Military Spouses Are Not getting Fair Treatment


By Debbie Gregory.

According to an Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) report entitled, “The Force Behind the Force: A Business Case for Leveraging Military Spouse Talent,” military spouses are not faring as well as their civilian counterparts.

There are more than one million active duty, guard, and reserve military spouses, more than 15 million veterans’ spouses, and an estimated 5.8 million surviving spouses of veterans in the U.S.

Yet, military spouses are largely overlooked as part of a talent pipeline.

The IVMF report, sponsored by Syracuse University and funded by Prudential Financial, was launched July 14, 2016. It is the first in a series of three research papers as part of an overall study on military spouse employment.

The report revealed that female military spouses earn significantly less than their civilian female peers

It also found that military spouses have a significantly higher unemployment rate (almost three times as many) as their civilian peers. When looking for reasons why there is this disparity, the report found that it was due to factors such as frequent relocations,  a lack of childcare, and the responsibility of single-parenting due to the absence of their active duty spouse

But employers may be missing out if they choose not to hire military spouses. As a rule, they are educated, motivated to work, and have numerous attributes that are valuable in the workplace.

“This research highlights that military spouses bring a variety of business enhancing characteristics to the workplace–such as diversity, resilience, adaptability and high civic-engagement–and offers a compelling business case to recruit and hire them,” said Dr. Nick Armstrong, senior director of research and policy at IVMF.

Additionally, each year, military spouses provide billions of dollars worth of free labor through their volunteerism.

It is often said that military spouses also serve. Their impact on military readiness and retention is invaluable.
“Military spouses are a great source of talent and an integral part of our talent pipeline strategy,” said James Beamesderfer, vice president, Veterans Initiatives at Prudential. “We know that more than one third of them say they are unemployed or underemployed. We want to help turn that around by providing them with meaningful career opportunities. That’s why we’re working with the IVMF to fund the research and share best practices with other employers.”

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

Military Connection: Joining Forces Initiative Efforts Continue

First Lady Michelle Obama Speaking at Joining Forces Event

First Lady Michelle Obama Speaking at Joining Forces Event

By Debbie Gregory.

In April, the Joining Forces initiative, launched by Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, announced that a number of companies in the industries of energy and technology have committed to train or hire 90,000 Veterans and military spouses within the next five years.

Joining Forces is celebrating its fourth year of assisting service members, Veterans, and their families and support them through wellness, education, and employment opportunities. The initiative began in 2011, at a time when the Veteran unemployment rate was at 12 %. Shortly after the initiative was launched, President Obama also challenged the private sector to hire 100,000 Veterans and military spouses.

Just four years later, more than 850,000 Veterans and military spouses have been hired or trained. The federal government has also upped its own Veteran hiring initiative, with  30% of its workforce now comprised of military Veterans. As a result of these combined efforts, the total Veteran unemployment rate is at 4.5 %, with a 6.5 % unemployment rate for Veterans of the Post-9/11 era.

But the need to train and hire Veterans for their post-military careers has not diminished. That is why Joining Forces has not slacked in its commitment to service members, Veterans and military families. As proof of this, Joining Forces recently secured a pledge to hire or train 33,000 Veterans and military spouses, over the next five years, from the Solar Energy Industries Association.

The  solar industry is creating new jobs at a rate ten times faster than the rest of the economy. Getting Veteran workers into that industry at such a critical time could mean sustainable careers and bright futures for the men and women who served during our nation’s longest period of war.

Joining Forces will continue to fulfill its commitment to help connect Veterans and military spouses not just to jobs, but to sustainable careers, allowing them to support their families. Joining Forces is calling on all companies, across the nation, in every industry, to do their part and continue to provide opportunities for our Veterans and military families.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the ArmyNavyAir ForceMarinesCoast Guard,Guard and ReserveVeterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Boardinformation on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit, the go to site.

Military Connection: Joining Forces Initiative Efforts Continue: By Debbie Gregory