December 1, 2003








Office of Workforce Investments




Implementation of the Department of Defense and the Department of Labor Memorandum of Understanding

  1. Purpose. To inform the workforce investment system of the implementation of the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Labor (DOL) Memorandum of Understanding.

  2. Background. On July 11, 2003, Secretary of Labor, Elaine Chao and Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld signed the DOD-DOL Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The purpose of the MOU is to promote cooperative efforts to improve the quality of life for current and exiting service members and their families and to contribute to the quality of the American labor force. The overall goal of this partnership is to enhance recruitment and retention for the military services and to assist the transition and re-entry of military personnel into the 21st century workforce, as well as to ensure that opportunities for training, education, and employment are available to military spouses.

    The MOU defines in general terms the basis on which the Departments will collaborate on activities of mutual interest designed to enhance "recruitment, job search activities, training, placement, licensing, certification, and other services for military personnel and their families, and eliminate duplication in achieving these common goals." DOD and DOL share a particular interest in expanding services to military personnel and their families in the following areas: recruitment, retention and re-entry.

    To carry out the goals of the MOU, DOD and DOL are establishing a Working Group made up of DOD and DOL officials. This Working Group is tasked with preparing a preliminary report that will identify areas of potential collaboration, barriers that need to be addressed and recommended actions for implementation.

    ETA has been designated as the Department's lead on this initiative. The Administrator of the Office of Workforce Investment has been selected by Emily Stover DeRocco, Assistant Secretary for the Employment & Training Administration, to serve as the Co-Chair of the DOD- DOL Working Group. DOL representation on the Working Group will come from various agencies within the Department. The Working Group will proceed with an inventory of existing collaborative programs, services and initiatives, including electronic tools and products, supporting the three areas of interest noted above. The Working Group will build on this inventory by exploring and identifying other opportunities for collaboration. In addition, the Working Group will coordinate publication of its work and all products to ensure that the workforce investment and defense communities are aware of and involved in this significant cooperative effort.

  3. Action Required. States are requested to share this TEN with the One-Stop system and all officials within the state who need such information and to familiarize themselves with the subject matter discussed in the DOD-DOL MOU (attached). Continued technical assistance will be forthcoming regarding any potential program impact as we seek to collaborate with DOD to implement this MOU.

  4. Inquiries Questions on this TEN may be directed to Effie Baldwin at 202-693-3746 or by email at

  5. Attachment. DOD-DOL Memorandum of Understanding.