Many civilian jobs have certain professional and technical standards. Obtaining certifications and licenses demonstrates that you meet specific industry standards outside of the Coast Guard. You can accomplish this with the Coast Guard's Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (CG COOL).
For example: You’re a damage controlman that welds regularly. CG COOL will reimburse the training necessary to obtain welding certifications. Future employers will see a resume that includes extensive on the job experience, as well as the licensing necessary to start the job, right away. This can increase your job opportunities after you leave the service.
You may use the CG COOL program to enhance your skills, either in your current specialty, or in an occupation you would like to pursue when you leave military service. The program can pay for courses and exams that lead to industry-recognized civilian credentials in an occupational area of your choice.
What Kind of Certifications Are Available With The Coast Guard COOL Program?
The CG COOL program offers service-training pathways to obtain numerous credentials, certifications, and licenses while still serving. Visit the CG COOL website to see what is available.
You can receive reimbursement for one credential each fiscal year, but there is no lifetime limit to certifications.
You do not have to seek a certification in your rating, you can get a certification in any technical specialty you desire, as long as it is available in the CG COOL listing.
Some agencies require specific education, training, and/or work experience when seeking a certification. You must review the CG COOL website before submitting a credentialing assistance request to ensure you meet the credentialing agency’s requirements.
CG COOL does not cover preparation and training materials, such as courses, training, study guides, etc.
Who Is Eligible For The Coast Guard COOL Program?
To be eligible for the Coast Guard COOL program, a member must:
- Be marked "Ready" or "Not Ready" on current Enlisted Evaluation Report.
- Have no misconduct or punishments in the last 12 months.
- Meet COMDT weight standards.
Another special program only available to Coast Guardsmen is the Military to Mariner (M2M) Initiative, helping active duty members transition from military service to civilian employment in the U.S. Merchant Marine and/or other positions within the Marine Transportation System.
To get a certification and be reimbursed for it you must:
- Find and select a program using the CG COOL website
- Request approval via MyCG Ed
- Pay for approved fees yourself
- Get your credentials
- Report results within 90 calendar days of initial CA authorization by uploading in MyCG Ed or email to ETQC. You must submit a copy of your completed credential within 30 calendar days of credential attainment. ETQC will enter the earned credential into Direct Access and Joint Service Transcript.
- ETQC will forward the request and all supporting documentation to CG Finance Center within 3 business days of receiving the completed documents.
- Finance will issue payment.
If you do not pass the exam you may still be paid, however if you received failed the credentialing exam and still received reimbursement you will not be able to get another credential until the next fiscal year.
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