In the United States, Military Spouse Appreciation Day is celebrated annually on the Friday before Mother's Day. In 2023, it falls on May 12. This day is dedicated to recognizing and honoring the sacrifices and contributions of military spouses living across the US and abroad.
In addition to the many sacrifices military spouses make in support of their spouses’ careers, they also face a number of unique challenges in the workplace, including:
- Frequent moves: Military families are often required to move to new duty stations every few years. This can make it difficult for military spouses to find and maintain steady employment.
- Licensing hurdles: Military spouses in some professions may need to obtain new licenses and certifications when they move to a new state. This can be a time-consuming and expensive process.
- Solo parenting: When a service member is deployed or traveling extensively, their spouse faces additional burdens and stress in having to balance the challenge of their own work while parenting without the help of their partner.
- Caregiving for extended family: In addition to childcare, many military spouses also support their parents and extended families, which could make it more difficult to find job opportunities during “normal” working hours.
- Lack of support: Military spouses may feel isolated or unsupported in the workplace as they may be the only ones in their situation. They may not have the same access to resources as their civilian counterparts due to some of the challenges listed above.
These are intimidating hurdles, but they don’t have to be insurmountable. Our team at TCDI believes that modern technology and the current landscape of the e-discovery field make this a ripe industry for military spouses to find a professional home. With a few simple accommodations, it’s easier than ever to make these hard-working individuals feel supported, seen, and stable in their work—no matter where their family life takes them.
MSMR: A Bridge for Military Spouses
Indeed, even in the face of the day-to-day challenges presented by their unique circumstances, many military spouses have proven to be very successful in the workplace! At TCDI, our military spouse employees are highly motivated and adaptable, with an incredibly strong work ethic. Launched in 2018, TCDI's Military Spouse Managed Review (MSMR) program is a remote legal services program that provides flexible, long-term employment opportunities for military spouses and veterans.
Our MSMR program was designed to build a partnership between military spouses and the business community, which benefits greatly from their skills and experience. We provide projects for military spouse attorneys in document or contracts review and for non-attorney spouses on interesting and varied legal support projects.
This successful, woman-centric program is designed to provide ongoing flexible and reliable work opportunities for military spouses. In its first year, the program enrolled over 100 military spouses, and it continues to grow in popularity. Today, we have over 500 participants and more than 50 clients supporting it.
We are happy to say that we hear from our spouses that the MSMR program is a valuable resource for them, providing them with the opportunity to earn a living, to use their skills and experience, and to support their families without the additional stressors of strictly in-person employment.
The Unique Skills and Strengths of Military Spouses and Veterans
These professionals have many unique qualities to offer their colleagues that we’ve come to see first-hand. For example, we have found our MSMR teammates to be eager and hard-working. They also have an innate sense of attention to security—because they know that safety is their top priority.
From a security perspective, military spouses and veterans often make a habit of staying up to date on security threats, make sure their families are aware of them, and create emergency plans which they practice regularly. This translates perfectly into our need for data security, which is often taken for granted in civilian life, and handling sensitive information with care. Additionally, our team members are advocates for military families and work to improve their quality of life, which integrates perfectly with TCDI’s goals for all of our employees—especially those involved with the military.
Continuing the Move Forward
The MSMR program is a win-win-win for everyone involved (military spouses, veterans, TCDI, and our clients). Throughout our joint venture over the years, we have developed close and lasting partnerships with Hiring Our Heroes, the Military Spouse J.D. Network (MSJDN), and the Department of Defense’s Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) to build ongoing success and trusted relationships.
Our MSMR program is a source of pride for the team at TCDI, as well as for our clients who support it, and it remains “the single most worthwhile endeavor TCDI has ever undertaken,” according to CEO, Bill Johnson. For us, the MSMR program is an opportunity to do tremendous good and, at the same time, realize better service and better outcomes, while improving cost control for our clients. TCDI is committed to supporting military families and to providing them with opportunities to succeed—and the MSMR program is just one way that TCDI is doing this.
This Military Spouse Appreciation Day, I hope you’ll reach out to a military spouse you know to say thank you for their sacrifice and service to our country.