Yesterday, the Pentagon announced a new pilot program which will assist military spouses with education-related costs, and help establish a secure career path.
Dubbed the "Military Spouse Career Advancement Initiative," the new effort teams the Pentagon with the Department of Labor to expand job opportunities for spouses in "high-demand, high-growth occupations," such as healthcare, education and information technology and helps guarantee those jobs will still be available even if the spouse relocates.
"We understand how hard it is for military men and women to have to be ready to move anywhere in the world every year," said Pentagon chief Robert Gates during a ceremony at the Pentagon that launched the new program. "Spouses are called upon to pack up and relocate their family, often at the cost of their own careers. This makes it difficult to navigate the career licensure and certification requirements that go with most professions. In addition, education is often unaffordable for young families who must also bear the expense of child care."
The pilot program will begin in January backed by $35 million in Labor and DoD funds to give grants to eligible spouses that can help them pay for education, training, licensing fees, books and other materials to get their careers off the ground. The program is intended for spouses with family pay grades of E-1 through E-5 or O-1 through O-3, and the grants total $3,000 per year for each spouse.
Which installations are participating?
- Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base, Calif.
- Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.
- Fort Benning Army Installation, Ga.
- Fort Bragg Army Installation, N.C.
- Fort Carson Army Installation, Colo.
- Fort Lewis Army Installation, Wash.
- Hickham Air Force Base, Hawaii
- Hurlburt Field Air Force Base, Fla.
- Marine Corps Base Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii
- McChord Air Force Base, Wash.
- Naval Air Station Brunswick, Maine
- Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla.
- Naval Station Kitsap, Wash.
- Naval Station Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
- Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.
- Pope Air Force Base, N.C.
- San Diego Naval Station, Calif.
- Schofield Barracks Army Installation, Hawaii
Click here for everything you need to know about the program, including eligibility requirements and how to get started. This is a great program for military spouses.