Rep. McMorris Rodgers Attends Key Pentagon Briefing on Military Spouse Employment

2/15/12

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Co-Chair of the bipartisan Congressional Military Family Caucus, met with First Lady Michelle Obama, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and other high-ranking officials at the Pentagon today for an event focused on military spouse employment.  The event highlighted a new report by the Defense Department and Department of Treasury outlining opportunities and best practices for states to better support military spouses serving in professions with state licensure requirements.

“I applaud Mrs. Obama, Secretary Panetta, and General Dempsey for their leadership on this very important issue,” said Rep. McMorris Rodgers.  “We recognize that when a service member joins the military, it’s not just a job; it’s a family commitment to our country.  When a service member rotates to a different military installation, their spouse has to find a new job – often with new state credentialing requirements. Given these tough times, it’s not hard to imagine how great this burden is.  That’s why I’m so excited by today’s meeting.  By implementing this new report, we will improve the employment situation for military spouses and, thereby, honor the sacrifices that America’s heroes – those on the frontlines and those at home – make every single day.”

Today, the Defense Department and Department of Treasury jointly released Supporting Our Military Families: Best Practices for Streamlining Occupational Licensing Across State Lines.  This report details nearly 50 commitments from Cabinet agencies to reform, strengthen, and better coordinate the federal government’s support for military families.  Today’s event will help implement those commitments.

Rep. McMorris Rodgers, whose husband, Brian, is a retired Navy pilot, co-founded the Congressional Military Family Caucus in 2009.  The CMFC is a bipartisan educational forum for Members of Congress and their staff on military family topics.

First Lady Michelle Obama leads the White House’s Joining Forces initiative, which addresses the unique challenges and needs of military families.