Arguing that the Pentagon has to be more sensitive to military families, Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton rolled out plans Tuesday to give service members more career flexibility and demand closer scrutiny of public schools teaching their children.
"It is little wonder that service members' concern for their family's well-being is a top consideration in whether troops stay in or leave the force," states Clinton's "military families agenda" provided to The Virginian-Pilot by her campaign.
The former secretary of state proposes that members of military be able to more easily switch between active-duty, National Guard and reserve service "to make decisions good for their family and maintain a career with the military."
She also would make permanent the Career Intermission Program that allows some military members to temporarily leave active duty for an extended period to pursue more education, care for children or tend to an ailing family member.
Given the greater number of married couples who both are in uniform, Clinton wants the duty assignment process overhauled so that more spouses can serve near each other with neither losing ground in their career.
Clinton also proposes the Defense Department and federal Department of Education focus attention on public school divisions, like those in Hampton Roads, where significant segments of the student population are members of military families. The departments should work with local educators to "track, assess and improve" the education of military member's children.
Several other elements of her military family platform were introduced in November as part of her initiative to assist military veterans. Among them were promises to improve child care on and off base; expand maternity and paternity leaves; and expand employment assistance for civilian spouses of service members.