Tuesday, July 20, 2010

MyCAA - screwed up again

Portable careers - or is that a portable "job"? Social workers - need at the very least, a bachelors. Teachers, nurses, mental health providers, counselors - yup, you need at least a Bachelors. Now, if you need a counselor, would you rather have a milspouse who understands exactly what you are going through? would you rather have a teacher for your kids, who understands what deployments do to the family? So why the HELL isn't DoD working with us, investing in US!!! We are there, we want to work, we want to study, we want to help our military families - so why the HELL doesn't DoD take advantage of the workforce they have, instead of hiring those expensive contractors??? WHY????

Now, for those of you who haven't seen the newest incarnation of the MyCAA Program, the latest "promise" from DoD who holds some pretty awesome power over our lives, here's the link.
Here's portions of the announcement at MilitaryOneSource...

With a focus on the original intent of the program, the Defense Department’s financial assistance program will:
  • Be available to spouses of active duty service members in pay grades E1-E5, W1-W2, and O1-O2
  • Offer a maximum financial benefit of $4,000 with a fiscal year cap of $2,000. Waivers will be available for spouses pursuing licensure or certification up to the total maximum assistance of $4,000
  • Require military spouses to finish their program of study within three years from the start date of the first course
  • Be limited to associate degrees, certification, and licensures

These new guidelines reflect a return to the original purpose of the program — to assist spouses of service members in achieving portable careers. These changes also align the program with responsible fiscal planning by the Defense Department to help sustain the program


DoD maintains that:
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

Now, supposedly, we also will be able to use MilitaryOneSource for more career counseling.

Starting 8 a.m. (EDT) Monday October 25, 2010, Military OneSource career and education counselors will have a much more active role in supporting military spouses. In addition to understanding resources available via DoD’s financial aid support, they will provide support and assistance to identify and gain access to other federal, state, and local programs. All military spouses of active duty service members will be eligible for career counseling and support.

What will happen to the Guard and Reserve spouses? well.....

Additionally, the review revealed that National Guard and Reserve members must be on active duty for their spouses to receive the MyCAA benefit. Spouses may no longer use the MyCAA benefit when the service member is in an alert or demobilization period. The new eligibility rule takes effect immediately.

Lovely, isn't it? The Guard gets used and used and used... and this is what they get... if you are in the middle of the program and your Guard spouse is demobed... I guess you are SOL.


Great. Promises made, should be kept.

4 comments:

digtoesin said...

*sigh* Grrr. BAH! I didn't use MyCAA (though I was keeping it in mind for a time when life would allow), but this is just a slap in the face. I'm trying to figure out what portable jobs we could possibly get with these restrictions. And the cherry picking of the ranks... that one really frosts me, because we ALL need the assistance.

And I'm so sick of them referring us to Military OneSource as if it's some magical Godsend for us. As a PSI coordinator for women with PPD I hear over and over again, "You can always refer folks to Mil. OneSource... They have all that 'free' counseling." And then Mom's call (or I call) and are told, "We don't really deal with 'long term problems.' Very rarely in my experience, and from observing the experience of others is Military OneSource anything more than a place which gives people common-sense advice that they could have read from a Google Search. If anyone else has had a consistently better experience with OneSource, by all means set me straight.

They keep putting bandaids on these huge problems, patting our heads and saying, "We appreciate you."

digtoesin said...

*sigh* Grrr. BAH! I didn't use MyCAA (though I was keeping it in mind for a time when life would allow), but this is just a slap in the face. I'm trying to figure out what portable jobs we could possibly get with these restrictions. And the cherry picking of the ranks... that one really frosts me, because we ALL need the assistance.

And I'm so sick of them referring us to Military OneSource as if it's some magical Godsend for us. As a PSI coordinator for women with PPD I hear over and over again, "You can always refer folks to Mil. OneSource... They have all that 'free' counseling." And then Mom's call (or I call) and are told, "We don't really deal with 'long term problems.' Very rarely in my experience, and from observing the experience of others is Military OneSource anything more than a place which gives people common-sense advice that they could have read from a Google Search. If anyone else has had a consistently better experience with OneSource, by all means set me straight.

They keep putting bandaids on these huge problems, patting our heads and saying, "We appreciate you."

potandkettle said...

This is so screwed up. They've successfully bitch-slapped military spouses and their families via a press release. Damn military spouses for wanting to do something to contribute to the welfare of their families and better themselves. It's not to say that Associate degrees aren't beneficial, but most aren't the golden ticket for many "portable careers" active duty spouses need.

SHILLIG4FAMILY said...

the Guard gets used and used and used... and this is what they get...

I liked that part, we were just denied a VA loan b/c my husband is active duty guard and they wanted him to guarentee orders for the next 12 months (even though he's had active guard orders for almost 5 years now), guard orders are hardly ever guaranteed! They don't require proof of 12 months future income on civilians.

Thanks for seeing things through a guard point of view.