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Frequently Asked Civil Service Questions Regarding Makeup Examinations and Military Leave

Civil Service Questions Regarding Military Makeup Exams and Leave

Q. Who is qualified for a Military Makeup Examination?

A. To qualify for a military makeup exam you would need to have been on active duty (or military orders) during the original application period or on the original examination date of the exam you are requesting a makeup for and your request needs to come in within 6 months of discharge

Q. How do I get Veterans status under Civil Service?

A.  To obtain Veterans status you must submit either a DD214 (Member 1 versions will not be accepted) or Commanding Officer’s letter.

Please find more detail information from

Q. When are Military Makeup Examinations Held?

A. Please check a next available exam date from the Military Makeup Exam Schedule

Q. How do I request a Military Makeup Examination?

A. To request a military makeup exam you must email civilservice@mass.gov; with the subject line being "Request for Military Makeup."

Specify the title of the exam and the exam date you are requesting.

Supporting documentation such as a DD214, Commanding Officer Letter, Orders, etc. must accompany the request.

All requests must be sent within 6 months after discharge from active duty (or military orders).

Q. What is my ranking on the eligible list?

A. If you receive a passing score, your name will be placed on the eligible list until that list expires. To ensure that any opportunities aren’t missed, candidates are encouraged to take the next scheduled exam for that title.

Q. Where can I claim military residence preference?

A. Military Residency Preference

For military personnel who were on full-time active duty during any part of or the entire 12-month period required to establish residency in a Massachusetts city or town, you may still be eligible to claim residency preference if you meet the following conditions:

  • You must have served a period of Full-Time Military Active Duty (for which you received or will receive a DD214) during any part of the 12 month period of:  
    • 2018 Firefighter - March 24, 2017 to March 24, 2018
    • 2017 Police Officer -  March 25, 2016 to March 25, 2017
  • You must have been a Massachusetts Resident at the time of entry into full-time active duty or your Home of Record on your DD214 for this period of active duty must be a city or town in Massachusetts.
  • You must return to your Home of Record (Town A) or establish residency in a different Massachusetts municipality (Town B) within 90 days of the date of separation/release/discharge from this period of active duty as listed on your DD214.
Massachusetts City/Town of your residence at time of entry:
Massachusetts City/Town of your residence upon separation/release/discharge from active duty:
You may claim Residency Preference in:

Town A

Town A

Town A

Town A

Town B

Town A or
Town B

Q. What are the rights of a military substitute when the incumbent returns? 

A. The employee is considered a temporary employee.  A temporary employee is defined under Chapter 31, Section 1, as a person who is employed in a civil service position, after a civil service appointment, for a specified period of time or for the duration of a temporary vacancy. 

Q. Is a person who resigns from the military after one year of service, under honorable conditions, eligible to receive veteran’s preference despite M.G.L. Chapter 4, Section 7, Clause 43?

A. Yes, as long as the person has satisfied the wartime service criteria.  A person is not deemed to be a veteran pursuant to M.G.L. Chapter 4, Section 7, Clause 43, (a) if he/she “was discharged from the said armed forces on his own application or solicitation by reason of his being an enemy alien. 

Q.  If an employee is on unpaid military leave, is he/she entitled to be paid for holidays?

A. No, since a holiday is consider pay. An employer is not required under USERRA to pay an employee on federal military leave of absence in Massachusetts.  However, the employee is entitled to accrue his/her sick, personal, vacation leave, etc.

Q.  A candidate that a city has selected from an expiring fire fighter list was called to active duty.  As a result, he was not able to take the medical examination.  Can the city appoint the candidate without a medical examination?

A. The city can appoint this candidate without a medical examination pursuant to Section 3 of Chapter 708 of the Acts of 1941.  If the candidate is unable to take a medical examination because of military duty, he can take the medical examination when he/she returns and he/she must pass the examination.
Q. Please instruct me on how to proceed with the assessment center exercises for those candidates in the military?  Should we give the same exercises or create new exercises?

A. The scenarios should be different for the make-up examination.

Q. How does an employer determine the seniority of returning employee from active duty?

A. Under USERRA, which is to be liberally construed, the veteran does not step back on the seniority escalator at the point he stepped off. He steps back on the seniority escalator at the precise point he would have occupied had he kept his position with his employer continuously during the period of military service. 
Q. Will I be able to take a leave of absence indefinitely or for a number of years and at the least come back to my position as a Permanent Intermittent Reserve Police Office?

A. There is a five-year cumulative service limit on the amount of military leave an employee can use and still retain reemployment rights. An employee can simply request a military leave of absence and provide the Appointing Authority with a written copy of his military order in order to keep his intermittent/reserve police officer status.
M.G.L. Chapter 31, Section 60
provided that the refusal of any such member to accept appointment to the regular force made while he was serving in the armed forces of the United States shall not be included among the refusals.

Q. Does Section 4311(a) of USERRA apply to a reserve police officer who is not activated to military duty but who volunteers for a military assignment or military duty?

A.Yes, Section 4311(a) applies to the reserve police officer regardless of whether the employee volunteered to serve or was activated for military service.

Q. Can an Appointing Authority terminate a reserve police officer by sending a Absence and Termination Notice (Form 56) and indicating the reasons for termination was that the employee had volunteered for military assignment and was not been available for work due to his military service?

A. An Appointing Authority cannot terminate an employee because he/she volunteered for military assignment.

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