24. April 2008 10:14
Education benefits for active duty military spouses keeps getting better and better. The government recently announced it will expand the Military Spouse Career Advancement Initiative to include the military spouses of all ranks, which will be a real boost for military spouse education training.
The pilot program began in January and provides military spouses at 18 select installations with Career Advancement Accounts (CAA) - funds which provide eligible military spouses with $3,000 for post-secondary education. And this funding is not to be confused with a loan program: this is a military spouse scholarship opportunity, which means spouses do not need to pay this money back.
The program originally was for spouses whose service member spouses were in grades E-1 through E-5 and O-1 through O-3. Now the program will be open to military spouses of all ranks, allowing more and more men and women to access career training.
The program has proved to be popular at the 18 pilot installations, with more than 900 spouses having started school and begun enjoying their military spouse benefits.
The expansion of the Military Spouse Career Advancement Initiative will also allow spouses to receive money for remedial training and licensing courses, as well as being able to choose from a broader range of career training fields.
A host of federal efforts now, including last fall's Army Family Covenant, are aimed at reducing the stark unemployment numbers that face spouses in all service branches; in time, more well-trained spouses, should translate into more jobs for military spouses.
By helping military spouses with access and funding for career education, it's believed that military spouses can enjoy greater pay, career satisfaction and more stability. And in the end, as it's often been noted, the military family is the leading support system for many Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Airmen.