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Army Spouse Employment Partnership (ASEP) Program

What is it?
The ASEP is a self-sustaining and expanding partnership that is mutually beneficial to the Army and to corporate America. The partnership provides Army spouses with an opportunity to attain financial security, and to achieve employment goals through career mobility and enhanced employment options. Corporate partners can now tap into a pool of readily available, diverse, and talented candidates.

What has Army done?
In October 2003, the Army unveiled ASEP by formally signing Statements of Support with 13 Fortune 500 companies and 2 military agencies who pledged their best efforts to increase employment and career opportunities for Army spouses.  Currently, there are 32 ASEP partners from the private sector and the federal government. In FY08, ASEP partners hired more than 8,200 military spouses, bringing the grand total of spouses employed to 42,100.

Many businesses have added ASEP-dedicated landing pages and specialized tracking mechanisms focused on military spouses to their web pages. The ASEP partners are tailoring human resource strategies to the unique needs of Army spouses by implementing adaptive recruiting and hiring processes within their organizations and creating employment continuity programs and career portability with no loss in tenure or benefits.

The Army launched the Military Spouse Job Search ( website on July 7, 2005. This service provides free access to a résumé and job-listing database for spouses and military-friendly employers and also provides the capability to track spouse hires and to sort jobs by state.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The ASEP partners continue to create new jobs that address some of the employment challenges spouses face, such as affordability and availability of child care and transportation.

The Departments of Defense and Labor have also announced a joint program using the ASEP model. Eligible spouses are reimbursed for expenses directly related to post-secondary education and training under the new program. These include costs for tuition, fees, books, equipment, and credentialing and licensing fees for a number of professions. The program also covers the cost of renewing existing credentials and licenses due to a military move.

Spouses of active-duty service members grades E1 through E5 (private to sergeant) and O1 to O3 (second lieutenant to captain) will be eligible to participate. They must have a high school diploma or General Educational Development Diploma.

Why is this important to the Army?
The Army recognizes the importance of spouse satisfaction in Family decisions. Many Soldiers make retention decisions based on their Families’ financial stability. Approximately 61 percent of Army spouses are in the labor force and contribute between 20 to 47 percent of their families’ income. The perception of a spouse’s quality of life—including financial well-being and the ability to realize personal and professional goals—is a major factor in the retention of our All Volunteer Force. Frequent Soldier reassignments/relocations make it difficult for spouses to sustain steady employment and develop long-term careers. ASEP helps spouses overcome these obstacles.

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