Your Voice Matters

Robert L. Gordon III, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Military Community and Family Policy). DoD official photo.

By Robert L. Gordon III, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Military Community and Family Policy)

Military spouses, you talked.  We listened.

We asked you to share your challenges with trying to maintain or even launch a career in fields requiring licenses or certifications.  We brought your powerful words to state lawmakers which prompted them to take action.  So far this year, they have proposed 15 state bills to improve the portability of military spouse careers!

Here are just a few excerpts from the more than 190 responses we received from military spouses:

“I gave up education as a profession because of all that was involved in obtaining licensure with each move. It was a difficult decision.”

“I must complete a 3,000 hour internship within a 3-year period before I can qualify to take the (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) exam. The soonest I could sit for the exam is after 2-years of starting the internship. My husband’s job requires him to move about every 2-3 years.”

“Then there is the hassle of having to keep up with all of the different state licenses…do I renew or let it lapse, what if we move back there. It’s just one more thing to have to juggle.”

As you can see, your important words are critical to helping us understand the issues and challenges you’re facing.   We are about to start another round of engagement with the states on the issue of military spouse employment, so once again, I need your valuable input.

Have you shared your experiences yet?  Are we accurately addressing your employment and licensure concerns?  What else do we need to know?  Tell us what needs to change.  Please join the conversation and be heard.

You are part of an adaptable, resilient, educated, and dedicated work force, but barriers to transferring licenses from state to state are extremely challenging for frequently moving spouses.  This process is time-consuming, cumbersome and expensive, because the process varies from state to state.  You deserve every opportunity to choose and pursue a career that is personally and professionally rewarding.  Thank you, and let’s keep moving forward together to change the system!


Last week, I told you about a “Hiring Our Heroes” hiring fair happening July 10, 2011, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at the Sony Pictures Studios, in Los Angeles.  This fair is designed exclusively to connect both veterans and military spouses to job opportunities with nearly 200 Fortune 500 companies.  Already, 100 spouses and 500 veterans have signed up, and slots are going fast (only 500 spouses and 1000 veterans will be permitted to attend).  Registration is first-come, first served, so don’t miss your chance!   Register here.  Select “Military Spouse Registration” in the drop-down menu.  It is highly recommended that those interested in attending register by June 13.

Military spouses from the active, National Guard, and Reserve ranks from all Services, including the Coast Guard, are eligible to attend this event.  Admission is free.

Participants should bring at least 30 copies of their resumes.  If you do not have a resume, visit your local installation family center or call Military OneSource at 1-800-342-9647 and ask to speak to a spouse career consultant who can assist you with writing yours.

The U.S. and Los Angeles Chambers of Commerce, in cooperation with the Department of Defense and the Department of Labor, are co-hosting this event.

I’ll be at the fair and will look forward to meeting you there.   As always, thank you for all you do to keep our military families strong.  Until next time, take care.

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