Esper Calls on Council of Governors to Assist Military Spouses Transfer Occupational Licenses

Esper Calls on Council of Governors to Assist Military Spouses Transfer Occupational Licenses

Defense Secretary Mark Esper has the Council of Governors to help military spouses in their efforts to transfer occupational licenses from state to state, Military Times reported late last week.

The Council of Governors advises the Defense Secretary, the Homeland Security secretary, and the White House Homeland Security Council on National Guard and civil support missions. It also works to further the partnership between the federal government and states to protect the nation against all types of hazards.

In a Sept. 18 letter to the Council, Esper wrote he’d like the governors to expand their support for military spouses to get into jobs more quickly, according to the report.

The Council currently supports the National Defense Strategy’s three lines of effort including building a more lethal force, strengthening alliances and partnerships, and reforming DOD for greater performance, Esper noted, the report said.

“I have added a fourth line of effort as a personal challenge – taking care of service members and their families,” Esper wrote. He asked for supporting them as much as possible, especially on issues that are the primary responsibility of states, such as license portability for military spouses.

“I urgently call on the Council of Governors to assist with ensuring that military spouses have access to special provisions from the states to support military spouse licensure,” Esper wrote.

He also asked states to limit state-specific requirements in a range of fields that make it difficult for military spouses and transitioning service members to gain employment, and to approve interstate compacts allowing licensing reciprocity for military spouses.

About 34% of military spouses work in fields that require a license or certification, according to the Department of Labor.

This is believed to be the first time a defense secretary has appealed to the states for assistance in this area of spouse employment, according to the report.

ADC photo by Will Noonan

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