Being enlisted in the United States Army has plenty of challenges, but also has its benefits. To maximize your time as a soldier, it’s a good idea to figure out how to use those benefits – like your Army Education funds.
Eligible enlisted members of the U.S. Army can qualify for up to $4,000 a year in funding through the Army Credentialing Assistance Program, or CA for short. The last thing you should do is let that money lapse instead of taking advantage of the opportunity to earn certifications that can further your career either in or out of the Army.
This $4K Army CA funding is available if you are active-duty Army, Army Reserve, or National Guard personnel. You can use it to augment your skills for your military career or to jumpstart a rewarding and exciting new career after your enlistment is complete. Instead of letting that benefit go to waste, you can plan for an easier transition into civilian life.
This funding renews every fiscal year, so you may need to get creative to take full advantage of this exciting Army education opportunity. Here are some ways you can use up that Army CA funding.
ACCESS ArmyU pays directly to vendors, so you’ll want to start by scrolling through Army COOL to see what kinds of training and certification programs are eligible. Once the program is approved, you can use your Army school funds to cover tuition costs.
This isn’t limited to traditional schools, which might be impossible with your Army schedule. Look for online and blended training courses, such as the healthcare and IT courses offered by MedCerts. They have expert Education Consultants, all of which are themselves active duty or veterans, who have experience working directly with the Department of Defense to make the process smooth for you.
Army CA funding isn’t just for tuition, either. If the credential you’re interested in has a tuition cost of less than $4,000, see if other supplies are necessary to complete the work. You may need to purchase materials such as manuals, books, study guides, and other textbooks. Hands-on educational supplies can also be covered once approved in advance.
Some schools do not have exam fees incorporated into the tuition price. If this is the case, your $4,000 can cover test fees, too. If the credential is listed in Army COOL, then it’s likely to be approved. Check with the school to see if you need to pay separately for the certification or examination costs and budget that into your annual benefit.
Whether you require recertification of credentials or must attain new ones, your Army Education benefit is designed to help. Think big-picture about any additional expenses you may have that are directly related to your efforts to get ahead professionally. Talk to a MedCerts Education Consultant to discuss what credentials might best fit your career path and how to make the most of your Credentialing Assistance funds. It may make sense to create a multi-year plan so that you can maximize your benefits throughout your entire enlistment.
The Army, Department of Defense, and Department of the Army are not affiliated with MedCerts and do not endorse our services.
Mickey is a Platoon Leader for the Nevada Army National Guard and has been serving since September 2019. He joined the Army in an act of “now or never” as he neared his 30th birthday and had always dreamed of serving. Mickey is also an ASVAB coach and uses his education background to assist other soldiers through Gamonal Tutors.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and spent two and a half years in Morocco with the United States Peace Corps. He joined MedCerts in January 2020 and uses his combined Army and education experience to help soldiers take advantage of their Army Credentialing Assistance funding to pursue career training.
Mickey lives in Las Vegas, NV with his wife Sheena, who he considers his “rock”, and enjoys teaching snowboarding in his free time. He also has completed MedCerts Project Management program and hosts the ASVAB Domination podcast.