As a military spouse, it’s difficult to find the right balance in life with so many priorities, said C. Eddy Mentzer.
Mentzer, Associate Director, Military Community Support Programs, Military Community and Family Policy, spoke at an AUSA Military Family Forum today.
Even if the balance is proving elusive, it’s important to take advantage of the diversity of military and civilian resources that exist, he said.
“As a military spouse, my most trusted network is other military spouses,” he said. “They will tell me what works and what doesn’t work.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, military partners have shown they can operate successfully in remote environments, Mentzer said.
Employment is one of the challenges facing spouses in the military, he said.
A key to employment is talking to potential employers, including within the military service, he said.
Efforts are currently underway in the Defense and State Departments to address the employment problems, particularly in areas where employment restrictions exist, he said.
Another potential employment opportunity is through grants for military spouses, he said.
“This is what we’ve worked hard for several years to find the authority and ability to place military spouses in America’s corporations on a paid stipend from the government,” Mentzer said.
Mentzer said he expects the first military spouses to be housed at Corporate America by January 2023.
Advanced certifications and licenses are also available for spouses, he said, encouraging spouses to contact their installer family representative or go online to helpful sites like Military OneSource. The Career Opportunities Program is another option where a spouse can contact a career coach.
It’s important to grow personally and professionally and to seek opportunities, he said.