How The Air Force Helps Military Spouses Find Jobs

A series of job postings at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana. (U.S. Air Force/Delia Marchick)
A series of job postings at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana. (U.S. Air Force/Delia Marchick)

Any military spouse can check the classifieds, upload a resume, or search a company’s website for job listings.  So why should a spouse use the Airman and Family Readiness Center when looking for employment? 

When I posed that question to Kevin Myers A&FRC employment assistant at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama, he stated that familiarity with the area is key in helping spouses find a job.

Each A&FRC center across the country offers the same or similar assistance when it comes to a quest for employment.  Yet each staff has the distinct ability of knowing the geographical job availability within a region.  That kind of expertise is hard to find online.

It is easy to find in your local A&FRC center. You can walk into any family support center on any military installation and they will pretty much all look the same…chairs and tables, bookcases loaded with self-help material, and lots and lots of pamphlets, flyers, and stapled sheets offering advice. These centers provide the use of computers, fax machines, copiers, quiet locations for phone interviews, and notices of job fairs.

It is the human interaction that can make all the difference.  At the Military and Family Resource Center at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, or JBAB, located in Washington, D.C., employment assistant Jacqueline Hayes noted that military installations within the same geographical location share information with each other and have great lines of communication.  It all comes down to giving spouses the services they need to find work.  

Stationed at a Joint Base? Or at the Pentagon?

What if you are married to an airman but stationed at an Army post?  What if the nearest facility is a Navy base? Being an AF spouse at an Army Post doesn’t matter, according to the employment assistants at both locations.  Services are for families and military, no matter the branch of service, which relates to the JBAB habit of sharing information concerning employment in the D.C. area. 

With many service members assigned to the Pentagon, families find themselves somewhat orphaned…afloat upon the base-less sea of northern Virginia or Maryland.  That is why it is good to know that Fort Myer communicates with Joint Base Andrews, which talks with Fort Meade, which shares with JBAB, which tells Fort Belvior, etc. etc.

Having the centers interconnect to bring you the best chance of employment reveals the dedication behind the employment assistants own careers. Many of the employment assistants have worked together for years, know one another, so doling out information about jobs is second nature and is not seen as competitive. 

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A&FRC can also email you a monthly newsletters with calendars offering employment services. Samplings of free classes include franchise ownership, resume writing, applying for a federal job, dress for success, and even meet the employer, where the employer tells you directly how they choose people to work in their business.  This can be a great help in your new location before your PCS.

Want to start a small business?  Well, there is a class for that, too.  A close working relationship with TAP (Transition Assistance Program) is just another tool in their belt to help you find what you are looking for, whether that is a career or a job (yes…there is a class for that). 

When you walk into an interview after receiving assistance from a family support center, you represent not only yourself, but how well the employment assistants do their job and so they will do everything in their power to help you and do not want to see you fail.

Use the services available to you.  In such a heavily competitive job market, take the time to bring your resume in for review, hone your interview skills, find out what the job market needs in your area, and speak to an employment assistant to give you the best chance for success.  

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