DOD Official Discusses Broad Range of Military Family Issues and Resources

As a military spouse, finding the right balance in life is difficult with so many priorities to juggle, said C. Eddy Mentzer. 

Mentzer, associate director, Military Community Support Programs, Military Community and Family Policy, spoke on an AUSA Military Family Forum today. 

Even if balance proves elusive, it’s important to take advantage of the variety of military and civilian resources that are out there, he said. 

“As a military spouse, my most trusted network is other military spouses,” he said. “They’re going to tell me what works and what doesn’t work.” 

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, military spouses have shown they can successfully work in remote environments, Mentzer mentioned. 

Employment is one of the challenges for military spouses, he said. 

A key to employment is speaking to potential employers, including within the military services, he said. 

There are currently efforts underway within the Defense and State Departments to address the problems of employment, particularly in areas where restrictions to employment exist, he said. 

Another possible employment opportunity are fellowships for military spouses, he said. 

“This is something that we’ve been working hard on for several years to find the authority and the ability to place military spouses within corporate America with a paid stipend from the government,” Mentzer said. 

Mentzer said he expects to see the first military spouses placed with corporate America by January 2023. 

Advanced certifications and licenses are also available for spouses, he said, encouraging spouses to contact their installation 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 keep growing personally and professionally, as well as looking for opportunities, he said.

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