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.