SpouseBuzz

Military vs. Careers

This week's Air Force Times newspaper has given me lots of food for thought. It was focused partly on the best careers to get into for military and military spouses and educational opportunities!  Never having been a huge fan of service papers, I realize that I must have a 'mea culpa' moment and work to rethink my opinion of these papers.  Lots of good stuff in there!

There was an interesting article that condensed an article written by Laura Dempsey (Civil Rights lawyer living at Ft. Drum, NY).  It was a another view of military marriages and careers.  Thought I'd see what you thought about it!?!?!?!?  I'm mostly curious about what you think of her suggestions....

"A military lifestyle makes the pursuit of a career nearly untenable for military wives.  I've been a lawyer and an Army wife for 10 years; in that periord, I've moved seven times.  I've taken four different bar exams and held five different jobs.

Working wives face long waiting lists for child care and a lack of well-paying jobs.  Entrepreneurial wives must adapt to different state and local laws with each move.  In some cases, they must dissolve and reincorporate their businesses (and pat the requisite fees).

Professionally licensed wives are hit hard.  Most licensed professions are regulated by states.  Therefore, wives must test for, and pay for, new licenses with each move.

The results? Unemployment among military wives is nearly four times the national average.  There is a $12,000 wage gap between college-educated civilian and military wives.  A military wife with a postgraduate degree has a 20 percent less chance of finding full-time employment than a civilian wife.

A few targeted efforts would make a great difference.  Lawmakers should pursue regulatory and licensure exemptions and tax incentives for working wives, improve child care options, allow family members to pay in-state tuition regardless of the service member's duty station, require public universities to accept more transferred credits from spouses who choose to move with their service members, and allocate more positions on military installations to spouses.

Allowing military families to achieve financial security in parity with civilian families would increase recruitment and retention of high-quality service members.  The benefits would extend to the entire military and ultimately, the country.

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