Service members should be able to use their tuition assistance benefit to cover the cost of obtaining professional licenses and technical certifications, members of the DOD Military Family Readiness Council said last week.
The department should consider opening up the use of tuition assistance funding for uses beyond accredited education institutions since gaining technical certifications will be one of the primary avenues “our young men and women who are leaving the service are going to find employment in the civilian sector,” Sergeant Major of the Army Dan Dailey said at the Sept. 14 meeting.
Not every soldier wants to attend college, Dailey said.
The idea will be one of five the council submits to the secretary of defense as part of its annual recommendations for supporting military families, reported Military Times. The recommendation would have to go through a number of steps before the department approves it.
The council also wants to recommend that service members be able to transfer their tuition assistance benefit to spouses. Currently, only spouses of junior personnel are eligible for the Military Spouse Career Advancement Account program, which helps pay for spouses’ costs associated with pursuing licenses, certificates, certifications or associate degrees, according to the story.
Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James Cody said the council and DOD should collaborate to study how education benefits affect the entire military family. There may be periods when a service member doesn’t take advantage of the tuition assistance benefit to enroll in a college class but a spouse could, Cody said.