Army COOL and How It Can Help You Start a Career - MedCerts

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We recently announced MedCerts had become an approved provider of the Army Credentialing Assistance program. Since then we’ve been getting a lot of questions about the program from our Army Credentialing Assistance students, so today we’ve pulled together a quick FAQ to answer those questions, and to explain how Army COOL can help you start a career.

So what does the “COOL” in Army COOL stand for?

The COOL stands for Credentialing Opportunities On-Line.

What is the purpose of the Army COOL program?

The goal of Army COOL is to help Army service members get certifications and licenses that match up with their jobs and civilian careers. To be more specific, they would help these service members find:

  • Credentials related to an Army Military Occupational Specialty (MOS)
  • Credentials related to Civilian Occupational Pathways
  • Credential requirements and potential gaps between Army training and civilian credentialing requirements
  • Resources available to fill gaps between military training and civilian credentialing requirements

So why would a soldier want civilian credentials?

Getting certifications can help soldiers in their Army careers while they’re still in service. That said, it’s also helpful when they return to civilian employment. Why? Because it allows them to convert the skills they’ve acquired in the military into the experience that civilian employers understand. That can help these service members find work more quickly, or even get promoted sooner.

At what point should an Army service member start getting credentials?

As we noted in the previous answer, some soldiers seek credentials while still on active duty. According to the official Army COOL website, “it improves the professionalism of Soldiers. If a credential is related to your duties, the Army may award promotion points for earning it.” While other soldiers get ahead on their civilian careers and start working on certifications if they know they’re separating from service soon, those that have already separated leverage the program, too.

How do I get a credential through Army COOL?

Per their website, you can get a credential by following these four steps:

Step One: Utilize Army COOL’s “Find” feature to determine how your Army training and experience translates to civilian credential requirements.

Step Two: After you’ve selected a specific credential, learn about its requirements.

Step Three: Since most credentials have fees attached to them, you need to figure out what resources you’re going to use to help you pay these fees.

Step Four: Apply for and take the appropriate exam through a credentialing organization.

For more details and to use specific Army COOL tools, read up on the four-step credentialing process.

So Army COOL works with credentialing organizations?

Yes. They have to because Army COOL is not a credentialing organization. You don’t sign up for or take exams through Army COOL. They suggest you “contact your local Army education office or center to learn more about Credentialing Assistance (CA) and how to apply for credential preparatory courses and exams.”

Does Army COOL work with MedCerts?

Yes, MedCerts is an approved provider of The Credentialing Assistance Program. Keep in mind Army COOL is a repository for all credentials, but the Army, Department of Defense, and Department of the Army are not affiliated with MedCerts and do not endorse our services.

Who decides on credentialing requirements?

Credentialing boards decide all the requirements for any licenses or certifications, which is usually a mix of a candidate’s education, training, work experience, exams, or other job-related requirements.

Do credentialing requirements vary from state to state?

Many certifications are nationally recognized, but yes, some occupational licenses vary from state to state. If you hold a license or certification in one state but plan on relocating, it would be wise to see if they map over to your new state. To learn more about credentialing requirements as they relate to Army COOL, visit their website.

What kind of MedCerts certifications are these students interested in?

We can only speak for our Army Credentialing Assistance students, but right now they have shown interest in our IT certifications and our Project Management Certification, which matches up with their Army IT or project management duties while in service. Down the line we expect service members with medical experience to look at our healthcare certification programs, too.

Can anyone else use Army COOL?

Absolutely. Recruiters and counselors can use it to help soldiers figure out what military experience translates into civilian credentials. Credentialing organizations like us also need to know the ins and outs of the program so that we can help our Army Credentialing Assistance students figure out which certification programs make the most sense. Lastly, employers also find it valuable since there are many specifically seeking service members to fill key roles within their respective organizations.

Can you help me take advantage of Army COOL?

Of course! Head here to get in touch by phone, email or chat. We’ll do everything we can to help you take advantage of any Army credentialing opportunities online.

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Published on June 29, 2020