WASHINGTON, DC— U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today introduced legislation to ensure that military spouse employment programs are properly serving military families. The legislation requires a complete review of programs to address concerns raised by servicemembers that these programs are underfunded and may not address their needs.
“High unemployment rates are not only taking a toll on the average American family, but also on the families of America’s servicemembers,” said Senator Casey. “The majority of military households are two-income households. Therefore, it is critical that we address military spouses’ employment concerns, since failing to find solutions could have large consequences on retention and the readiness of our military.”
This legislation, cosponsored by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), would direct the Department of Defense to conduct a thorough review of all military spouse employment programs to ascertain their effectiveness. In a time of budget constraints, this bill would help ensure a return on investment and make sure spouses are being adequately trained and advised to take advantage of career opportunities.
This legislation is supported by the National Military Family Association (NMFA), the Military Officer Association of America (MOAA), Blue Star Families and the Reserve Officers Association.
“The National Military Family Association supports this legislation,” said NMFA. “We were disappointed that last year's NDAA only addressed military spouse education programs. Military spouses want jobs. This legislation will help DoD and the Services assess their current spouse employment programs. We appreciate Senator Casey's leadership.”
“With permanent change of station moves every few years, military spouses often face challenges with maintaining employment and building a career,” said MOAA. “Military spouses rely on effective spouse employment programs provided by the Department of Defense to ease the transition in employment challenges. We support Senator Casey’s legislation that will ensure those military spouse employment programs are performing at the highest level.”