Spouse Professional Development

The MOAA Foundation Military Spouse Professional Development program comprises several components designed to educate, train and empower military spouses to establish and sustain a successful career while meeting the challenges of a modern military family lifestyle. The program content is guided by the MOAA Currently Serving Spouse Advisory Council through continuous feedback regarding the types of syllabi, educational and training tools needed to best serve the professional development of military spouses.

The Need

In 2014, MOAA and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families published a research study examining the state of military spouse professional development and particularly military spouse employment. Its key findings were striking:

Approximately 95 percent of military spouses are women, and the group has an average unemployment rate of 20 percent among those seeking work, about four times higher than their civilian counterparts today.
Military spouses, age 18-24 have an unemployment rate of 30 percent compared to their civilian counterparts at 11 percent. From 25-44, military spouses have an unemployment rate of 15 percent compared to their civilian counterpart rate of 6 percent.
Remarkably, 90 percent of military spouses are underemployed based on their experience and education level, and military spouse average salaries are 38 percent lower than their civilian counterparts.

The Program

The MOAA Military Spouse Professional Development program comprises the following elements:

MOAA Military Spouse Professional Development Symposia Series

These one-day seminars presented at military installations around the nation provide training to military spouses who are planning to enter or re-enter the workforce or who are taking the next step in their professional careers. MOAA offers these events through its partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's “Hiring our Heroes” Transition Summit program.

Each event:

Includes a “Real Spouses, Real Stories” panel discussion featuring military spouse mentors,
helps spouses identify and articulate personal goals,
helps them build a bridge to local and federal resources,
connects spouses directly with the local workforce by providing opportunities to engage with installation, community, state and federal representatives, and local and national employers and offers MOAA subject-matter expert advice, assistance, and expertise on leveraging personal experiences to obtain employment.


The seminar trains spouse attendees how to effectively use industry best practices in areas such as resume development, advanced LinkedIn techniques, and networking. This event is free and open to all active duty, reserve, National Guard, retiree, veteran, and surviving military spouses, servicemembers, and veterans.

MOAA Spouse and Family Website: A comprehensive “one-stop-shop” for the informational needs of military spouses of all ranks and components throughout the military lifecycle.
MOAA Spouse and Family News: Provides a forum for timely articles offering deeper insight into current issues affecting military spouses and families.
MOAA Military Spouse Facebook
MOAA Military Spouse Twitter (@MOAA_MilLife)

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I’m feeling so grateful for the equipment I received from MOAA through a Foundation program. It was so much more than I expected. As a remote military spouse, I have learned to get by and do my job with the bare necessities. MOAA has allowed me to now do my job at a higher level of performance. I love that I can be present for my family without having to sacrifice my career.

-Suzanne McCurdy