MyCAA is a great resource for Military Spouses trying to start a career. Here are the basics you need to know:
Often referred to as Spouse Tuition Assistance, the Department of Defense Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) program can provide up to $4,000 of financial assistance to Military Spouses. Fields include:
- Healthcare (nurses, dental hygienists, and pharmacy technicians)
- Information technology (network analysts and database administrators)
- Education (teachers and teacher’s assistants)
- Financial services (claims adjusters, credit analysts and bank tellers)
- Construction/skilled trades (carpenters and electricians)
You may also receive career counseling, interest and aptitude testing, skill assessments, and career guidance from One-Stop Career Centers and its military installation Voluntary Education Centers or Family Support Centers, as well as supportive services, such as child care and transportation assistance.
Spouses of active duty Servicemembers in pay grades E1-E5, W1-W2, and O1-O2, as well as Spouses of activated Guard and Reserve members within those ranks are eligible for MyCAA. Spouses of Guard and Reserve members must be able to start and complete their courses while their sponsor is on Title 10 orders. Unfortunately, the program is not open to Coast Guard Spouses. You must meet the following:
- Be married to a servicemember/sponsor on active duty;
- Be married to a servicemember/sponsor at the E-1 through E-4 levels (junior enlisted servicemembers), E-5 level (non-commissioned officers), or O-1 through O-3 levels (junior commissioned officers);
- Be married to a servicemember/sponsor who is assigned to a demonstration site OR reside in the state at the time of eligibility determination when the servicemember/sponsor spouse is deployed or on an unaccompanied military tour from a demonstration site;
- Be married to a servicemember/sponsor with a minimum of one year remaining at the demonstration installation duty assignment; with the exception of duty assignments that will require relocation as part of the Base Realignment and Closure Act of 2005 (BRAC 05);
- Have a high school diploma or GED;
- Not be receiving Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) or Workforce Investment Act (WIA)-funded Individual Training Accounts.
Education, training and certification/licensure in portable career fields definitely increases your employment opportunities and reduces the period of time you’re unemployed between moves. The education and training programs can be completed in less than two years. You can also use your CAA funding to pay for expenses directly related to post-secondary education and training, including
- Equipment necessary to complete the education or training
- Credentialing and licensing fees
To apply for CAA, visit the Military Installation’s Family Support Center or Voluntary Education Center. You can also visit the MyCAA website as well as find FAQs here.