December 11, 2020

Hirono Amendment to Boost Military Spouse Education Opportunities Passes in NDAA

More than 1,000 Hawaii military spouses have used this program to further their careers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii), a Senate Armed Services Committee member, announced that a provision she authored to help military spouses achieve their professional goals through licensing, certification, or associate degree programs passed the Senate and is expected to become law. The provision was included in the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which passed the Senate and House with veto-proof majorities.

Senator Hirono’s provision expands the use of My Career Advancement Account (MyCAA) program funds to cover the cost of national exams that award college credit for prior learning. It also pays for continuing education costs necessary to maintain a professional license or certification.

“Hawaii is home to more than 100,000 military personnel and their families. While some families are long-term residents, others have just moved to our state, and military spouses may need financial assistance getting licenses, college credits, or other certifications. This provision will give military spouses more flexibility to pursue their careers, regardless of their location,” Senator Hirono said. “I will continue to advocate for federal programs that support our service members and their families in Hawaii and across the world.”

The language is similar to the Military Spouse Career Education Act, which Representative Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (D-Northern Mariana Islands) successfully included in the House-passed NDAA. 

“The Military Spouse Career Education Act helps cover the costs of restarting their careers, when military spouses have to relocate. Training needed to relicense in a new location and exams granting college credits will be paid for, making life a little bit easier for military families,” Rep. Sablan said.

Senator Hirono announced earlier this month that she successfully included the authorization of two military child care centers in Hawaii in the NDAA, as well as other military construction projects.