DoD Wants Spouse Career Input


The Defense Department is looking for input from Milspouses on what they need or want from the agency’s spouse employment assistance program.

The comment request is linked to an expansion of the Army Spouse Employment Partnership to all services as part of the White House’s “Joining Forces” campaign announced earlier this month.

The program, started by the Army in 2003, works with major corporations across the US to create employment opportunities for spouses, help them transfer during a PCS and foster an understanding within human resource department of spouses’ special needs.

“Business and organizational leaders need to know what you want. What would you tell us as we reach out to these leaders?” Robert Gordon, DoD’s deputy assistant secretary of defense for military community said in a statement. “We want to find the right fit for your career goals with organizations that support those career paths.”

You can leave DoD your thoughts here and see the businesses currently participating in the employment partnership here. If this is an issue about which you are passionate you can also give lawmakers your thoughts here on a bill currently sitting in Congress that would give employers a tax incentive for hiring milspouses.

You can also search for jobs or create your resume over here.

About the Author

Amy Bushatz
Amy is the editor in chief of’s spouse and family blog A journalist by trade, Amy also covers spouse and family news for where she is the managing editor of spouse and family content. An Army wife and mother of two, Amy has been featured as a subject matter expert on, NPR, Fox News, NBC, CBS, ABC and BBC as well as in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. Follow her on twitter @amybushatz.

17 Comments on "DoD Wants Spouse Career Input"

  1. And wouldn't it be nice if they considered Guard spouses as Milspouses when they make up these kinds of laws or referendums or whatnot. When you live near a military installation (unusual for a Guard spouse, but certainly not unheard of), you are considered no different than those with no military connection when you job hunt. Given that most of the jobs – especially those that actually pay above minimum wage – are on the installation, that means no jobs for Guard spouses. The jobs go to 1) disabled veterans, 2) veterans, 3) actual – read active – milspouses who have pcs-ed in and, finally, if there is no one left in the free world who wants the job, 4) people with no military connection to include Guard spouses. *sigh*

    • You should leave them that comment! This is the kind of stuff I think they are looking for.

  2. ColdWarVet | April 27, 2011 at 9:02 pm |

    How about if the military wanted you to have a spouse, they would have issued you one!

  3. How do you find out about benefits for single moms on food stamps and makes only 10,000 a year and also goes to school how do you get benefits

  4. I feel as though it has the potential of being a helpful resource for pcs wives, but the online application process could use some revamping as it is very lengthy and at times complicating or even confusing and the wait for a simple response seems to be an eternity when it comes down to just trying to get in to interview taking care of a family alone every other year is hard enough with out the tedious process of military employment…please fix it thanx

  5. Don't forget there is also legislation to provide a tax credit directly to a Military Spouse to offset the cost of obtaining a new license or certificate every time your move. Visit the National Military Family Association for more information.

  6. mrs perry | May 4, 2011 at 2:45 pm |

    Me and along with quite a few other military spouses here at Schofield have found it seriously difficult to get a job, not only in the civilian sector but mainly on base or at military hospitals, stores, etc. I am a Cardiovascular Tech and have been turned down 100% of The time. My resume was never forwarded for a job a Trippler, I met all of the qualifications. If you (military) won’t hire us, what makes us think that the civilian jobs will hire us? I have been told its because I move too much, I am over qualified, I was even turned down for a Respiratory Therapy program here in Hawaii because I am not considered a resident even though I was more than qualified for the program I was also told the locals get the seats first so I may have to wait a year or two before I enter. So where does this really leave spouses like me. Many of us have degrees and advanced certificates only to be turned down. It’s dire and frustrating. But once again, if our own military community don’t want to hire us, why should they?

  7. I forgot to say God Bless America and All Who Fight for Her!! ;)

  8. mrs perry | May 4, 2011 at 9:09 pm |

    I totally understand your plight ajm

  9. Maybe the DoD itself should ACTUALLY participate in a spouse employment program that ACTUALLY employs spouses. The Military Spouse Preference program is nothing but smoke and mirrors. At at least one military base overseas, non-appropriated jobs are all considered "flexible" so you don't use your MSP unless you somehow manage to actually get selected for a flex position and you somehow manage to work the required number of hours per week for so many consecutive weeks. But by then you've already got the job so why would you need your MSP? On the appropriated side of the house, all the MSP program does is allow you to apply for a job. You are still racked and stacked right along with every other applicant. I'm told that if you are referred for a particular position then the selecting official must hire a military spouse over someone who doesn't have MSP (aside from a veteran). I can tell you that that is absolutely not how it works "in real life" though. At another base in the states, I was unable to get a job on base doing precisely the same thing I did while I was in the military yet I watched people being hired for those jobs who had absolutely no experience. Yet the DoD claims that there is a shortage of qualified applicants for those jobs. I suppose there is if you are completely overlooking them!

    As for civilian companies hiring military spouses, I think civilian companies do a heck of a better job than the DoD itself does!

    Oh yes…the DoD will be hearing from me about this issue.

  10. I have to agree with many here, if not even the DOD will hire us, why should civilians? And when you get stuck in an area with high unemployment, those fancy programs won't help either. It is rather frustrating when all the jobs one applies for are filled with local civilians who don't even WANT those jobs…

  11. I agree with many posts. If anyone researches stated hiring practices at OPM (I had way too much time on my hands and did), many policies are established which are directly prohibitive to spouses who regularly PCS. MSP as well as Veterans' Preference can be very much smoke in mirrors. Whats worse is that spouses who are additionally Veterans are given no additional preference (it is one or the other). To many Veterans (often female) this seems to slap in the face of their sacrifice. One major issue that must be changed on the federal level would be the allotted time in job before a spouse could transfer. I know few spouses who were actually federally hired, and fewer still who were hired within the first year of their new duty station. The two year requirement for transfer is prohibitive to a Military family that PCS's every three years or sooner. In addition, spouses who have gained federal employment and have met the two year requirement must have found an open equivalent position and that agency must agree to take on this employee. Of course things might have changed since I heavily researched this in 09, however, if they have not there are glaring issues stifling any initiative that the DOD brings. I do believe the DOD is trying to help, I just think OPM may not be playing on the same side. Finally, something must be done to stifle the old boys club who know who they will hire before jobs are posted. Personally, I think what would help spouses the most would be longer time on duty stations, and in this economy it would save the DOD substantial money. The problem for spouses does not seem to be educational (we are often more educated than our civilian counterparts), it is that spouses start over at the bottom of the totem pole almost every time they move unless they are one of the few lucky federal personal, are lucky enough to remain in the same general area, or they work for a large corporation that surrounds all bases. I know it is a difficult situation that the DOD faces, and I do applaud them for listing to past research and caring about our ability to contribute ask two income earners.

  12. Well for starters the government could just begin by hiring military spouses first BEFORE civilians. That would make it a little easier. I mean we're already in the system anyways so background checks would be much simpler and cost effective.

  13. Look, I'm no Kool-Aid drinker either — but the best thing I can suggest is to use the comment opportunity and hope your voice *might* be heard. Submit what you said above to them!

  14. Alexandra M | May 11, 2011 at 9:23 am |

    I know this was posted an entire week ago, but I completely agree with Sarah. The Ft. Lee Personnel Advisory Center at ACS never returned my calls, or had anyone available to speak with when I stopped by the office. It's all good talk, but no action. So many employers out there seem to think that even with a college eduation, solid work experience, and ambition, that women over the age of 21 who are married to great soldiers are not worth the investment.

  15. Crystal Cavalier | May 19, 2011 at 1:19 pm |

    Hey in responding to your statement, no I haven't benefited from it..

Comments are closed.