When illing out a job application, many veterans may encounter the question, “Do you identify as a protected veteran?” Some applications may provide a wider list of selections or a connected explanation. Yet, many job postings simply leave it to the veteran to understand what their status really is.

For those who don’t have a service-connected disability, their first instinct may be to check “No.” This impression is complicated by the question usually being asked alongside questions related to disabilities and legally protected demographics. 

Yet, many who have served overseas or who were recently separated may also count as protected veterans. While that may not make sense to younger veterans, the context behind why the question exists sheds some light.


Vietnam and the Protected Veteran Meaning

Vietnam protesters
The Vietnam era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 was initially passed due to concerns that veterans could face employment discrimination due to hostility toward the U.S.’s involvement in Vietnam. (Wikimedia Commons)