The life of a military spouse is often a challenging and stressful one, but the Obama administration is taking some big steps toward ironing out some legal licensing kinks that will make it easier for military spouses with varying specialty degrees and licenses to find employment upon relocation. The nature of being in the military obviously involves a great degree of uncertainty in terms of living location and duration. Lives are often uprooted and replanted in the span of one short week as a result of the incredible demands that are put upon a full time service member, particularly PCSing (permanent change of station).

Submitted by Elizabeth on 02/22/2012 - 11:18

Many spouses that stay home and take care of the household and/or children while their loved ones are overseas tending to foreign affairs often become bored with the routine and seek out a meaningful and rewarding career to supplement the household income and give themselves a greater sense of worth. Thousands of military spouses have gone through the process of attaining accreditation to be professional attorneys, real estate agents or cosmetologists, for example, only to have to start over at the beginning of the process when their spouses get orders for a new station.Obviously, this is a horribly unfair reality that can add much stress to what is often already a tense situation, not to mention the negative impact it has on a person's ability to generate household income. A legal sticking point lies in the fact that each individual state is responsible for determining the guidelines of their licensing rules, meaning that the federal government has little jurisdiction in the matter.An extreme example of the discrepancies would be a cosmetologist that relocates from Manhattan to San Francisco having to put in an additional 600 hours as an apprentice in order to qualify for a cosmetology license in the Golden State.

Despite this, the White House has rallied 11 states to agree to honor the licensing of other states when it comes to military spouses. The deal is structured so that if the state requires that the licensee undergo the process again they will be given a temporary license with which to do businesses until they have satisfied the local requirement. The news is being met with enthusiasm and optimism by the fleet of military wives and husbands whose lives and cosmetology career paths have been directly altered by this unfortunate situation.