The Army's COOL (Credentialing Opportunities On-Line), also known as Credentialing Assistance (CA) helps soldiers find information on certifications and licenses related to their jobs. The program can pay for courses and exams that lead to industry-recognized civilian credentials in an occupational area of your choice. You may use this program to enhance your skills, either in your current MOS, or in an occupation you would like to pursue when you leave military service. You can request CA funding for any credential listed on Army COOL.
Why Are Credentials Important?
Civilian credentials are important for two reasons:
Career Advancement Civilian credentialing can contribute to military career development, and may be accepted for self-development requirements and in performance evaluations.
Smoother Transitions When you transition back to civilian employment, credentials help you translate your military training and experience into something civilian employers can easily recognize. That can help you get hired, get a better job, or be promoted sooner!
Army COOL helps soldiers find information on certifications and licenses related to their jobs and can even provide funding to pay for credential exams and maintenance fees.
CA is subject to the same funding ceiling as Tuition Assistance (TA). A Soldier may use both TA and CA; however, you can't get more than $4,000 total from both programs per fiscal year.
Eligible Soldiers include those who are: Regular Army, Active Guard/Reserve (AGR) pursuant to Title 10 and Title 32, U.S. Army Reserve (USAR), and Army National Guard (ARNG) in an active drilling status with a designation as satisfactory.
All ranks are eligible for the program, however Commissioned Officers (CW2, 2LT, and above) may use CA only if they agree to serve a military service obligation, in accordance with current TA requirements. The CA military Service obligation commences on the ending date of each class for which CA was approved. Officers using CA for testing or recertification (only) of a credential will not incur a service obligation. Testing or recertification funding cap for officers in their last year of service is $2,000.
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