The Department of Defense announced Friday the approval of a series of grants that will help military spouses with the issue of professional license portability.
Through a cooperative agreement with the Council of State Governments, grants will allow selected professions to work with CSG’s National Center for Interstate Compacts to develop model interstate occupational licensure compact legislation, addressing license portability affecting transitioning military spouses, along with other practitioners in the profession.
The five selected professions are teaching, social work, cosmetology, massage therapy, and dentistry/dental hygiene.
This is the first time the department has provided this kind of grant.
“The department views the selection of these professions as a significant milestone in achieving the long-term goal of providing license portability for military spouses,” Lernes J. Hebert, performing the duties of the assistant secretary of defense for manpower and reserve affairs, said Friday to the Senate Armed Services Committee staff at their staffer day presentation. “We look forward to working with the National Center for Interstate Compacts and the selected professions on the completion of compacts for these professions.”
Today’s announcement is the first installment of the cooperative agreement authorized by10 U.S.C. 1784, a bill that addresses the burden associated with relicensing by assisting professions interested in developing interstate licensing compacts except that the organizations overseeing these professions lack the resources necessary to engage in the process. Medicine, nursing, physical therapy, psychology, emergency medical services, audiology/speech-language pathology, licensed professional counseling and occupational therapy are professions that have successfully developed interstate licensing compact prior to the cooperative agreement grant process.
Reducing the burden associated with the occupational relicensing of military spouses is a priority for the department. The annual percent of the military spouse population that moves across state lines is 14.5% — compared to 1.1% for civilian spouses. As much as 34% of military spouses in the labor force are required to be fully licensed; and of those spouses, 19% experience challenges maintaining their licenses.
Military spouses can call Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 to speak with a Spouse Education and Career Opportunities career coach to learn about free tools and resources to help them achieve their education and career goals.
About the Department of Defense-State Liaison Office
The Department of Defense-State Liaison Office engages state policymakers on the needs of military members and their families. Currently, efforts focus on 10 key issues (as approved by the assistant secretary of defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs), which promote the well-being of service members and their families. The DSLO is the department’s point of contact for the cooperative agreement with Council of State Governments.
About Spouse Education and Career Opportunities
The Defense Department established the Spouse Education and Career Opportunities program to provide education and career guidance to military spouses worldwide, offering free comprehensive resources and tools related to career exploration, education, training and licensing, employment readiness and career connections. This program also offers free career coaching services six days a week.
About Military OneSource
Military OneSource is a DOD-funded program that is both a call center and a website providing comprehensive information, resources and assistance on every aspect of military life. Service members and the families of active duty, National Guard, and reserve (regardless of activation status), Coast Guard members when activated for the Navy, DOD expeditionary civilians, and survivors are eligible for Military OneSource services, which are available worldwide 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at no cost to the user.