DOD Offers Additional Military Spouse Job Search Assistance > Air Force Global Strike Command AFSTRAT-AIR > Article View

The well-being and preparedness of Soldiers is a top priority for the Department of Defense, and in September Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III announced an action plan that provides additional support for them and their families.

One of these includes assisting military spouses in finding employment.

According to the Defense Secretary’s memo, the Department of Defense is committed to improving military employment for spouses and facilitating the portability of spousal military work permits when moving permanently from state to state.

The department has assisted supported professions in drafting “interstate contracts” for the licensed professions in which the majority of the military’s spouses work. Contracts generally allow spouses in the military to move PCS from state to state without having to re-license or file paperwork in their chosen occupations, pay application fees, or test.

The pacts, which include tuition, social work, dentistry/dental hygiene, massage therapy, and cosmetics or hairdressing, are nearing completion for states to consider in 2023. Groups representing the professions are also drafting pacts on dietary nutrition and school psychology to be ready for the 2024 state legislature.

There are currently nine licensing agreements in place, and the DOD is working with groups representing the affected professions to obtain licenses from additional states for the following: nurses, physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, audiologists/speech-language pathologists, paramedics, psychologists, and licensed careers counselors.

There are also plans to continue using the direct hiring agencies where appropriate and expand telecommuting and remote work opportunities for spouses.

Non-competitive hiring and direct hiring agencies allow DOD components to target their recruiting efforts to eligible military spouses for DOD employment opportunities. These hiring avenues will also allow DOD employers to quickly hire qualified military spouses.

Telecommuting and remote work programs offer military spouses the opportunity to retain their current employment within the Department of Defense and advance their careers in a way that is compatible with the future of work and the mobile workforce. The Minister’s Taking Care of Our People initiatives encourage the expansion and use of telecommuting and remote work policies to help military spouses maintain productive and continuous employment as they move throughout their spouse’s military career. This also reduces financial stress on military families by potentially avoiding income disruption.

The DOD, in cooperation with the State Department, has already begun to encourage more widespread use of telecommuting/remote work for spouses abroad. and Offer spouses a filtered view of military spouse jobs.

Another option for military spouses is a paid scholarship. Participation in a scholarship program provides career-ready military spouses with building job-related skills, enhancing their professional network, and introducing them to employers with future employment opportunities.

Beginning in December of this year, the DOD Military Spouse Corporate Fellows Program is accepting applications from candidates to serve on paid fellowships with employers across the industry seeking full-time employment in early 2023. The scholarships last between 6 and 12 weeks depending on the needs of the employer.

While follow-up employment is not a guarantee, the goal of the pilot program is to place spouses in the military with employers seeking full-time positions.

The DOD is also seeking to increase the number of employer partners in the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP).

The MSEP is made up of more than 540 employer partners committed to recruiting, hiring, promoting and retaining spouses in the military. The goal is to increase the number of MSEP partners by 10% to nearly 600 employers by the end of 2022 to create even more spousal employment opportunities in the military across multiple industries. Currently, MSEP Employer Partners have hired more than 220,000 military spouses across all industries.

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