Military Spouse Employment - Exciting Times! DoD Blogger Roundtable

Startling statistics: 26% Unemployment and a 46% Wage Gap for Military Spouses!*

See Photo Credit Below or Click on Map
Serving with pride is how most feel about their time in the military. The members with families have some great benefits but definitely challenges are at the forefront. One of the biggest challenges is spouse employment! This was one of the most frustrating parts of military life for our family. Transferring a license from state to state, finding the right contacts to open a door, being told that a federal union member had priority during overseas assignments, repetitive short (2 years or less) assignments and little lead time for job searching the next location were all definitely part of the journey.

These same challenges for military spouse employment continue but resources and assistance are becoming available. Enter the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) and the US Chamber of Commerce program, "Hiring Our Heroes".     Continue on to find your way to a job and share with your military friends that are in the job market! 

MilitaryAvenue participated in an update of the two programs with Ms. Meg O'Grady, MSEP Program Manager and Ms.Laura Dempsey, Director of Military Spouse Employment Programs for Hiring Our Heroes. The DoD MSEP goal is to connect military spouses (i.e. YOU) to companies that will provide employment opportunities to YOU. Hiring Our Heroes is a nation wide initiative by the Chamber of Commerce to help veterans and now military spouses find employment. Their publicity says, “meaningful employment”.

During the Blogger Roundtable hosted by LT Tiffani Walker, US Navy, the guests announced plans for a partner filled Job Fair at JB Lewis McChord on July 24th! But if you go to the Hiring Our Heroes website you can find a map of the US with job fairs scheduled in a city near you! The Lewis McChord event has a full complement of employers there looking to hire military spouses. Forty nine (49) companies will be there including major companies such as the Port of Seattle, Xerox and Capitol One. The jobs are wide ranging and each company in attendance must have five openings according to Meg and they must accept resumes from attendees.

When challenged by the Roundtable about the types of jobs available she responded that the 129 MSEP partners include jobs requiring a degree and the mix is based on the demographics of the spouses. Regional programs are now being developed at Ft Carson and Ft Bragg with local employers and with five years of experience the MGEP was growing. She also said that 27,000 spouses have been hired under the program and that if you are struggling with the job search call Military One Source Career Center that can provide tools and resources for you.

Another tool and resource is Hiring Our Heroes which started as a Chamber of Commerce to hire veterans and has expanded to include military spouse efforts. Laura described military spouses as the “most desirable” employees and that they were “busting stereotypes”. She said we should take away from the discussion that it is an exciting time for military spouse employment and getting the organization together to help spouses is important! Look for mentorship programs from Hiring Our Heroes to be formalized and get started now by finding a job fair to attend.

Click to enter MSEP Career Portal
The Roundtable was buzzing with information and certainly the spouses were excited about the prognosis for the future of military spouse employment. I could not capture all the information from the Roundtable for you so if you would like to hear what they said please go to DoDLive for an audio copy! To read other articles on spouse employment go to MilitaryAvenue’s “Our Letters to You, A Military Family Blog”.

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Col K enjoyed 30 years of service in the US Air Force with numerous ties to all the services.  He writes for MilitaryAvenue with the experience of 18 PCS moves/relocations for his family, numerous lengthy temporary duty assignments and service during conflicts from Vietnam to Afghanistan. 

* Ms. Meg O'Grady, MSEP Program Manager

Image Credit: US Chamber of Commerce "Hiring Our Heroes"

Image Credit:  Department of Defense Military Spouse Employment Partnership


  1. Hello, I am a student at Kansas State University and my fiancee is in the Air Force. As I am looking at majors I can't help but worry about where I will find a job once we get married. I was wondering what some good resources would be for me to look at/ what most military spouses do for their careers?
    Thank you, Renee

  2. Good morning Renee! Hope your studies are going well.

    A quick bit of history - when my wife and I were married, I was enroute to pilot training and our honeymoon was driving the road to Texas. She was a teacher and we moved so many times we lost count! The recent efforts to reduce license restrictions between states has made that occupation much easier to maintain. But many jobs are now "portable" and national companies such as Home Depot, Sears, etc are recognizing the critical role that military families play with job continuity for spouses.

    The Department of Defense has even established an office to be advocates for military spouse employment! The Portal I mentioned in the blog above is a great place to get started when you are married but planning for a career is always a challenge whether civilian or military. Many civilian management positions require as many moves for promotion as the military does.

    My experience with military spouses that had a college education included employment as accountants, teachers, medical (techs and RNs), government employment, engineers, pastors and many more! The list is as endless as you want.

    The best way to find a job is to stay connected with other military personnel. Follow blogs, Pinterest and Facebook such as MilitaryAvenue's and ask your fiancee to ask around the base he is at about future employment opportunities as well.

    Hope this helps! If you need follow up, please email us at dale @militaryavenue.com.

  3. Thank you so much for replying! This helps a lot. I have been considering teaching for a while now but I wasn't sure if it would travel well.
    Trying to figure out all of this military stuff is so confusing but we are figuring it out slowly but surely. After I commented on here I found out that K-State has a military services office as part of the ROTC programs they have here and they also have people to help out family/spouses! I am still looking up resources and have found a lot more since I found this blog on Pintrest.
    Thanks again, Renee

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