By Ian Graham
The Department of Defense announced today that the spouse employment program, My Spouse Career Advancement Account program or MyCAA, will resume.
Tommy T. Thomas, deputy undersecretary of defense for the Pentagon’s office of military community and family policy, spoke with the Pentagon Channel about this program and their plans to move forward. “We made a commitment to our military spouses when they established a career advancement account and we will be true to our promises. Effective March 13, at 12 p.m. (EST), DoD will resume the program for the military spouses currently in the program. We sincerely apologize to our military spouses for the added burden caused by the pause in operation,” said Thomas.
MyCAA offers military spouses opportunities to pursue portable careers in high-demand, high-growth occupations such as education and health care.
“We are working hard to adjust the program to meet the demands of the MyCAA program and to arrive at a long-term solution for military spouses who would like to establish an account,” he added. “Until that time, we encourage spouses to consult with the MyCAA career counselors who can provide career exploration, assessment, employment readiness and career search assistance.”
Thomas said that those spouses who are approved for the program already will not lose their enrollment. Rather, the pause temporarily halts new incoming applications while the protocols of the program are reviewed.
Counseling support will remain available at local installations. Spouses also can receive assistance using other government resources such as Military OneSource and the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
“For those of you who have currently approved financial account documents, your documents will be honored,” Thomas said in a Defense.gov news article. “We encourage those spouses who were in the process of developing their career plans to continue to do so.”
Thomas also made a point to extend his apologies for the way the program’s pause was handled. “I’ll make no excuses,” he said. “We should have done a better job of notifying our military spouses.”
Thomas said he realizes the sudden stop in the program has hurt spouses’ – his customers – confidence in the Defense Department’s family programs. His job now, he said, is to restore and rebuild the trust they had before.
“We will restore that faith by one: restoring your program and by, two: having the appropriate resources to ensure everyone applying for the program receives the appropriate financial assistance,” Thomas said.