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By Elaine Sanchez
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 15, 2012 – Officials are hoping efforts to address military spouses’ ongoing issues with obtaining occupational licenses after a move will help to remove career barriers and reduce an unemployment rate that’s consistently higher than that of their civilian-life counterparts.

Military spouses’ employment challenges and suggestions for how states can streamline their processes to better support them are outlined in a new report authored by the Defense and Treasury departments. Alongside Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, will unveil the report later today at the Pentagon.

Obtaining a license in a new state is a “huge headache” and one of the most significant employment barriers for spouses seeking to maintain their careers, Navy Capt. Brad Cooper, executive director of the White House’s “Joining Forces” military-support campaign, told reporters yesterday on a conference call.

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