16 Apr 2019

Military.com | By Richard Sisk

The Defense Department has changed some rules to make it easier for military spouses to get jobs at duty locations.

Under the changes to the Priority Placement Program, active-duty military spouses can now use employment preference for one offer of permanent federal employment per duty location, the DoD said in a statement last week.

The preference for an offer of employment includes positions funded by non-appropriated funds, or NAF. NAF funding is self-generated by base daycare facilities, bowling centers, golf courses, and other facilities that use NAF employees.

The preference also applies to positions at the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, the DoD said.

Officials with the DoD’s Spouse Education and Career Opportunities (SECO) program also said that military spouses can now apply for as many jobs slated for milspouses as they wish, with no caps or limitations on the number of applications.

Another change SECO announced is that DoD civilian positions open to military spouses are now being listed with other federal positions on the USAJobswebsite.

Numerous surveys have shown that the high tempo of deployments for military personnel, frequent permanent changes of station and the overall demands of military life have made pursuing a career increasingly difficult for military spouses.

A survey last year by the non-profit Blue Star Families organization, in collaboration with the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University, showed that the unemployment rate for military spouses stood at 28 percent in 2017, a 33% increase from the previous year.

Time away from family during deployments was listed as the top concern by respondents, listed by 46%, while challenges associated with military spouse employment opportunities was second, listed by 43% of respondents.