Gates Reviews military spouse career program

By Donna Miles

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, (6/17/10) – Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is grappling with the best way to reopen the Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts program to new applicants, concerned that the program has morphed beyond its original intent and cost estimates, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said here today.

Gates believes the program, commonly known as MyCAA, was designed to provide military spouses portable career skills that would help them find jobs after making permanent change-of-station moves, Morrell said. He offered examples: real estate licenses or home health-care provider accreditations.

But in many cases, Morrell said, the MyCAA program has become an avenue for military spouses to pursue four-year degrees and other, longer-term educational opportunities now provided through the new Post-9/11 GI Bill.

“That is not what MyCAA was designed for,” the press secretary said.

Enrollment in MyCAA skyrocketed in January, overwhelming the system and causing the program to nearly reach its budget threshold. As a result, the Defense Department temporarily halted new enrollments in February pending a top-to-bottom review.

More than 136,000 spouses who had already established MyCAA accounts continue to receive program benefits.

As the secretary considers the best way to resume the program fully, he is wrestling to determine, “given the sudden groundswell of interest in this program, how do we manage that interest, how do we focus it on what it was meant for [and] how to we handle it from a budgetary perspective?” Morrell said.

Gates must decide: “Do we refine this back to what it was originally intended to be – an opportunity for people to relatively quickly gain a very portable skill that would make them employable wherever they lived, or what it has morphed into — an opportunity for people to pursue a range of educational opportunities?” Morrell said.

Morrell said he expects a decision relatively soon. has something for everyone.  With hundreds of databases that are updated constantly, you have free access to pertinent information when you want it.  Additionally, we feature military spouse articles like this to keep you informed on what matters to you.  It is important for us to stay connected with the military community.  In order to do this, we will happily post your press releases, special events, newsletters, professional conferences and seminars, reunions, job fairs, and videos to help you or your organization get the word out.  We strive to help connect military candidates with outstanding positions in both the government and civilian sectors.  Military candidates are often regarded highly valued employees. offers a multitude of employment resources including a directory of over 30,000 employers, job tips, columns, virtual job fair and an expansive job board, featuring our virtual marketplace where you can post free ads for items you want to buy, sell or rent, and much more.  We offer information and resources on the GI Bill and other education benefits as well as advertise scholarship opportunities.  We encourage you to check out our new scholarship directory featuring thousands of scholarships that are updated frequently.  When the next tour is back home, it’s on