5 reasons why veterans should consider a career as a CBP agent

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection can offer veterans preferential hiring and additional benefits for their military service

5 reasons why veterans should consider a career as a CBP agent

Border Patrol agent reads the Miranda rights to a Mexican national arrested for transporting drugs. (Photo/WikiCommons)

By Military1 Staff

For military troops and veterans looking for employment after transitioning to the civilian world, law enforcement is an obvious option. Though police departments are usually the first to come to mind, veterans should think about a career with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The CBP was established in 1789 under President George Washington as the U.S. Customs Service, tasked with collecting taxes on goods coming into the country. Later, the country established the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, and in 2003 the two merged, along with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, to create the current office of the CBP.

CBP agents are responsible for patrolling the border and enforcing U.S. regulations in regard to trade, customs and immigration.

What makes the CBP an ideal place of employment for military veterans? As a federal law enforcement agency, the CBP can extend additional benefits based on their military service, as well as offer a similar culture to the armed forces.

1. Preferential hiring

The CBP is committed to hiring eligible veterans through the preferential hiring process, allowing veterans who meet specific qualifications to be prioritized over other applicants. To find out if you qualify for preferential hiring, visit the U.S. Department of Labor website.

2. Eligible for GI Bill on-the-job training benefits

While preparing for a job with the CBP, new agents undergoing on-the-job training may be eligible for a monthly housing allowance under the G.I. Bill to help with costs. The amount is determined by the type of G.I Bill used and the training start date. Find out more information on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website.

3. Similar military culture

According to the CBP website, roughly a third of employees are former military service members. With a similar rank structure, as well as a mission that involves serving and protecting the country, the CBP can offer military veterans what many civilian jobs cannot: continuity.

4. Support for military service

While employed with the CBP, employees that must leave their position in order to fulfill National Guard or Reserve commitments are eligible to return to the job as if they had never left. The absence for military commitments do not affect promotions and grade increases, benefit earnings or retirement plans.

5. Expedited hiring process

Veterans and active duty troops who plan to apply for a position with the CBP can do so using the Veteran Recruitment Appointment (VRA) for a faster hiring process.

Who is eligible:

  • Recently separated veterans
  • Disabled veterans
  • Veterans who served on active duty during a war with a campaign medal
  • Veterans who served on active duty during a U.S. military operation for which an Armed Services Medal was awarded

When using the VRA, active duty troops may be eligible to transfer their most recent physical fitness test and medical examination from the military to the CBP. The agency recommends applying for employment 12 months before your date of separation.