Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Why MyCAA has just been ruined

The new guidelines for the revamped MyCAA program have just been released. And within those guidelines is a whole heap-load of bullshit. Where the prior version of the program seemed – finally! – to recognize what milspouses need as far as support from the military, this version goes right back to the old way of thinking. Namely:

·         Milspouses don’t need a lot of options for their portable careers.

·         O-3 and up aren’t still dishing out mad cash every month to pay for college loans and have TONS of money just lying around to spend on more schooling.

·         Milspouses also don’t need higher education. Because if you have a Bachelor’s degree, you should be good to go. Or else you should be putting that degree to excellent use by staying home and squeezing out more dependents so you *really* can’t afford to go to school.

 

The DOD is so ridiculously out of touch here, I just can’t even fathom where the break happened. MyCAA was awesome. It was a great idea, and the fact that it was as popular as it was should fucking register to the DOD where their disconnect has been all these years. But now MyCAA is yet another program that won’t evenly serve the entire military community. It’s yet another program that establishes that the true job of a milspouse is to supplement the service member’s income. Nothing more. Because in the end, the service member’s career is the only important one, the family member’s happiness and pride mean nothing, and the sacrifices the milspouse has to make to bend to the needs of the military are just how it goes.

This is the point where I often hear that loverly refrain “You knew what you were getting into when you married your husband.” I’ve got just a few words on that one. You can read them here or consider this summary: fuck off.

I wish I had more time to give to this subject because it’s an important one. Unfortunately, I’m still trying to get my life in order before the semester begins and my opportunities dry up. Suffice to say I’m extremely displeased with the way the revamp has gone. No longer are we treated as if our careers matter. Instead, we’re back to the old way of thinking, as if we don’t sacrifice everything we’ve worked for every time we PCS.

Those of us lucky enough to take advantage of MyCAA before the DOD shit all over it should rejoice. For one glowing, happy year we were recognized. We were given options. We mattered just a wee, tiny bit. Rejoice because now it’s over. Now you’ll only qualify for this program if your career ambitions can be served with a license, a certificate, or an associate’s degree (which I suppose even means in some states, you’re fucked if you want to teach, which has seemed like one of the few solid and popular careers for milspouses). You’ll only qualify if the service member hasn’t yet reached a certain rank. Basically, only a few will qualify.

The site I linked to above says this:

Military spouses are the backbone for military families, displaying strength of character to be admired by this nation. The Department of Defense remains committed to investing in military families, and appreciates the sacrifice of those who also serve.

I call bullshit. Everything the site says before this point gives lie to this statement.

Those of you who qualify, be sure to use the shit out of this program. It’s likely the last time you’ll ever get the support you need from the DOD. Their heads are so far up their asses, it’s going to take decades to pull them free again.

And most of all, be sure to spread the word. Somehow, not everyone knows about MyCAA. Get them on board and have them take advantage, too. Do it while you can, before even this tiny nugget of acknowledgment vanishes.

13 comments:

kimba said...

That sucks. Although I never heard about it to begin with, and we've been paying for my second round of grad school ourselves, it sounds like it helped a whole pile of people. And now it sounds like now J's over-ranked. Oh well.

Anchored Away said...

Yeah, you don't qualify. Because of his rank and on account of it's grad school. You can max get an associate's degree now.

kimba said...

How awesome is that? So this helps out ONLY if you have no higher education at all at present, and have no plans to get more than a two year degree. How useful!

*sigh* 5 1/2 more years, 5 1/2 more years, 5 1/2 more years...

digtoesin said...

Between the cherry picking of ranks and the 'associates' limitation... not to mention their pointed 'Capping' of funds... Why did they freaking bother?

So. Sick. of the Lipspeak.

BTW--As I'm navigating the Gauntlet of TriCare right now, I've thought of you a lot lately... I've had relatively good luck so far, but I'm terrified I'm going to hit a wall soon.

kimberly said...

What an amazingly tall pile of crap that is. So you spouses are expected to pull up stakes every time the service member gets reassigned, so you can't build up any tenure at any place of employment. Then you can't get any assistance for college costs, so you can't get jobs that need a degree. And what happens if you end up getting a divorce, as I've read happens too frequently in military families? Or gods forbid, if your spouse doesn't make it home? The military has made damsure that you won't be able to support your family. I think that stinks. :-( That just fucking blows. I'm real sorry to hear it.

navynest said...

This is so frustrating. The whole situation blows my mind. I can't stand the attitude like, "Well, your husband is garuenteed a paycheck so why should the gov't help you?" I actually had someone say that to me once. Grrrrr!

keisha said...

I received the email yesterday saying that I will no longer be eligible after october 25th; however, we will pay for fall. They act like they are doing me a favor. I cannot believe they would put more stress on us military spouses after everything we deal with. AND to top it off, they said there is plenty of funding for those seeking 4 year degrees, where is it? I haven't found one source.

Ha whatta joke!

陳佑發 said...

Seeing is believing.百聞不如一見............................................................

Hil Fish said...

They just don't get it.

Sally said...

omg! i am just about to start my master's degree & got the "new" mycaa guidelines in an email the other day! i wanted to cry! here i thought i was going to get 6k towards a 20k education & now i find out i'm only gonna get part of 4k because it's for a MA and because my husband is on 05. i am a SAHM and have not taught since my son was born. we are paying 2 Catholic school tuitions & this was finally going to be MY TIME to get my higher degree so that i can go back to teaching in a few years! i am so upset about the whole thing!

navydroner said...

Really seems like there SHOULD be more money for the advancement of military spouses' careers. Guess it isn't feasable for military spouses to require more than a 2-year ASSOCIATES degree.

First year navy spouse enrolling first year of grad school. Quit job more than a month ago in preparation for overseas move. Living with in-laws because 'page two' says their place (not in same town as job). Overseas move not happening when they said it would (extension got caught up in the detailer's office, oops). Applying for an enlisted spouse's scholarship...sitting down to write an essay. The essay promt is: how my time at my husband's current station has shaped me.

Sick, sad joke, this navy life.

whatthewhat said...

I guess. But I'm happy that I can use it. To me, an Associate's Degree is better than nothing.

m e g a n a l i n a said...

As one of the "rich" O-3 families I was irate when I realized I didn't qualify under the new MyCAA. I have my degree in Architecture but as anyone could guess there really isn't a market for architects in an Army town. MyCAA has paired up with a Home Staging training service and I thought "OH MY GOSH! This could be a great path to peruse, even if tangentially related to architecture!"

But I forgot, my husband and I are just rolling in the extra dough and ought to be able to pay out of pocket for all these things.