Dear Members and Supporters,

I am pleased to announce our strong support for the Executive Order signed today by the President, aimed at increasing the economic security of military and veteran spouses. This order represents a significant step forward in recognizing the unique challenges faced by military-connected families and addresses key areas that will greatly improve the lives and opportunities of military and veteran spouses, caregivers, and survivors.

The Executive Order’s directive to develop a government-wide Strategic Plan on Hiring and Retention for Military and Veteran Spouses, Caregivers, and Survivors is a crucial initiative. By eliminating barriers and enhancing coordination among agencies, we can ensure that the talent, experience, and diversity of military and veteran spouses are properly recognized and utilized. The inclusion of benchmarks for performance and accountability will further drive progress in this area.

We applaud the Executive Order’s focus on expanding the utilization of the Military Spouse Noncompetitive Appointment Authority. By directing agencies to include military spouses eligible under this authority when soliciting applications, we open up new pathways for employment in the Federal government. This move recognizes the unique circumstances faced by military spouses and provides them with increased opportunities for meaningful and fulfilling careers.

The order’s emphasis on improving the Domestic Employee Teleworking Overseas (DETO) program is also commendable. The DETO program plays a crucial role in supporting family unification and retaining valuable talent among military spouses stationed overseas. By establishing common standards, processing timelines, and communication guidelines, we can ensure that the DETO program operates efficiently and effectively, benefiting both military families and the Federal workforce.

The Executive Order’s commitment to bolstering access to child care for military families is another significant development. Dependent Care Flexible Saving Accounts for service members and the expansion of pathways for military spouses to provide home-based child care on military installations will greatly alleviate the challenges faced by military families, allowing them to pursue professional opportunities with peace of mind.

Furthermore, the Executive Order’s provisions to provide additional tools for the retention of military spouses and caregivers, both in the public and private sectors, are crucial. Granting administrative leave for military spouses during Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves, issuing guidance on telework and remote work flexibility, and supporting continuity of care or relocation due to PCS changes will go a long way in recognizing the unique needs of military-connected families and ensuring their retention in the workforce.

The Executive Order’s commitment to improving support for military spouses during transition and developing tailored resources for military and veteran spouse entrepreneurs is equally praiseworthy. Transitioning from military to civilian life can be challenging for military spouses, and the collaboration between the Secretaries of Defense, Labor, and Veterans Affairs will provide much-needed support during this critical period. Additionally, the resources and guidance developed by the Small Business Administration will empower military-connected spouse entrepreneurs to succeed in their business endeavors.

We appreciate the Executive Order’s focus on improving the collection of data on military and veteran spouses, caregivers, and survivors in the Federal workforce. By enhancing data collection practices, agencies will be better equipped to address barriers in hiring, promotion, professional development, and retention practices, ensuring a more inclusive and supportive work environment for military-connected individuals.

Finally, we commend the Executive Order’s directive to expand training on the employment of military and veteran spouses, caregivers, and survivors across agencies. Annual training for human resources personnel and hiring managers will equip them with the necessary knowledge and best practices to tap into the immense talent pool represented by military-connected individuals.

At MSJDN, we are proud to support this Executive Order, which demonstrates the administration’s commitment to enhancing the economic security of military and veteran spouses. We look forward to working collaboratively with agencies, policymakers, and stakeholders to implement these initiatives successfully and create lasting positive change for military-connected families.

Sincerely,

Claire Gibson
President
Military Spouse JD Network (MSJDN)