USCG starts reimbursing spouse licensing, certification costs

The U.S. Coast Guard this week announced it will begin reimbursing spouses of Coast Guard service members for qualified relicensing costs incurred by them due to the transfer of an active duty service member to another state, U.S. territory or the District of Columbia.

The term “qualified relicensing costs” means costs, including examination and registration fees, imposed by the state of the new duty station to secure a license or certification to engage in the same profession the service member’s spouse engaged in while in the state of the original duty station.

This reimbursement is authorized by the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Since the NDAA was signed Dec. 12, 2017, the Coast Guard will allow spouses to back-file for reimbursement back to that date.

“Spouses, just like our service members, endure many sacrifices during the course of a military career,” Adm. Matthew Sibley, assistant commandant for Human Resources, said in a statement announcing the agency’s new policy. “These sacrifices are especially hard on a spouse’s career with the frequency of military moves. We are pleased to provide our military spouses with the Coast Guard License and Certification Reimbursement Program to assist them with easing their own career transitions.”

The Coast Guard has roughly 2,500 working spouses of service members, with about 10% to 20% of them in occupations requiring a type of state licensing for their professional credentials (doctors, nurses, teachers, massage therapists, hairdressers, attorneys, etc.). This key initiative is just one way the Coast Guard is working to better support the total workforce and their families as they transition to a new place to live.

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