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4+1 Commitment equals opportunities for military spouses

Military spouses often face difficult barriers to meaningful, gainful employment. Whether it’s a lack of childcare, lack of advancement opportunities due to location, or the looming possibility of upcoming relocation, military spouses can struggle to find full-time employment.

However, VA remains committed to supporting Veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses. We know every military-connected hire strengthens VA as a diverse organization and deepens our pledge to serve the community of Veterans who rely on us for care.

Earlier this year, we once again acknowledged that effort by being the first federal agency to sign the 4+1 Commitment, an initiative championed by Dr. Jill Biden and made possible by Craig Newmark Philanthropies.

The 4+1 Commitment

Developed by Blue Star Families, Hiring Our Heroes, and Department of Defense’s Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP), the 4+1 Commitment is a voluntary pledge by employers to adopt at least 1of 4 important employment policies designed to expand employment and career opportunities for military spouses:

  1. Facilitate job transferability
  2. Offer remote or telework options
  3. Offer flexible work hours
  4. Provide paid or permissive Permanent Change of Station (PCS) leave

In recognition of our commitment to supporting military spouses, VA has gone the extra mile and adopted all 4 of these polices to serve as core tenets of our military spouse employment strategy:

  • VA supports the reassignment of military spouses to vacate funded positions for which they are qualified when required to move as part of the service member’s military service.
  • VA offers telework and remote work positions into which military spouses can be appointed. VA uses the remote jobs filter on to post these announcements, making it easier for military spouses to find these employment opportunities with VA.
  • Recognizing the ever-changing demands of military life, VA policy provides military spouses opportunities to request flexible work hours or compressed work schedules. 
  • VA leave-approving officials can approve up to 5 paid administrative leave days for a PCS. 

VA has also chosen to extend Leave Without Pay status to military spouses whose active-duty military members receive PCS orders, going above and beyond the 4+1 Commitment because we recognize the value of all that military spouses have to offer.

“As a military spouse, I know firsthand that these commitments will make a real difference,” said VA Chief of Staff Kimberly Jackson. “By making these commitments, VA will be better positioned to recruit and retain these public servants as we execute our nation’s most sacred obligation: caring for Veterans, their families, caregivers, and survivors.”

Take the first step with VMSTEP

As a military spouse, you have a distinct perspective on what we do at VA and how to help our Veterans. You’re educated, qualified, and ready to serve families who have lived through experiences similar to your own.

That’s knowledge other candidates just can’t duplicate, which is why VA has long been a leader in developing and implementing military spouse-friendly policies and agencies, including the Veteran and Military Spouse Talent Engagement Program (VMSTEP).

VMSTEP provides employment readiness assistance and support while advocating the use of special hiring authorities, employment programs, and retention strategies to position VA as the employer of choice for Veterans and military spouses. 

Military spouses who work for VA bring their experience and understanding of what it means to be a part of the mission. Through VMSTEP, we’re taking actionable steps to reduce military spouse unemployment and underemployment rates, thus contributing to stability of military families.

Work at VA

If you’re a Veteran, military spouse, or are planning your return to civilian life after your military service, we stand ready to offer you assistance and support in your quest for a meaningful career.

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