Danielle Hanson, Army Community Service specialist, teaches military spouses how to navigate the USAJobs portal during the Military Spouse Federal Resume Writing Workshop, April 14. 

ACS prepares military spouses for future

Story, photo by Emily Hileman, Fort Jackson Public Affairs

For military families, permanent changes of station are a fact of life. No matter how often you move, it can be difficult to find a new job in each new city. It can even be overwhelming, and the loss of a second income can cause a major financial burden for many Families.

These burdens are a Pandora’s Box of other problems for Soldiers and their Families. That’s where Army Community Service helps by hosting a variety of events for military spouses to assist with gaining employment.

“We understand the difficulties of losing your career because you have to PCS with your Soldier,” said Danielle Hanson, ACS specialist. “Upon arrival, we want to ensure they know they can come here to receive support with their employment readiness journey.”.

The program helps even if a spouse isn’t searching for a position or there aren’t positions available yet. It helps to connect spouses with the Soldier and Family Readiness Groups and other volunteer opportunities, Hanson said.

“One hour of volunteerism is equivalent to one hour of work experience, as long as they’re properly registered in the Volunteer Management Information System,” Hanson said.

Volunteering holds a special place to Hanson, who was able to land her first position at ACS due to her prior experience as a VMIS-registered volunteer, while her husband served on active duty.

ACS holds two major events monthly to help military spouses seeking federal employment. The first one is a Military Spouse Employment Seminar, held on the last Thursday of every month. Spouses receive information from various entities during the seminar, such as the Civilian Personnel Advisory Center discussing the rights military spouses have while seeking federal employment and opportunities available to them on Fort Jackson.

Two weeks later, ACS holds the Military Spouse Federal Resume Writing Class to walk spouses through creating a USAJobs account, utilizing the Office of Personnel Management’s series and classification codes and how to write their resume using the federal system grammar, which can be a daunting task on its own.

Although many military spouses are far from retirement, it is one more reason to consider attending the Military Spouse Employment Seminar and Federal Resume Writing Class. Dual incomes now can lead to a successful retirement later.

“You only have to make $1,200 per month to pull social security on your own when you come of age,” Hanson said. ACS can also assist spouses with applying for reimbursements required for transferring professional licenses through Military One Source. Professions that qualify for reimbursements include teaching, healthcare, cosmetologists, massage therapists and many others.