When it comes to the educational benefits offered by the military, many times spouses are left out of the picture. This forces them to consider using their own funding for their educational pursuits or worse, completely forego their academic career. Fortunately, through a new initiative being proposed by the Defense Department, things might change significantly for the military spouse.
The name of the initiative is called the Military Spouse Career Advancement. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates considers it a landmark program that can help ensure military spouses will be able to handle themselves economically, during the periods that their spouses are on deployments.
The program intends to set aside $35 million in funds that would be used to help pay for military spouses education in 8 states. The money would pay for everything, including the spouse’s tuition, books and other fees associated with higher learning. It would even cover fees associated with licensing or credentialing, which are typical for certain types of careers.
In order for a spouse to be eligible, they must reside in Washington, North Carolina, Maine, Hawaii Georgia, Florida, Colorado or California. They must also be married to a an active-duty serviceperson. Additionally, they will need a diploma or a GED.
Although the initiative at the moment cannot cover servicepersons nationwide, it is still very promising for the 8 states it does cover. As the program develops momentum, perhaps it will be able to spread enough that it can become standard that the spouse of a military person has just as many educational opportunities as the actual person in the service.