All About Army COOL: The 7 Most Common FAQs Answered — MedCerts

Everyone has questions about Army COOL, so let’s start with the obvious: What does it stand for?

Army COOL stands for Army Credentialing Opportunities On-Line. It’s part of a government initiative to encourage additional training and professionalism among active-duty personnel. The educational programs available for funding are valuable while enlisted and also afterward.

Here are the seven most frequently asked questions among soldiers and their families about Army COOL.

Army COOL FAQs

Q: Is Army COOL just for enlisted members of the U.S. Army?

A: It is available to members of the Regular Army as well as the:

  • Army Reserve/Guard (AGR) under Title 10 and Title 32

  • U.S. Army Reserve (USAR)

  • Army National Guard (ARNG) in active drilling status with a designation as satisfactory

  • National Guard

Q: How does the Army COOL service work?

A: Think of Army COOL as a database to connect soldiers to opportunities for training and credentials. Army Credentialing Assistance, or CA, is a program funded by the Department of Army through the Department of Defense that will pay for up to $4,000 each fiscal year for those educational programs.

Q: What ranks qualify for CA funds?

A: Ranks include enlisted personnel, warrant officers, and officers.

Q: What does CA pay for?

A: The CA funds can be used for enrollment expenses for a wide range of training, including in-person classroom style, as well as hands-on and online/blended training. You can also pay for study guides, materials, textbooks, fees, and exam costs.

If you want to recertify a particular credential, you can pay for the expenses with CA. You can receive up to $4,000 every fiscal year.

Q: Do all schools accept CA funding?

A: Not all schools qualify for the Army COOL service. Schools must be approved credentialing agencies and provide training and support in earning civilian credentials and licenses.

For example, MedCerts has become an approved provider of the Army Credentialing Assistance program for those interested in advancing their careers in information technology, healthcare, and more.

Q: Why would the Army fund such a program, especially if it will make a soldier more attractive for civilian jobs?

A: The Army’s not trying to get rid of good soldiers, you know that. Instead, the motivation behind this program is that civilian credentialing makes active-duty members more valuable to the Army — and the United States. You don’t have to earn a credential that is directly related to your duties … but if you do, the Army may award promotion points for your work.

Army COOL is a win-win. Soldiers improve their professional skills and effectiveness for the Army. They’re also more likely to get promotions while on active duty while setting themselves up for success after their time of service for America.

Q: What’s the next step to get started with Army COOL?

A: Log on to Army COOL to learn the types of credentials available for CA funding. Once you find one that interests you, contact the credentialing agency or an online school that assists students through the process. MedCerts has trained educational consultants – all of which are veterans! – available to help create an educational strategy for your future starting today.

The Army, Department of Defense, and Department of the Army are not affiliated with MedCerts and do not endorse our services.

Portrait of MedCerts Team
Written by MedCerts Team
Education Specialist

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Published on September 13, 2021