News Release

Military Spouses Receive Fellowships to Conduct Financial Counseling

FINRA Foundation Program Gives Spouses Training and Portable Job Skills, Helps Military Families Overcome Financial Challenges

WASHINGTON — Nearly 200 military spouses throughout the U.S. and overseas have been awarded the FINRA Investor Education Foundation's 2010 Military Spouse Fellowship. The fellowship gives spouses the training they need to earn the Accredited Financial Counselor® (AFC®) designation, which gives them marketable job skills and provides them with the knowledge and tools they need to help military families overcome financial challenges.

The program, which began in 2006, is administered in partnership with the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education® (AFCPE®) and the National Military Family Association (NMFA). The fellowship covers the costs associated with completing the AFC® training and testing.

The 184 military spouses who received the fellowship were selected from more than 1,300 applicants and will immediately join a corps of nearly 800 U.S. military spouses worldwide who provide military families with important financial counseling services—including budgeting and credit management, retirement planning and financial planning in advance of PCS moves and deployments.

"Education and training are critical to finding employment," said John Gannon, president of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation. "The Military Spouse Fellowship program helps spouses develop portable, professional careers they can take wherever they go. Moreover, because these spouses understand military families' specific situations—including struggles with debt and retirement planning—they can provide unique support and solutions."

Recipients of the Military Spouse Fellowship must commit to completing the courses of study and volunteering in the financial counseling field serving the military community for up to two years. Gordon Genovese, executive director of AFCPE®, noted that, "while the Military Spouse Fellowship program is demanding, we've designed the coursework and volunteer practicum to meet the needs of our military spouses, particularly those living abroad, by including instructional webinars, self-scheduled exams and flexible volunteer opportunities." To date, spouse fellows have logged more than 210,000 hours assisting the military community.

Of the 2010 fellowship class, 37 percent are Army spouses, 21 percent are Navy spouses, 28 percent are Air Force spouses and 14 percent are Marine Corps spouses. This year's class includes 20 spouses who live abroad.

Current accredited spouses serve as financial counselors at family readiness and support centers, credit counseling and tax centers, financial aid offices and local military credit unions throughout the U.S. and abroad. These organizations, located in and around installations, are often in need of specialists who are not only well-trained, but who understand military families' unique financial needs.

"Frequent PCS moves and deployments lead to a distinctive set of challenges that can disrupt the day-to-day lives of military families, including a spouse's career path," said Joyce Wessel Raezer, executive director of NMFA. "The Military Spouse Fellowship program provides spouses with the flexibility to meet the demands of the military lifestyle while building a successful and rewarding career."

The program is open to spouses of active-duty or retired Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Army or Air National Guard or reserve component servicemembers, as well as to spouses of U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration professionals.

A list of the 2010 class of spouse fellows is available upon request. Full biographies of selected accredited spouse fellows are available at

About the FINRA Investor Education Foundation 

The FINRA Investor Education Foundation is the largest foundation in the United States dedicated to investor education. Its mission is to provide investors with high-quality, easily accessible information and tools to better understand the markets and the basic principles of saving and investing. In 2006, the Foundation launched a multifaceted program to expand the saving and investing knowledge of military servicemembers and their spouses, including a free, unbiased resource, A proud partner in the Department of Defense Financial Readiness Campaign, the Foundation also presents financial education forums at military installations worldwide.

About AFCPE® 

The Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education® (AFCPE®) provides professional development experiences for financial educators, practitioners and researchers to improve the economic well-being of individuals and families worldwide. The Association's vision is to be internationally recognized as the leading provider of professional development opportunities. Visit for more information.

About NMFA 

Military families serve our country with pride, honor and quiet dedication. The National Military Family Association is the leading nonprofit organization committed to strengthening and protecting the families of the men and women currently serving, retired, wounded or fallen. We provide families of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard and Commissioned Corps of the USPHS and NOAA with information, work to get them the benefits they deserve and offer programs that improve their lives. Our 40 years of service and accomplishments have made us a trusted resource for military families and the Nation's leaders. Visit for more information.