This past Saturday, during President Obama’s weekly address, the White House released a video of our president with great news for military members and their families.
On July 2, President Obama announced that he had invited hundreds of American service members and their families to celebrate the Fourth of July on the White House South Lawn. The president stated that the annual event is one of his favorite White House traditions.
He then went on to announce a spectacular new program that will benefit military families.
First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden initiated a program to streamline professional licensing for military spouses, and at last, all 50 states have moved to act to develop reciprocity programs to transfer state occupational licenses for the family members of our troops.
According to President Obama:
‘Just this week, Michelle and Jill announced a breakthrough in a concern they’ve heard again and again from the military spouses they spend so much time with ― and that’s the issue of professional licensing.
‘This is an issue that most americans aren’t familiar with, but for military families, it’s a big challenge.’
Service members are often required to move from state to state, reassigned to new posts and bases that require their skills to meet mission requirements. However, many military spouses involved in careers that require professional licensing find themselves starting over from square one with each transfer.
The president elaborated on the problem of career continuity for military spouses:
‘Because their spouses serve with them, that means they move 10 times more than the rest of us … more than one in three of these spouses work in a field that requires a professional license or certification … nurses, child care providers, accountants, social workers, and lots of other jobs.
‘Until recently, when these spouses were asked to move across state lines, they often needed to recertify for a job they’re already qualified for.
‘When Michelle and Jill took up this cause three years ago, only three states had taken action on military spouse licensing. but they rallied governors and state legislatures into action.
‘And this week, we reached a milestone. Today, all 50 states have acted to streamline many of these licensing issues. it’s a big step forward …
‘We can finally say to so many of our military families, “When you move, you’ll no longer be forced to put the career you love on hold just because you and your family have chosen to serve this country.”‘
You can watch the president’s announcement in its entirety here.
JoiningForces is an initiative launched by 2011 by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden to support military families through employment opportunities, educational resources, and wellness programs.
Video via The White House YouTube Channel
Featured image via White House video