Joining the Army is one of the best ways you can serve your country. You learn new skills and experience new places while keeping the country safe. It goes without saying that there are many sacrifices you make when choosing to join the Army but there are also many benefits available to you.
One of the best things you can do for yourself while you’re enlisted is to take advantage of your Education Benefits available to you to grow your career or prepare for a civilian career after service. There are specific programs to help you learn skills that you can use while in service or once you’ve returned to civilian life.
Here’s what you need to know about Army COOL and Army Credentialing Assistance. These are essential aids to prepare for your future.
Army COOL stands for Army Credentialing Opportunities On-Line. It’s a massive repository of all the credentials that soldiers can pursue. It includes certificates for civilian careers, academic programs, and MOS-related subjects.
This tool lists all the agencies that meet COOL credential standards, so it’s a trustworthy source to research the programs you can undertake.
Best of all, the programs on Army COOL are all eligible for Army Credentialing Assistance, which makes them affordable options to prepare for your future.
But what is Army Credentialing Assistance or CA? It’s a program run by the military to provide financial assistance for credentials that’ll help you enter a civilian career. It covers the costs of courses and exams that are recognized by civilian industries. These courses can be related to your current MOS or the job you want after you are discharged.
Any soldier can apply for CA funding for programs listed on Army COOL. If the program you want is listed there, you’re likely to get the funding you need to cover your training costs.
Army COOL and CA are related, but they aren’t the same. The CA program provides the actual funding for your credentials, while Army COOL lists the certificates eligible for that funding.
For example, Army COOL includes numerous IT programs that build on your existing skills. Not every credential program is up to Army standards. But, if an IT program is found on Army COOL, you can trust that it has been vetted by professionals and found worthwhile.
Army CA, on the other hand, is a part of your Army Education Benefits and an offshoot of the Tuition Assistance program. It offers up to $4000 a year toward obtaining credentials for a civilian career.
It’s never too early to start learning new skills. With Army COOL and the Army Credentialing Assistance program, you can earn the certifications you need to get the job of your dreams. The key difference between the programs is that Army COOL provides information, and the CA program provides funds.
Disclaimer: The Army, Department of Defense, and Department of the Army are not affiliated with MedCerts and do not endorse our services.