Military spouses face many of the same struggles that Servicemembers and Veterans endure when transitioning from military service to civilian careers. However, the main difference is that for many spouses, the problems faced have lasted throughout their time tied to the military lifestyle.
One of the significant issues for military spouses is finding steady and meaningful employment. Military spouses face an unemployment rate of upwards of 26%, nearly five times higher than the national average for Veteran unemployment. Military spouses don’t receive the same support as their Servicemember counterparts. Code Platoon, however, is committed to helping those who have supported their spouses on the homefront.
“Code Platoon recognizes the importance of spouses in the military and seeks to support them as much as we support Veterans,” said Rod Levy, Code Platoon’s Founder and Executive Director. “Our warm, military-friendly environment is designed specifically to serve the needs of military spouses, as well as Veterans. Code Platoon is unique among Coding Bootcamps in offering full, and near full, scholarships for military spouses.”
“That was what got me interested,” said Krysta Pfeifer, one of three military spouses currently enrolled in Code Platoon’s November Platoon cohort. She learned about the software development program through a friend who was doing a research project on military spouses’ programs. Her husband, who actively serves in the Army, had been transferred to a new duty station, and Krysta says that things had lined up perfectly for her to take the plunge into a Coding Bootcamp.
“With the scholarship from Code Platoon, it made the Bootcamp financially feasible, and I’m also learning unique and critical skills that apply to many industries,” she said.
Being able to train for a new career field with little to no financial risk is undoubtedly a win, but Code Platoon provides more than an affordable education to students. The heart of Code Platoon’s mission is to get military members and spouses into careers that offer the means to be independent. Becoming skilled in the field of programming provides the opportunity to work almost anywhere. With those married to Servicemembers where moving around is virtually guaranteed, it’s no wonder that becoming a programmer is a recommended career choice.
Caitlin Wilson, another military spouse in November Platoon, has made the switch due to being on the move and familiar with the unstable job market.
“I went to school for digital media production, which is film and television,” Caitlin said. Before meeting her wife, who is in the Marine Corps, she had worked on some films in Pittsburgh and New York City but quickly realized how unstable that world can be.
“It was a little bit too much for me, not knowing when the next job was going to come or what it was going to be.”
“I’m definitely out of my comfort zone, but it is pushing me to overcome my anxiety of questions and seeking help,” said Diana Vargas.
Diane is married to an Army Veteran. They transitioned out of the military in 2019. Still, employment on the outside had been challenging to obtain due to the career gaps that often come with being a Servicemember spouse that the Covid-19 pandemic was forcing a shift to remote working and acknowledging that a change needed to be made, Diana pursued Code Platoon’s Coding Bootcamp to start a new career path.
“I’ve always been able to do things on my own, but I’m finding that I need to reach out more, and when I do reach out for help, I spend less time on the challenge and can move on to another. So far, the instructors have helped me, and I feel better about my progress. It’s building my confidence and strength to reach out and become a better professional in all the skills that I need to become a software developer. I’m happy that I decided to join this program.”
November Platoon is Code Platoon’s largest cohort to date, It also has the most military spouses participating in a cohort since the program began. We’re confident that these three military spouses will succeed in the Bootcamp and beyond, and we hope that they can help inspire other military spouses to take a chance with Code Platoon in the future.
Amanda Michelle Gordon is Code Platoon’s Content Marketing Coordinator. She is a U.S. Air Force Veteran and a student of SUNY New Paltz for Journalism and Sociology. In her free time, Amanda enjoys reading, the outdoors, and turning coffee into copy. You can find Amanda on LinkedIn and Twitter.