Q: It’s my understanding that some adjustments to the old MyCAA program will be happening soon. What exactly is changing? How do spouses get the maximum benefit?
A: The Department of Defense (DOD) Military Spouse Career Advancement Program (MyCAA) program's original intent was to help military spouses get a post-secondary education, so they could pursue better careers. The response to the program was overwhelming; so overwhelming that funding costs of the program far exceeded the allocated budget forcing the DOD to stop taking new members into the program.
Now the DOD has finished revamping the program and on October 25th, they will start to accept new military spouses of only junior grade servicemembers into the program:
Enlisted: E-1 - E-5;
Warrant Officer: W1 - W2;
Commissioned Officer: O1 - O2.
Servicemembers in these grades earn the least money and generally less able to afford to send their spouses to school. These are the grades where a spouses income is needed the most.
Another major change to the program was the amount of money each eligible spouse could receive from the program. Under the new rules, each eligible spouse can receive up to $2,000 per year, with a $4,000 cap. Each spouse must use up his/her funding within a three year period and must result in obtaining:
or associates' degree.
In a Press Release dated this date, Clifford Stanley, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness said "The changes announced today reflect a return to the original intent of the program which is to help military spouses, with the greatest need, successfully enter, navigate and advance in portable careers,"