Military spouses face many challenges, from having to manage family finances and child-rearing duties alone for extended periods of time to frequent and often unexpected moves to new places. As a result, the unemployment rate for military spouses is higher than 90 percent.
But a new executive order aspires to change that by providing more opportunities for military spouses to be considered for federal service positions.
Prior to signing the order, as he spoke to a group of military mothers and spouses, President Trump said, “[For] a long time, military spouses have already shown the utmost devotion to our nation, and we want to show you our devotion in return.”
Under the order, federal agencies will be accountable for increasing their use of the noncompetitive hiring authority for military spouses. Noncompetitive jobs are ones where the hiring manager can hire candidates directly without having to go through the full application process. Currently, individuals including veterans, many current and former federal employees, and returning Peace Corps volunteers are eligible for noncompetitive positions. The order will help expand these job opportunities to military spouses as well.
And the opportunities are many. There are more than 2 million federal employees nationwide, not including Postal Service workers. They are spread across the nation, with more than 79 percent of them working outside of the Washington, D.C. region, in places like California and Texas. The president also encouraged private companies to expand job opportunities for this dedicated, but often overlooked, segment of the population.
At Navy Mutual, we are well aware of the important role military spouses play in keeping life at home on track for the children and other dependents of our nation’s servicemembers. In fact, they are often the ones who reach out to us about life insurance and other products for their families. Unfortunately, used to sacrificing themselves for others, these spouses often neglect to get coverage for themselves. But — employed or not — the role they play is irreplaceable. We hope that this executive order will help to put a new focus on military spouses and encourage them to pursue the opportunities and benefits that they deserve.