SEPTEMBER 25, 2018 – Need a credential? Credentialing Opportunities Online (COOL) has you covered.
Each branch of the military has a COOL website, specific for that service. COOL is a credentialing awareness and information resource for all service members.
Service members can get information about civilian licensure and certification, identify licenses and certifications relevant to military specialties, learn how to fill gaps between military training and experience and civilian credentialing requirements, and learn about resources available to help gain civilian job credentials.
Why is credentialing important?
- Possibly required by law in certain career fields and occupations, or by an employer for employment
- Often leads to higher pay or improved prospects for promotion
- Demonstrates to civilian employers that training and skills attained in the military are on par with those gained through traditional civilian pathways
When you decide if a civilian credential is wanted or needed when transitioning out of the military, it may be helpful to consider the following five basic scenarios and complete the Military Occupational Codes (MOC) Crosswalk:
1. The civilian equivalent of your Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) does not require a license or certification.
In this scenario, you do not necessarily need to pursue credentialing, but having a credential may still give you an advantage over those who do not.
2. Your military training and experience provides all of the necessary credentials to practice the occupation as a civilian.
For example, the Army requires 68W (Health Care Specialists) to obtain Emergency Medical Technician certification from the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians. In this scenario, you already have the civilian credential – of course, there may be additional credentials that give you an added advantage.
3. Your military training and experience provide certification in the field, but not the state or government license required for civilian employment.
In this scenario, your transition to the civilian workforce may be relatively seamless because certification and licensure requirements are often similar. However, you may still need to obtain a license from the appropriate government agency.
4. Your military career provides education, training, or experience necessary to become licensed or certified, but not the formal license or certification from the credentialing board.
In this scenario, you have to follow an administrative process specific to that state, or county, that typically requires completing an application, documenting military training and experience, and possibly taking an exam.
5. Your military education, training, or experience may need supplementation to meet licensure and certification requirements.
If you are in this situation and seek employment in a position that requires a certification or license, you should start as soon as possible to finish the requirements for credentialing.
It is a good idea to identify what credentials you need before transitioning, because obtaining credentials may take time. Ideally, you will have your credentials in hand long before you leave the service so that you can line up employment in your chosen field prior to separation.
For more information about COOL, visit your installation’s Transition Assistance Program Office or check out the links below.
U.S. Army Credentialing Opportunities Online (Army COOL): https://www.cool.army.mil/
U.S. Navy Credentialing Online (Navy COOL): https://www.cool.navy.mil/usn/
U.S. Air Force Credentialing Online (AF COOL): https://afvec.langley.af.mil/afvec/Public/COOL/
U.S. Marine Corps Credentialing Online (Marine Corps COOL): https://www.cool.navy.mil/usmc/
From Transition to Veterans Program Office
DoD Transition Assistance Program