By Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense
The Department of Defense announced March 11 the resumption of the Military Spouse Career Advancement Account program.
Now, the 136,583 military spouses who are currently enrolled in the program will once again be able to receive tuition assistance.
"We made a commitment to our military spouses when they established a career advancement account and we will be true to our promises," said Tommy Thomas, deputy under secretary of defense, military community and family policy.
The first phase of the reinstated program will enable the department to continue to pay up to $6,000 in tuition assistance for spouses currently enrolled. The department is working hard to adjust and meet the demands of the program and develop a long-term solution for spouses not yet enrolled who would like to establish an account.
The program, launched March 2, 2009, assists military spouses in attaining portable careers in high-demand, high-growth occupations. An unexpected spike in enrollment prompted the Defense Department to pause the program on Feb. 16. A thorough review began immediately to assure the program was accomplishing its intended goals.
"When we determined that an operational pause in the program was critically needed, we failed to notify our spouses in a timely and appropriate manner," said Thomas.
"As a result of our failure, we know we will have to work hard to restore their faith in us. We are committed to earning that trust through improved communication and by delivering services."
The Defense Department is currently developing options for the long-term management of the program and expect to be able to announce the details soon.
Until new accounts can be created, Military OneSource Spouse Education and Career Consultants will continue to be available to provide education and training, career exploration, assessment, employment readiness and career search assistance.