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Army Program Helps Soldiers Gain Certification for Civilian Jobs

The United States Army has added a new component to its GI to Jobs Program that will assist soldiers in understanding and obtaining certification for civilian jobs when they leave the service.

Some 67 percent of Army enlisted soldiers serve in military specialties related to civilian occupational areas that are subject to certification and licensure," said Major General Kathryn Frost, The Adjutant General of the Army.

Those soldiers now have a website, called Army Credentialing Opportunities On-line (Army COOL), where they can learn what civilian certifications relate to their Military Occupational Specialty career field and how to obtain them.

"This new website explains differences between military and civilian training and certification requirements, and it does so in easy-to-understand language," Sergeant Major of the Army Jack Tilley said. "The program and the web site tell soldiers exactly what they need to do to begin and complete the certification process in their MOS."

Under this initiative, soldiers will know what is necessary to complete certification or licensure requirements for jobs related to approximately 100 military occupational specialty (MOS). All MOS-applicable credentialing examinations are clearly identified and articulated, by MOS, to ensure success.

Some occupations have certain professional and technical standards. The process of meeting these standards and earning official recognition (in the form of credentials (licenses or certificates) is called credentialing. Private and government organizations set credentialing standards to ensure that individuals meet the standards for their profession. There are two primary types of credentialing, licensure and certification; licenses are granted by government agencies (federal, state and local) and certification is granted by non-government agencies (professional, industry, proprietary, and apprenticeship).

"This is good news for soldiers, but great news for the Nation as well," said Frost "The Army offers the best training in the world, and when you add extraordinary experience, additional study and leader development, the country will benefit from GI to Jobs with exceptionally qualified veterans for the 21st century workforce.

"In addition to giving soldiers an opportunity for professional growth and a head start on transition to civilian life after Army," said Frost, "the GI to Jobs initiative also benefits retention and recruiting. Potential recruits want assurance that they will receive the same opportunities in the military that their peers have in civilian careers. The GI to Jobs program, when combined with military training, offers them that advantage and more." She added, however, that the extensive requirements for some licenses and certification might require soldiers to serve more than one term in order to get the credentials they seek.

The GI to Jobs initiative will be integrated, to the extent possible, with the Army's Partnership for Youth Success (PaYS) programs ( The PaYS is a recruiting initiative that was initially developed by the U. S. Army Recruiting Command to appeal to young people who are interested in having a quality civilian job after serving in the Army. It has also been coordinated closely with Army training proponents and transition services.

This unique program will be part of the Army's effort to partner with industry. To show and sell the PaYS skill options available to applicants, the recruiter will have access to information that crosswalks MOSs to industry skills and also depicts long-term job forecasts from participating companies. Army agreements with some companies may provide the soldier with credit for service in the Army or advanced placement based on skill certification. The certification gap analysis and DANTES (Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support) certification examination program will help assist in the PaYS effort for skills certification with industry.

GI to Jobs and its website proponent, Army COOL, is the latest in a series of dynamic changes to the Army's recruiting and marketing efforts to enhance and communicate the wide range of opportunities and skills the Army offers potential recruits. The Army also is continuing its efforts to better train and deploy its recruiting force.

The Army COOL website address is

For more information, contact the U. S. Total Army Personnel Command Public Affairs Office at 703-325-0856/9904 or go to Army COOL

The PaYS (Partnership for Youth Success) Mission:

The Partnership for Youth Success (PaYS) is a recruiting initiative developed by the United States Army Recruiting Command (USAREC) to appeal to young people interested in obtaining a quality civilian job after serving in the Army. This unique program is part of the Army's effort to partner with America's business community and re-connect America with the Army. The intent of the PaYS program is to provide an additional recruiting incentive to increase the Army's ability to man the force. Having a job with a leading employer using a skill learned in the Army makes the PaYS program attractive to young people.

The Armed Forces of the United States operate some of the finest training schools in the world. The soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen who graduate from these schools posses all of the qualifications that almost any employer would pay dearly to have as part of his or her workforce. At the same time, employers across the country are scrambling to find workers who have the qualifications. The problem has been one of recognition of the training received in the armed forces when it comes to the issuing of a license or certificate so the former service member can perform the work.

There are over one hundred occupations which require some type of license or certificate in the civilian economy and for which the military provides training. These occupations can be as uncomplicated as driving a tractor-trailer all the way to the person in charge of the control room of a commercial nuclear power plant. For reasons of safety and health, the several states and the Federal government have chosen to regulate these professions by requiring some type of credential in order to work in them.

The problem has been one of communication and the solution for a major portion of the problem is now available. The Department of Labor's Veterans' Employment and Training Service has launched a web site designed to make it easier for veterans to obtain civilian job credentials. The Military and Veterans Credentialing Network -- also provides employers and credentialing boards a means to reach the roughly 50,000 military personnel who annually leave active-duty status with military training and experience in a field that requires civilian workers to be certified. Civilian licensure boards do not necessarily recognize military training.

In addition to credentialing information, the web site lists federal jobs that have standardized requirements. The site also provides formulas by which employers, job seekers and certification boards can translate military experience into civilian experience.


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