Update 5/24/2019: The United States Marine Corps has quickly followed suit and announced that they will be offering up to a $500 reimbursement for costs associated occupational licenses for military spouses due to PCS or PCA.
Army and Air Force spouses who have been paying for licenses in different states with every PCS and PCA may find themselves up to $500 richer instead of shelling out cash for testing, licensure fees, and more. The Air Force recently announced that it will be joining the Army in reimbursing spouses for costs associated with re-licensure when forced to do so because of a PCS or PCA with the Reimbursement Relicensure Program.
Military spouses in all branches often find themselves spending hundreds of dollars and several months obtaining new occupational licenses in their new state because of PCSing. We often do this every few years, adding additional stress to our already stressful move and family life. The cost associated with relicensure can be upwards of $500 making it costly for families to do each time they move, especially when moves can come every one to three years.
This move made by both the Army and Air Force is a show of support for military spouses and the service members themselves. In an official statement, Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson says that, “Part of taking care of Airmen and families means making it easier for spouses to continue their careers after a military move. This policy reduces financial burdens and makes the professional careers of our Air Force spouses more portable.”
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In 2018 the National Defense Authorization Act authorized all the different branches of military services to reimburse military families for occupational state relicensing and recertification costs because of PCSing. The current program for both the Army and the Air Force will reimburse fees for any relicensure costs incurred after December 12, 2017. All fees must be paid within 24 months of the service member’s orders, meaning you can’t wait until year 3 of your new duty station to get licensed.
The program will cover any fees that are due to relicensure including:
- testing and exams
- certifications and certification programs
- registration fees
Careers such as teaching, cosmetology, real estate, and nursing will be covered but that is not all-inclusive to the policy. Any career in which relicensure in the new state is required will be eligible for reimbursement.
Despite what many may believe, part of the success of our service members is their life at home. If families feel they aren’t supported by their military branch of service, it is more likely that that branch will lose valuable service members before their 20 years of service. This new program is a step in the right direction for military families and in support of military spouses all over the world.
To learn more about this program, follow the links below:
Is your branch not listed? Contact your branch’s leaders to make the push for this program which is eligible to all branches via the Department of Defense.
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Many states are making the push to help military spouses:Arizona to Offer Reciprocity for State Occupational Licenses