Spouse Employment Ranks High among Military Families’ Concerns

Concerns about military pay and benefits, along with changes in the retirement system, ranked as the top two issues cited by service members, military spouses and veterans in a wide-ranging survey conducted by Blue Star Families.

Military spouses and active-duty members also cited spouse employment as one of their top five lifestyle concerns, reported Government Executive. Military spouses frequently experience challenges finding jobs, primarily due to a lack of child care, frequent moves or employer bias.

“Within open-ended responses, many spouses described encounters with potential employers who reportedly held preconceived notions that military spouse job seekers lacked adequate education, skills or experience, or who were concerned that frequent moves would ultimately mean short periods of employment,” the survey said.

Seventy percent of the survey respondents were military spouses, followed by 21 percent who were either service members or veterans, with the remainder made up of other family members of military personnel or veterans.

Respondents said the top services they use were the commissary and exchange network; health care system; morale, recreation and welfare; base housing; and child development centers. A majority of respondents said they were satisfied with the services, although the survey found that most services were “underutilized.”

Sixty-one percent of service members said they attended Transition GPS, DOD’s revamped transition assistance program. A total of 71 percent of respondents said they “felt prepared” to transition to civilian life, with the remainder saying they were not ready, according to the story.


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