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By Coral Owen, M.S.

Meaningful employment of military spouses relates directly to family satisfaction within the military and overall force readiness. With nearly a quarter of military spouses experiencing unemployment, this is an urgent area of focus. DOD’s Taking Care of Our People directive outlines the need to expand employment opportunities for military spouses. The recently launched Military Spouse Career Accelerator Pilot program specifically addresses this need.

The program partners with Hiring our Heroes to provide paid fellowships for military spouses. Spouses of currently serving members of the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Space Corps including active, reserve, and National Guard components are eligible and encouraged to apply to the program.

In an announcement, Ms. Patricia Montes Barron, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Military Community and Family Policy, said the pilot is a “game changer” for career-ready military spouses. “Military spouses have made it clear that meaningful employment is essential to their quality of life. We hope this program provides them a strong start to solid employment opportunities.”

MSCAP fellowships are 12 weeks in length and available in multiple industries in various locations around the United States. Fellowships are paid for by the DOD. Fellowships give spouses access to hands-on training, experience, and mentorship to develop their skills as well as the opportunity to showcase the unique contributions they can bring to the organization. The hope is that at the conclusion of the fellowships, participants will be offered an opportunity to join participating companies as a direct-hire, however, this is not a guarantee.

The MSCAP program will run for three years. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis throughout this period. The first cohort of fellows began placements in January 2023, and new placement opportunities will be added monthly. As of early February, nearly 1000 spouses have applied for the program.

For further details on MSCAP eligibility and how to apply, visit MySECO.