 1941 (Rem. Rev. Stat.  [[Orig. Op. Page 3]] § 10758-4).  There is nothing in the statute relative to veterans' preference which would prevent this person while on such leave of absence from obtaining the benefit of the ten percent veterans' preference.

            It is, therefore, our opinion that such person is entitled to that preference.

Very truly yours,

Attorney General

Assistant Attorney General