(a) CHIEF JUDGE. The President shall designate from time to time one of the judges of the United States Court of Military Appeals to be chief judge of the court.
(b) PRECEDENCE OF JUDGES. The chief judge of the court shall have precedence and preside at any session that he attends. The other judges shall have precedence and preside according to the seniority of their original commissions. Judges whose commissions bear the same date shall have precedence according to seniority in age.
(c) STATUS OF ATTORNEY POSITIONS.
(1) Attorney positions of employment under the Court of Military Appeals are exempted from the competitive service. Appointments to such positions shall be made by the court, without the concurrence of any other officer or employee of the executive branch, as in the same manner as appointments are made to other executive branch positions of a confidential or policy- determining character for which it is not practicable to examine or hold a competitive examination. such positions shall not be counted as positions of that character for purposes of any limitation on the number of positions of that character provided in law.
(2) In making appointments to the positions described in paragraph (1), preference shall be given, among equally qualified persons, to persons who are preference eligibles (as defined in section 2108(3) of title 5).