LORTON, Va., Dec. 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The National Military Spouse Network (NMSN), the premiere organization supporting the professional and personal growth of the nation’s military spouses, today reports that its recommendation for a study on military spouse employment is included in the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that is heading to President Biden for signature. Section 567 in the NDAA authorizes the study and is the culmination of NMSN’s years long effort to effect positive change for career-mined and entrepreneurial military spouses whose unemployment rate remains far above the U.S. rate, at a stubborn 24%. The report is due no later than one year following passage and the President’s signature. The Defense Department is required to provide a report to the congressional defense committees, along with any recommended policy changes needed, to address the study’s findings.
"We are grateful for the coalition of partners on Capitol Hill, most notably Sen. Rev. Raphael Warnock of Georgia and Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and their dedicated teams, for their tireless commitment to the employment issues facing military spouses, and to the legions of military spouses advocating for themselves annually during our Day of Advocacy as well as to an amazing NMSN team who helped make this happen," said Sue Hoppin, founder and president of NMSN. "We look forward to continuing our work with DoD to encourage military spouse participation in the study and ensure that the resulting policy recommendations reflect the needs of today’s military families."
"We ask military families and military spouses to serve and sacrifice in ways most Americans cannot see or understand, and we owe each of our servicemembers and their families the opportunity to thrive as they serve," said Sen. Warnock. "I am proud we have successfully included in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act a provision that will ensure we have the data needed to better understand the challenges facing military spouses who face unacceptable rates of both un- and underemployment. We need to be able to see who they are, where they are, and what specifically is keeping them from finding the opportunities they are seeking.
"Today’s military must be ready to meet not only the threats of the 21st century, but also economic and personnel needs. The National Military Spouse Network’s efforts to push for this data collection for the last several years was critical to this year’s success, and I look forward to continuing to work together to support Georgia’s and our nation’s servicemembers and families. They are the best of us and deserve the best from us."
"The Volunteer State is home to thriving communities of military families, including in Millington, Tullahoma, and Clarksville," said Sen. Blackburn. "The National Defense Authorization Act makes it easier for these families to transfer professional licenses across state lines and provides support for them to put food on the table. This work is a small portion of what our servicemembers deserve, and I look forward to continuing these bipartisan efforts for Tennesseans."
The study mandated by Section 567 requires the Secretary of Defense to conduct a study identifying employment barriers affecting military spouses, and specifically:
- The rate or prevalence of military spouses who are currently employed and whether such military spouses have children.
- The rate or prevalence of military spouses who are underemployed.
- If underemployed, whether a military spouse would have taken a different position of employment if the military spouse were not married to a member of the Armed Forces.
- The rate or prevalence of military spouses who, due to military affiliation, have experienced discrimination by civilian employers, including loss of employment, denial of a promotion, and difficulty in being hired.
The study also will look at other barriers to military spouse employment, including state licensure requirements, childcare availability, broadband access, job availability in military communities, and housing access.
Founded in 2010, the National Military Spouse Network delivers ongoing personal and professional development for military spouses by providing quality content, mentoring, networking opportunities and resources. For more information, visit www.nationalmilitaryspousenetwork.org.
SOURCE The National Military Spouse Network