COOL (Credentialing Opportunities On-Line) helps Marines find information on certifications and licenses related to their jobs. Use COOL to get background information on credentialing, apply for vouchers to cover credentialing costs and find detailed information on:
- Credentials related to a Marine Corps Military Occupational Specialty (MOS)
- Credential requirements and potential gaps between Marine Corps training and civilian workforce credentialing requirements
- Resources available to fill gaps between military training and civilian credentialing requirements
- How to get a COOL funded voucher to pay for credential exam and maintenance fees.
The Credentials Program Office administers a voucher program that will pay for eligible credentialing exams, recertification fees, and maintenance fees. The Marine Corps' Credentials Program Office does NOT fund for training, study materials, or exam preparation materials.
The Marine Corps' Credentials Program Office does not reimburse credentialing exam fees. You must receive an approved voucher request with the Marine Corps' Credentials Program Office BEFORE you start, take, participate in, or otherwise obligate yourself or the Government in any Marine Corps-funded credentialing program or exam.
Marine Corps COOL is not a credentialing organization—you do not sign up for or take exams from Marine Corps COOL. Once you have an approved exam voucher, you are responsible for contacting a credential exam test center (i.e. Pearson VUE, ProMetric, New Horizons, LaserGrade, etc…) to schedule the exam. You must schedule and take your exam within 60 days of issue of the Marine Corps-funded voucher or the voucher expires (unless specifically coordinated with the Marine Corps' Credentials Program Office).
To be eligible for a certification or license voucher enlisted Marines must meet one of the following eligibility requirements:
- Be in the appropriate Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) or collateral duty/out of billet MOS to which the credential is mapped.
- Be currently working in, or have been assigned to, a position to which the credential is mapped.
- Have prior documented experience in a position to which the credential is mapped for credentials outside of their specific MOS, and the credential has relevance or applicability to the current or future needs of the command or the Marine Corps.
A Marine's eligibility for credentials must be validated and approved by their Commanding Officer or command-designated approving official (E-7 or above). Additionally, before authorizing the request, commands must also certify that Marines:
- Have passed, or been medically waived from, their most recent physical fitness test (PFT) or combat fitness test (CFT).
- Have not received a judicial or court-martial punishment within the past 6 months.
- Have been recommended for promotion or advancement on their most recent fitness report for (E5 and above) of proficiency and conduct marks that average 4.0 to 5.0 for (E4 and below) enlisted Marines.
Marines are required to have at least six months remaining on their enlistment or military service obligation at the time they receive the certification for which they receive funding, and they must complete the exam 60 days prior to their end of active service.
Why Are Credentials Important?
Credentialing is important for several reasons:
- Civilian credentialing can contribute to military career development, and may be accepted for self-development requirements and in performance evaluations.
- Federal, state, or local law may require specific credentials to legally perform some jobs.
- Employers may choose to hire only employees who have certain credentials, or to pay those employees more.
- Credentials may improve an employee's prospects for promotion.
- Credentialed Service members demonstrate to prospective civilian employers that their skills are on par with their civilian peers.
For a Marine, civilian credentials are important for two main reasons:
- Career Advancement - The Marine Corps has made them part of its workforce professionalization, so getting certified can help you in your Marine Corps career while you're still in service.
- 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!
The Next Step: Get Veteran Jobs Tips
Looking for transition and veteran jobs tips? Military.com has you covered. Subscribe to Military.com to have military news, updates and job resources delivered directly to your inbox.