First Lady: All 50 states take action on military spouse licensing

Military families have something to celebrate this 4th of July, as they no longer have to worry about how being transferred across state lines will impact their ability to work.

On July 2, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden announced that all fifty states have now acted to streamline professional licensing for military spouses so that if their families are transferred across state lines, they will no longer have to worry about military licensing.

The achievement was made possible through the Joining Forces initiative under the direction of Mrs.Obama and Dr. Biden.

Started in 2011, Joining Forces is a nationwide initiative calling all Americans to rally around service members, veterans, and their families and support them through wellness, education, and employment opportunities.

"We can finally say to so many of our military families—when you move, you’ll no longer be forced to put the career you love on hold just because you and your family have chosen to serve this country,” said President Barrack Obama in a message posted to Facebook. “That’s what this is all about—serving our men and women in uniform as well as they have served us."

On average, military spouses seek new employment every 1-3 years based on their military spouses’ orders. In addition, about 35 percent of military spouses work in an occupation that requires a professional license, thus necessitating re-credentialing with each move across state lines.

Nearly 15 percent  of all military spouses move households to accommodate their families—compared to 1.1 percent of non-military spouses.

Since 2011, more than 1.2 million veterans and military spouses have been hired or trained as a result of ongoing outreach.

Joining Forces primary objectives are:

  • Bring attention to the unique experiences and strengths of America’s service members, veterans, and their families.
  • Inspire, educate, and spark action from all sectors of society -- citizens, communities, businesses, nonprofits, faith-based institutions, philanthropic organizations, and government -- to ensure service members, veterans, and their families have the opportunities, resources, and support they have earned.
  • Showcase the skills, experience, and dedication of America’s service members, veterans and their families to strengthen our nation’s communities.
  • Create greater connections between the American public and the military.

For more information, visit



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