‘These Commitments Will Make a Real Difference:’ VA Signs the 4+1 Commitment to Support Military Spouses

VA booth at hiring fair
Written by
Hiring Our Heroes

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs took a historic step to tackle employment barriers for military spouses by becoming the first federal agency to sign the 4+1 Commitment.

“As a military spouse, I know firsthand that these commitments will make a real difference,” said VA Chief of Staff Kimberly Jackson. “Military spouses are some of the most talented and dedicated professionals in the public and private sector, and 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.”

The 4+1 Commitment: The Formula for Military Spouse Success is a first-of-its-kind, nationwide effort aimed at reducing the 21% military spouse unemployment rate. It is presented by Blue Star Families and Hiring Our Heroes in partnership with the Department of Defense Military Spouse Employment Partnership. The initiative was launched as part of Blue Star Families’ Do Your Part campaign, made possible by craig newmark philanthropies, in December 2023.

Hiring Our Heroes is working to have 1,000 signatories before the end of the year.

The commitment, championed by First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, is a voluntary commitment by employers to adopt at least one of the following military spouse employment policies:

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

+1: Consider joining an existing government spouse employment program  

The VA committed to all four policies, as well as extending leave-without-pay status to military spouses whose active-duty service members receive PCS orders.  Also, the VA has been a part of the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) since 2019.

“To build the strongest possible workforce to serve our nation’s heroes, we need to hire and support military spouses – many of whom are veterans themselves,” said VA Secretary Denis McDonough. “We at VA are proud to make these commitments and support our nation’s military spouses every way we can.”

The 4+1 Commitment is a way for employers to voluntarily commit to improving military spouse employment outcomes. Adopt the commitment today!

Related Articles