The White House, Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release, July 01, 2016

As part of the 4th of July Weekend and their Joining Forces initiative, the First Lady and Dr. Biden are pleased to announce that all 50 states have taken action on military spouse licensing. See the First Lady’s Q&A with Military Times for more information.

In 2011, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden came together to launch Joining Forces, a nationwide initiative calling on all Americans to rally around servicemembers, veterans, and their families and support them through wellness, education, and employment opportunities. As part of the 5th Anniversary of Joining Forces, Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden announced more than 1.2 million veterans and military spouses have been hired or trained as a result of ongoing outreach.

In 2011, the First Lady and Dr. Biden issued a call to action to all 50 U.S. governors to take executive or legislative action to streamline state licensing for the military community. In collaboration with state legislators and regulators, Joining Forces and the Department of Defense have helped states adopt simple measures to accommodate the demands of the military and support military spouses as they seek to continue their career despite their spouses’ orders.

Today, all 50 states have taken action to support the military community by making it easier for military spouses to overcome barriers to employment.By streamlining licensing and credentialing, military spouses – many of whom require licenses – can continue working no matter their location.

The military community faces a unique set of challenges. Below are key facts regarding the situation for many military spouses:

  • On average, military spouses seek new employment every 1-3 years based on their military spouses’ orders.
  • 35% of military spouses work in an occupation that requires a professional license, thus necessitating re-credentialing with each move across state lines.
  • Nearly 15% of all military spouses move households to accommodate their families—compared to 1.1% of non-military spouses.
  • 68% of married service members reported their spouse’s ability to maintain a career impacted their decision to remain in the military by a large or moderate extent.
  • Read more HERE to see examples of how states have taken action across the country to support the employment of the military spouse community.

You will find a Q&A with the First Lady at Military Times.