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How MOAA Is Looking Out for Military Spouses

How MOAA Is Looking Out for Military Spouses
Photo by Sgt. Asa Bingham/Army

(This article originally appeared in the May 2019 isssue of Military Officer, a magazine available to all MOAA Premium and Life members. Learn more about the magazine, or log in to read current and past issues, here; learn more about joining MOAA here.)

Military spouses have relentlessly busy lives: Holding down the fort while their servicemember is away. Moving to a foreign country on a PCS, even if they don’t speak the language. Making sure their kids have access to decent school systems, running a household, and working — if they’re able to find a job suitable for their education, work experience, and intelligence.

Many forgo their own professional dreams to maintain stability at home. They are the heartbeat of their households, often working behind the scenes to ensure their family’s success.

Yes, military spouses do it all. But they’re not necessarily given the support they need.

And MOAA aims to change that.

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MOAA President and CEO Lt. Gen. Dana T. Atkins, USAF (Ret), meets with members of the Currently Serving Spouse Advisory Council, who give MOAA invaluable feedback on spouse program and policy efforts. (Photo by Bob Lennox/MOAA)

As an association, we take care of not just our retirees, veterans, and servicemembers, but also their families. One of our key goals is to protect military family support programs and policies. Our advocacy experts meet with members of Congress and their staff, submitting statements for congressional hearings on military family readiness and shaping legislation that will improve quality of life for military families, such as increased oversight of military housing, expanding military spouse education and employment opportunities, and protecting the military shopping benefit.

[RELATED: Ask Your Lawmakers to Back These Bill That Will Improve Military Housing]

To complement these efforts, the MOAA Foundation funds important programs for military spouses seeking employment, like our award-winning Keeping a Career on the Move® symposia, a one-day professional development workshop funded in part by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes. This year, this workshop will take place at six installation locations across the country and overseas.

We recently released the latest update of our military spouse employment guide online, providing spouses with professional development advice ranging from résumé writing, interviewing, and networking to managing a LinkedIn profile; it covers current topics like status of forces agreements and licensure compacts.

[RELATED: FAQ: New Military Spouse Residency Rules]

Members of our currently serving and spouse advisory councils advise our team regarding how MOAA can do better, giving us feedback on our program and policy efforts. Their insights and experiences are invaluable, and they truly inspire our staff to never stop serving.

But our work is never done. We rely on our members to help us identify and communicate issues affecting military families, support our advocacy eff orts through calls to action, and spread the word about programs and resources we provide to assist our military families.

The Military Spouse Professional Development program is funded by the MOAA Foundation and depends on donations from MOAA members. To support this important program, donate at www.MOAA.org/Foundation.

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About the Author

Lt. Gen. Dana T. Atkins, USAF (Ret)

Lt. Gen. Dana T. Atkins, USAF (Ret)