By Marguerite Cleveland
A new Army directive, 2019-18 was recently published and sets the groundwork to reimburse Soldiers for the costs their spouses incur due to certification and licensing fees requirements when moving to a new state. Army Spouses face many barriers for long-term careers in professionally licensed fields. This directive hopes to relieve one of those barriers by reducing the cost of transferring licenses to a new state.
“Our spouses are lawyers, nurses, teachers, cosmetologists and real estate agents,” said Dee Geise, who works in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. “It eases part of the stress of the cost associated with relicensing after a PCS move.”
For many Spouses these costs are incurred with each new move and over time add up to a significant expense. The new program authorizes reimbursements of qualified fees up to $500. For fees to be considered qualified, it must be required by the state to secure a certification or license. The Spouse must be currently employed and hold a certification or licensing requirement before the PCS move. It will not cover the costs to initially be certified in a field of employment. Spouses of Regular Army, Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve are eligible. Family members must be authorized on the PCS orders at the expense of the United States to be considered for this new entitlement. The directive is grandfathered in to December 12, 2017, the date of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018. At this time it will cover expenses paid up to December 31, 2022. It is hoped that Congress will renew this entitlement in future Defense Budgets or make it permanent.
Right now there are no procedures in place to apply for the reimbursement. It is expected that the request for reimbursement will take place when filing PCS paperwork upon completion of the move. The Army Deputy Chief of Staff, G-a will be responsible for providing instructions for filing and will send a message to all Army activities once this is in place. For more information Soldiers can follow up with their unit S-1 for updates. Also check www.militaryonesoure.mil for updates. It also has tons of information on Spouse employment and careers. In the meantime save any receipts showing the payment of Licensure and Certification costs back to December 12, 2017 so you will be prepared to file for this entitlement.
Marguerite Cleveland is a freelance writer who specializes in human interest and travel stories. She is a military brat, a veteran and now a military spouse. Her military experience is vast as the daughter of a Navy man who served as an enlisted sailor and then Naval Officer. She served as an enlisted soldier in the reserves and on active duty, then as an Army Officer. She currently serves as a military spouse. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two sons. Visit her website www.WanderWordsWine.com