Blue Star Families Applauds Congress for Inclusion of Funding for Military Spouse Employment Study in National Defense Authorization Act

Senators Raphael Warnock (D-GA) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Representative Marilyn Strickland (D-WA) Championed the Bipartisan Effort to Support Military Spouse Employment

Washington, DC (December 22, 2021) Blue Star Families (BSF), the nation’s largest non-profit dedicated to supporting military families and strengthening communities across the United States, celebrates the inclusion of funding for a comprehensive study of military spouse unemployment in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and commends United States Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Representative Marilyn Strickland (D-WA) for introducing the legislation.

In the 2020 Military Family Lifestyle Survey, more than half of active-duty spouse respondents believed their military affiliation had prevented them from obtaining a job or a promotion at some point in their career. The bill, which was authorized by Congress on December 15th and sent to President Joe Biden to be signed into law, includes a comprehensive study of military spouse unemployment in order to address employer-based discrimination and shed more light on what can be done to prevent it.

“We applaud the United States Congress for their hard work in championing this new study and taking this important step in supporting our military spouses,” said Kathy Roth-Douquet, Chief Executive Officer and Board President of Blue Star Families. “Our mission is not only to provide resources and support directly to military families, but to make sure their voices are heard and concrete actions are taken by decision makers. We thank Senators Warnock and Blackburn and Representative Strickland for answering that call.” 

Blue Star Families recommended Congress fund an updated study on military spouse employment in order to identify possible policy solutions that support the economic and financial wellbeing of military spouses around the country. The legislation was first introduced and sponsored by Representative Strickland in the House, and co-sponsored by Senators Warnock and Blackburn in the Senate version.

“We ask military families and military spouses to serve and sacrifice in ways most Americans cannot see or understand, and we owe each of our servicemembers and their families the opportunity to thrive as they serve. I am proud to have worked with Blue Star Families and to have successfully included in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act a provision that will ensure we have the data needed to better understand the challenges facing military spouses who face unacceptable rates of both un- and underemployment. We need to be able to see who they are, where they are, and what specifically is keeping them from finding the opportunities they are seeking. Today’s military must be ready to meet not only the threats of the 21st century, but also economic and personnel needs. Blue Star Families’ efforts to champion the needs of our military families is critical, and I look forward to continuing to work together to support Georgia and our nation’s servicemembers and families. They are the best of us and deserve the best from us,” said Senator Raphael Warnock. 

“The Volunteer State is home to thriving communities of military families, including in Millington, Tullahoma, and Clarksville. The National Defense Authorization Act makes it easier for these families to transfer professional licenses across state lines and provides support for them to put food on the table. This work is a small portion of what our servicemembers deserve, and I look forward to continuing these bipartisan efforts for Tennesseans,” said Senator Marsha Blackburn.

“As the daughter of a veteran, I know that when a person answers the call to serve, their entire family steps up with them in service and sacrifice. For military spouses, that sacrifice shouldn’t mean facing discrimination in the workforce and losing job opportunities as a result. I’m elated to see this support for military spouses make it into the final FY22 Defense Budget through my amendment. I am grateful to my colleagues on the House Armed Services Committee, the Biden Administration, Senators Warnock and Blackburn, and Blue Star Families for their partnership in this important effort,” said Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland.

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Blue Star Families Applauds Congress for Inclusion of Funding for Military Spouse Employment Study in National Defense Authorization Act
December 22, 2021

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