10 U.S. Code § 1784a - Education and training opportunities for military spouses to expand employment and portable career opportunities

(a) Programs and Tuition Assistance.—
(1) The Secretary of Defense may establish programs to assist the spouse of a member of the armed forces described in subsection (b) in achieving—
(A)
the education and training required for a degree or credential at an accredited college, university, or technical school in the United States that expands employment and portable career opportunities for the spouse; or
(B)
the education prerequisites and professional licensure or credential required, by a government or government sanctioned licensing body, for an occupation that expands employment and portable career opportunities for the spouse.
(2)
As an alternative to, or in addition to, establishing a program under this subsection, the Secretary may provide tuition assistance to an eligible spouse who is pursuing education, training, or a license or credential to expand the spouse’s employment and portable career opportunities.
(b) Eligible Spouses.—
(1)
Assistance under this section is limited to a spouse of a member of the armed forces who is serving on active duty.
(2)
A spouse who is eligible for a program under this section and begins a course of education or training for a degree, license, or credential described in subsection (a) may not become ineligible to complete such course of education or training solely because the member to whom the spouse is married is promoted to a higher grade.
(c) Exceptions.—Subsection (b) does not include—
(1)
a person who is married to, but legally separated from, a member of the armed forces under court order or statute of any State or territorial possession of the United States; and
(2)
a spouse of a member of the armed forces who is also a member of the armed forces.
(d) Portable Career Opportunities Defined.—
In this section, the term “portable career” includes an occupation identified by the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of Labor, as requiring education and training that results in a credential that is recognized nationwide by industry or specific businesses.
(e) Regulations.—
The Secretary of Defense shall prescribe regulations to govern the availability and use of assistance under this section. The Secretary shall ensure that programs established under this section do not result in inequitable treatment for spouses of members of the armed forces who are also members, since they are excluded from participation in the programs under subsection (c)(2).
(Added Pub. L. 110–417, [div. A], title V, § 582(a), Oct. 14, 2008, 122 Stat. 4473; amended Pub. L. 116–92, div. A, title V, § 576, Dec. 20, 2019, 133 Stat. 1406.)
Amendments

2019—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 116–92 designated existing provisions as par. (1) and added par. (2).

First Expansion of the My Career Advancement Account Program for Military Spouses

Pub. L. 116–92, div. A, title V, § 580F, Dec. 20, 2019, 133 Stat. 1410, provided that:

“The Secretary of Defense shall modify the My Career Advancement Account program of the Department of Defense to ensure that military spouses participating in the program may receive financial assistance for the pursuit of a license, certification, or Associate’s degree in any career field or occupation.”
Improvement of My Career Advancement Account Program for Military Spouses

Pub. L. 115–232, div. A, title V, § 574, Aug. 13, 2018, 132 Stat. 1780, provided that:

“(a) Outreach on Availability of Program.—
The Secretary of Defense shall take appropriate actions to ensure that military spouses who are eligible for participation in the My Career Advancement Account program of the Department of Defense are, to the extent practicable, made aware of the program.
“(b) Comptroller General Report.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Aug. 13, 2018], the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit to the Committees on Armed Services of the Senate and the House of Representatives a report setting forth such recommendations as the Comptroller General considers appropriate regarding the following:
“(1)
Mechanisms to increase awareness of the My Career Advancement Account program of the Department of Defense among military spouses who are eligible to participate in the program.
“(2)
Mechanisms to increase participation in the My Career Advancement Account program among military spouses who are eligible to participate in the program.
“(c) Training for Installation Career Counselors on Program.—
The Secretaries of the military departments shall take appropriate actions to ensure that career counselors at military installations receive appropriate training and current information on eligibility for and use of benefits under the My Career Advancement Account program, including financial assistance to cover costs associated with professional recertification, portability of occupational licenses, professional credential exams, and other mechanisms in connection with the portability of professional licenses.”