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Lucy S. Arruffat, a family member employment assistance program specialist with Marine Corps Community Services, poses for a photo on an unknown date. This photo was taken to be used for promotional purposes for her position. (Courtesy photo uploaded by Shaehmus Sawyer)

Photo by Lucy S. Arruffat

FMEAP: What it is, how you can benefit from it

9 Feb 2024 | Shaemus Sawyer Marine Corps Base Quantico

If you’re a military spouse or DoD ID cardholder looking for employment or assistance finding employment – military family members over the age 16, and retirees included – The Family Member Employment Assistance Program is designed to help you.

FMEAP, a Marine Corps Community Services program, offers employment consulting, help with resume review, education and training opportunities, workshops and access to computers, printing and other office tools.

According to Lucy Arruffat, an FMEAP specialist, the assistance this program offers can make a significant difference for the many people eligible for its services.

“Military families often face unique challenges related to frequent relocations, deployments, and the demands of military life,” said Lucy, “which can make it difficult for spouses to establish and maintain meaningful careers.”
But it begins with the individual making the first move.

“They just have to decide to take that first step,” she said.
Lucy explained that the first step is the initial conversation.

“When military spouses visit my office,” she said, “I aim to create an environment where they feel completely free from judgement, regardless of the length of time they have been out of the workforce or their level of professional experience.”

Step two personalizes your career counseling based on the initial conversation; step three gives you access to the appropriate training; the fourth step supports your job placement; and the final step is continued support by FMEAP specialists as you train and apply for positions.

Lucy reiterated that the program is here for all DoD ID cardholders, but the aim is to inform the military family members.

“I’ve actually had a 16-year-old come in with their mom asking about summer jobs,” Lucy explained. “So, I connected them with the Marine Corps Exchange and other external agencies that deal with summer youth employment.”

In other instances, she has helped DoD civilians and worked with several families as their children graduated high school and college.

For reference, here is some of what FMEAP has to offer those eligible:
• Resume Review
• Interviewing techniques
• Career assessments and coaching
• Job search via USA Jobs and social media

While FMEAP focuses on consulting and offering resources to assist with the employment search, the program also works with and connects people to other programs to land jobs, such as the Military Spouse Employment Partnership – MSEP, Military Spouse Career Advancement Account Program – MCAA, and the Spouse Education and Career Opportunities Program – SECO.

All these programs are designed to support military family members to achieve their education and training goals and land transportable careers.

Recently, Lucy has seen an increased interest in remote work. But she noted a large percent of the remote jobs sent to her are data driven, and many require as security clearance.

“This requirement typically discourages military spouses and deters them from pursuing such positions,” she stated. “However, obtaining a security clearance is a possibility for military spouses.”

Lucy shared that she knew a spouse who didn't have a security clearance and ended up getting one from the company with entry-level training and certificates in a data field, reiterating at the end, “It’s not impossible.”

Even though FMEAP is available on every Marine Corps installation, she believes it is still relatively unknown. Lucy wants to change that.

“FMEAP recognizes the sacrifices and contributions made by military spouses and family members,” she added. “It plays a crucial role in fostering a sense of empowerment and independence among military spouses, allowing them to thrive in their careers despite the unique circumstances they may encounter.”

Lucy wants anybody interested in the program to know that if you hit a roadblock at any point, she and the other program specialists are there to help.

You can visit a FMEAP program specialist at the Religious and Family Services Center, building 3019 on Embry Loop, or you can contact them at (703) 784-3306.

To find out more about this program, services offered, and upcoming workshops, visit or contact

Marine Corps Base Quantico