One profound negative effect of restationing on military spouses is staying in their chosen career field. Even though there have been programs in the past to make it easier – such as MyCAA – and some legislation with varying success, it is still a difficult path to maneuver to retain employment after the serving spouse has been reassigned to a new post or base. The good news is a recent executive order will help change that as long as the legislation passes, making it permanent.

New Military Spouse Work Executive Order

In early in June 2023, President Biden signed Executive Order on Advancing Economic Security for Military and Veteran Spouses, Military Caregivers and Survivors that will make it easier for military spouses to continue working for the federal government as they move around the country and world. It will allow them to retain working by giving them hiring preference for those working in an office, along with increasing remote work opportunities for those that work from home.

Specifically, President Biden directs through the EO:

  • For the development of a government-wide strategic plan on hiring and retention of military and veteran spouses.
  • For federal agencies to create a list of non-competitive appointment authority in federal job postings.
  • To increase the focus on retaining remote work opportunities for jobs based in the U.S. when the spouse is restationed overseas.

New ChildCare Accounts

Another issue for many working spouses is finding quality childcare. The EO also addresses that issue too by directing the implementation of dependent care flexible savings accounts for service members, along with an expansion of opportunities military spouses can use to secure approved child-care on military installations.

New Legislation

The issue with most EOs are that they are only good through the signing president’s term of office. The incoming president can revoke existing EOs by a former president.

Making military spouse work opportunities as laid out in the EO permanent requires the passage of legislation. To that effect, an amendment was added to the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that, if left in the NDAA, would specify that federal agencies can hire military spouses to work remotely using an expedited hiring process. The Senate already approved a standalone bill on the same topic by voice vote in mid-June.

Military spouses value that the EO and NDAA amendment are needed as a way to curb the high-unemployment military spouses face mainly due to restationing and antiquated hiring policies that affect them and their families. The EO and NDAA amendment will go a long way to easing the burden of military spouses securing employment after a restationing move.

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Kness retired in November 2007 as a Senior Noncommissioned Officer after serving 36 years of service with the Minnesota Army National Guard of which 32 of those years were in a full-time status along with being a traditional guardsman. Kness takes pride in being able to still help veterans, military members, and families as they struggle through veteran and dependent education issues.