By Elaine Wilson, AFPS
Feb. 19, 2010
There’s been quite a buzz this week over the temporary halting of a popular employment assistance program for military spouses.
The Defense Department has “paused” the My Spouse Career Advancement Account program while it conducts a comprehensive review of its services.
The program, commonly known as MyCAA, offers military spouses opportunities to pursue portable careers in high-demand, high-growth occupations such as education and health care.
During the review, officials will review procedures, financial assistance documents and the program in general. A defense official I spoke with yesterday assured me that the department is working to conduct this review as quickly as possible.
Many spouses have asked why the program has been temporarily stopped. The main reason, officials said, is to evaluate the program “top to bottom.” The program’s been operational for nearly a year, so the timing seems right for the review.
Military spouses who already have been approved for financial assistance won’t be affected, and spouses who have an account can continue to use the Web site for career counseling and planning, officials said. However, during this review period, spouses won’t be able to create a new account and new applications won’t be accepted.
The program offers spouses assistance with training, job readiness and employment and career services. Through the program, spouses can receive financial assistance to pursue education and training, free career counseling and access to military-friendly employers.
During the review process, officials encourage spouses to explore other government options, such as the transfer of the Post-9/11 GI Bill and other programs available on installation and program Web sites. Spouses also can visit Military OneSource for free consultations on education and training, career exploration, assessment, employment readiness and career-search assistance.
For more on the program’s operational pause, read my American Forces Press Service article, “Defense Department Pauses Spouse Employment Program.” For more on educational benefits check out the AFPS special report: “GI Transferability Has Arrived.”