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Secretary of the Army Mark T. Esper signed the directive May 1, to ease the burden on spouses applying for new state licensing or certifications due to following their Soldier spouse to a new post in another state.

What is it?

Army Directive 2019-18, Reimbursement for State Licensure and Certification Costs for the Spouse of a Soldier Arising from a Permanent Change of Station, establishes a policy to reimburse qualified costs associated with state licensures and certifications when spouses undergo a permanent change of station with their Soldier to another state.

What are the Army’s current and past efforts?

The Army developed this directive to correct the fact that there was no previous policy or directive for reimbursing military spouses licensure and certification costs that result from a relocation across state lines.

The Army will reimburse qualified relicensing costs for spouses. These are costs to cover examination and registration fees imposed by the state of the new duty station. This allows spouses to secure a license or recertification in the new duty station for the same profession as in the original duty station.

The new policy is effective retroactive to Dec. 12, 2017, and applies to the Army, Army National Guard and Army Reserve.

The Army will provide policy details to commanders, Soldiers and Army spouses through official messaging and Military OneSource.

The Defense State Liaison Office continues to work with all states to make it easier for Army spouses to transfer their licenses when relocating.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned?

The Army will provide instructions for filing reimbursement through the permanent change of station process and ensure funding is available through the military pay and allowances account. Reimbursement may not exceed $500 in connection with each reassignment. Costs, including exam and registration fees that are imposed by the state of the new duty station to secure a license or certification in the spouse’s same profession while in the previous state may be eligible for reimbursement.

Why is this important to the Army?

The Army is dedicated to supporting families and has a history of championing spouse employment. 

Spouses in professionally licensed fields face challenges resulting from delays and the cost of transferring licenses to a new state. By mitigating these barriers, the Army improves quality of life for Soldiers and families and eases the stress of transferring duty stations with consideration for long-term career implications.

To read the new directive, search “Army Directive 2019-18.”