As a military spouse, it can be a challenge (might be an understatement) to string together a career of your own due to frequent moves, transferring licensing between states, and often playing “single-mom” while your military spouse is deployed, in the field, TDY, etc.
7 years into my marriage to a Soldier, and I’ve held 3 different jobs, run my own business, freelanced as a writer, and put in hours as a volunteer in 2 different positions. In fact, right now I’m holding down a full-time job, still running my business part-time, and still putting in hours as a volunteer photojournalist for Fort Carson’s newspaper, The Mountaineer. Maybe a little nuts, but I figure while the going’s good, I have to take advantage, because the next PCS is coming soon.
Maintaining a career as a milspouse is NOT for the faint of heart. But where there’s a will, there’s a way. At least that’s what I tell myself, every time the Army throws a monkey wrench into the inner workings of my career.
Something which took me 3 PCSes to learn about is Military Spouse Preference (MSP), which is a part of the DoD’s Priority Placement Program (PPP).
In a nutshell, it can help you land a Federal Civil Service job. Which, in turn, can help you maintain a career in federal service. Put in 25 years, and you can get a federal pension of your own.
You have a 2-year window from the date of your spouse’s PCS order to take advantage of MSP. It is not enough to be a military spouse and have PCS orders — you need to register with the new duty station’s civilian personnel office in order to claim preference.