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Thursday, February 18, 2010

My Thoughts On Random Shutdown of MYCAA Program

Here is the backstory on Mycaa's Unexpected "Temporary" Shutdown
MYCAA

It is important for me to put out their that the news story states the MYCAA program shutdown is temporary but no date has been set to resume this program.

I could have wrote what I was feeling but I had to say it. Feel free to share your comments and opinions.

11 comments:

  1. Well said! I simply do not understand why this happened.

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  2. I just don't understand why they couldn't give all those using the program a courtesy heads up. I was really hoping to use my remaining mycaa balance for my summer semester. Bummer.

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  3. I'm pissed and agree with you. I was about to register and apple for the FA and then BAM got smacked in the face.

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  4. I couldn't agree more. I finally decided to get back to working on my education, got enrolled, and am now taking classes. I don't know what I'll do next semester. I suppose I'll have to start saving now and hope that the program returns.

    I am very disappointed in the lack of communication and lack of regard for participants' financial situations. As making the commitment to support furthering the education of military spouses and putting educated men and women into the workforce, MyCAA has done a very poor job of keeping us informed.

    I am also an Army wife that does not "play" the entitlement card. This is goes beyond the fact that MyCAA supports military personnel, it's a business principle. There needs to be and there should have been complete transparency in regards to the program's future. If, for some reason, funding was an issue or there was some other problem, a bulletin or notice should have been sent to participants stating the future of the program is unclear.

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  5. I didnt even enroll in classes because of all the hassle. So to go through all of those steps and then have a program just shut down...thats wrong.
    Write your congressman or whoever you need to write because YOUR RIGHT. "Our" spouses are the ones putting thier lives on the line DAILY not to mention the stress of being left behind to deal with kids & bills only to deal with PTSD when they get back.
    Its not right, they should know when thier funding ends and when to make a PROPER cut off date.
    Your on to something, keep going with it. And Army spouses reading this, please continue to follow up.

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  6. I got this on the NBC affiliate around Ft. Hood. It aired today at 6 and will air against at 10. I wasn't the most articulate, but I have never been a camera fan.

    You can find a link on the Take Action Against MyCAA Shutdown group on Facebook.

    I'm of the same mind that I'm not entitled to anything, but it was nice to see the DoD recognized our need not only to contribute financially, but to have something of our own when everything is about our spouse and the needs of the Army, Navy, etc.

    To have it taken away with no notice what so ever is just wrong. I'm just in the beginning stages of my education and in a position where I am blessed enough that I can continue without the help, but many people aren't as lucky.

    They are in programs where certain courses are only offered once a year and can't afford to pay out of pocket to keep up with their studies. It would have been better not to have started this program than to rip it away from us after a year.

    They say part of it is the review it's effectiveness against the stated goals of the education and, sure, some people have gotten certificates already.

    However, MOST of us are going for degrees that take a good bit longer than a year to complete. How can you measure it's effectiveness if you haven't given it a chance to be effective.

    It's like planting a seed and throwing it out the next morning because it hasn't sprouted.

    Ridiculous!

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  7. Kudos! I couldn't agree with you more.

    I've just found your blog today and I just wanted to say that I think what you're doing here, helping out new spouses, is wonderful! Thanks so much for this. :)

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  8. So I used to work for MilitaryOneSource (the agency that the DoD uses help operation the MyCAA program). It's been a while since I worked there but I have my suspicions on why the program was shut down once again.

    When MyCAA was running on a trial basis there was a huge and overwhelming response from the military spouse community. Of course, at that point only spouses living on the biggest posts (Fort Hood, Fort Bragg, etc...) were allowed to participate in the program.

    The program was temporarily shut down while the DoD was searching for more funding. Then a couple of months later, it came back with full force; we were getting thousands upon thousands of calls a day about the program and it had to be shut down again until the DoD could find funding for the program.

    There is no cutoff date because the DoD will just call up MilitaryOneSource one day and tell them that the program needs to be shut down because they need to figure "things out."

    Now, as for the entitlement piece of the puzzle. There were so many spouses who would call us and feel that the MyCAA customer service representatives were the ones shutting down the program and would give us attitudes about why the program needed to continue. When you hear ten phonecalls in a row with spouses shouting: "You need to give me this money!" "This money WAS dedicated to military spouses was it not?" and "(disgusted sigh) why is this taking so long? Don't you guys know what you're doing?" it makes them HATE you. Yup, Hate. =D

    *Enchante*

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  9. well said...i just got approved and now its yanked away....the way they handled this was extremely unprofessional!

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  10. I'm writing to ask your members of congress to join the Congressional Military Family Caucus in
    signing a letter to the Pentagon urging Defense officials to reinstate
    Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (CAA).

    The Pentagon suspended CAA enrollments last week, citing concerns about
    the potential cost because much larger-than-expected numbers of spouses
    were enrolling.

    Congress authorized the CAA program last year to authorize financial
    support to help military spouses with education, training, and
    certification/licensing expenses needed to offset career disruptions
    caused by military-directed relocations.

    The suspension has left 38,000 applicants hanging, with no viable
    alternative. The abrupt suspension jeopardizes the tremendous goodwill
    and appreciation engendered among spouses for this extremely important
    program.

    Additionally, my spouse is one of the 38,000. She was entering her class
    codes into the system to complete her application at 5 pm one evening and
    saw that they had shut down the program only 1 hour earlier. We couldn't
    believe it - she had already been told by program officials by email that
    she had been approved for the program. She is concerned, as she has
    already enrolled in the courses and will have to pay, regardless of how
    the program turns out. In fact, she is concerned that the University will
    collect and then by her paying, will make her ineligible for MyCAA funding
    which is to be handled directly between the Federal government and the
    University.

    Please ask your members of congress to contact the offices of the Caucus co-chairs, Reps. Sanford Bishop
    or Cathy McMorris-Rogers by noon Monday, March 1 to join in signing the
    Caucus letter.

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  11. In messages to schools today from the program director...

    "MyCAA will not fund any courses that do not have an
    approved financial assistance document prior to the start date of the
    course."

    This means that if your approval or request for approval was prevented due to the 'halt' you are not eligible for any government payment for those courses. So, they still have some work to do to get this right.

    No doubt, some have started classes during the 'halt' and were thus prevented from getting their requests and approvals processed due to the 'halt', however, all others will have requests and approvals honored. So, hopefully by all of us writing, you can get this gap closed and remove any impact it might have for still thousands that were impacted for classes that have started during the 'halt.'

    Great work by all for taking citizen action and getting results. Thanks too should go to the military lobbying organizations that got an immediate and impactful result on the behalf of its membership, their spouses and the military community.

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