The requirements of individual states in the US mean that military spouses who are constantly relocating can often find themselves facing repeated obstacles to their careers. When PCS orders come through, many spouses must uproot their careers and start looking for new jobs in the state that they will be making a move to with their spouse, or have to stay in their existing position and end up being separated.
Military spouses have to endure relocation across state lines around ten times more often than is the case for civilian spouses, a joint report last year from the Defense and Treasury departments says. This constant churn is the main reason why military spouses are urged to try to find careers that are portable.
The downside is that there is a catch to many such portable careers in that a lot of them require people to be state certified in order to be able to work in that field, which is something that can be a recurring nightmare for people continually having to move from state to state. The result is that over one in four military spouses are now unemployed.
The issue has been noticed by the Defense Department, and its state liaison office has started to work with state legislatures in order to enact laws to try to cut down on the amount of hurdles that are being presented to military families every time they relocate to a new state.