Locked on Target Archives
Following are the Locked on Target Archives. Remember to check out the home page slide show for the current LOT items.
January 2019 – Army Credentialing Limited User Test
Army Credentialing Limited User Test (LUT)
Update:The LUT has concluded. Army COOL will include information on the Credentialing Assistance program in the coming months.
The Army is conducting a limited user test (LUT) for self-directed credentialing in order to test the initial implementation of the Army's new Credentialing Assistance (CA) policy. As part of the LUT, the Army is funding a select list of credentials for eligible Soldiers.
Eligible Soldiers include enlisted, warrant officers, and officers of the active component permanently assigned to Fort Hood, in the Texas Army National Guard (TXARNG) assigned to a unit in Texas, and US Army Reserve (USAR) Soldiers assigned to units based in Texas.
For more information and program guidelines, please contact your servicing Army Continuing Education System (ACES) Education Center or Office:
December 2018 – USMAP
United Services Military Apprenticeship Program (USMAP)
US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) has launched the Army USMAP. Soldiers now have the opportunity to improve their job skills and to complete their civilian apprenticeship requirements while on active duty. The national recognition in the form of a Department of Labor certificate of completion lasts for a lifetime and assists in post-service employment. To get started, check out the USMAP website.
Once there, click on the Trades tab in the top navigation, then click on the "Army Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) codes" link towards the bottom of the page to see the available trades.
June 2018 – Army Credentialing Assistance (CA) Program
Army Credentialing Assistance (CA) Program
On 6 June 2018, The Secretary of the Army signed Army Directive 2018-08, establishing the Army’s Credentialing Assistance (CA) Program with an effective date of 6 September 2018. This program allows eligible Soldiers to receive funding for courses or exams that lead to an industry-recognized academic or vocational credential.
Although the CA Program starts on 6 September 2018, only Soldiers participating in the Limited User Test (Regular Army Soldiers stationed at Fort Hood, TXARNG Soldiers, and TXUSAR Soldiers) will be able to request CA starting on this date for courses or exams scheduled after 1 October 2018. The list of credentials that Soldiers can request funding for during the LUT is currently limited to 29 credentials. The list will be provided to LUT participants.
Soldiers stationed outside of Texas are not currently eligible to receive CA. We anticipate Army-wide implementation of the CA program in late 2019 and will provide notification when all Soldiers can request CA.
Soldiers with questions about the CA program should contact their servicing Army education center/office. You can find a list of centers/offices at the GoArmyEd Education Center.
April 2018 – How to Get a Credential Using COOL
How to Get a Credential Using COOL
Army COOL often gets questions from Soldiers asking exactly how to get a credential using COOL. An overview is below, but first, keep in mind:
- Army COOL is where you learn about credentials related to your military occupation and training.
- Army COOL is NOT a credentialing organization, a school, or a testing center. You'll need to work directly with the credentialing agency to locate and schedule a test and to pay for the credential. COOL provides links to the credentialing agency and to the specific credential pages on the agency website. After you use COOL to choose a credential, you will be working with the agency from that point on.
Credentialing Process Overview
The row of chevrons along the top of each page on COOL explains in detail how to get a credential. You can read about each step by clicking on the chevrons.
Following is a quick summary of the steps:
- Find a credential. COOL helps you find certifications and licenses that are related to your military training. On any page, click the "Find & Select Related Credentials" chevron or the Find tab to display the credential search box, where you have the following options (Warrant Officers, note that you have your own tab at the top):
- MOS – click for a sortable, searchable MOS list. Choose one and click Go to see an MOS Summary page.
- ASI – click for a sortable, searchable ASI list. Choose one and click Go to see an ASI Summary page.
- Civilian Career Area – click for a searchable list of civilian career areas. Choose one and click Go to see a list of MOSs that are related to that career area.
- Soldier Common Core – click to see credentials related to duties performed by every Soldier regardless of MOS.
- Manager Credentials – click to see credentials related to training received by Soldiers who reach the rank of E-5 and above.
- Full Credential Search – click for a sortable, searchable and filterable list of all the credentials listed on Army COOL.
- Learn about the credential's requirements. On a Summary page, click on a credential name. That will take you to a Snapshot or Analysis page, where you'll learn about the credential. You can find out if you are eligible to take the exam, or identify things you need to do or learn before taking the exam. You will also find out about study materials for the exam, and any other requirements. For more information about this step, click on the "Learn About Credential Requirements" chevron at the top of any page or go to the Learn About Credential Requirements page.
- Learn about available resources that can help you pay for the expenses related to the credential. Click on the "Learn About Available Resources" chevron at the top of any page for details, or go to the COOL Costs and Funding page to learn more.
- Take the exam. Note that you will schedule an exam with the credentialing agency (or sometimes a testing center), NOT with Army COOL. Links to an agency's credential page are included on credential Snapshot and Analysis pages. You will use these links to go to the agency's web site to sign up for the exam, and to find out how and where you can take it. Click on the "Apply For and Take Exam" chevron at the top of any page or go to the Apply For and Take Exam page for additional information.
That's all there is to it. Use COOL to identify and learn about a credential, and then go to the agency web site to schedule an exam. Good luck!
November 2017 – USCG Licenses
USCG Licenses for Civilian and Merchant Mariners
If you are in MOSs 88K (Watercraft Operator) or 88L (Watercraft Engineer), or WOMOSs 880A (Marine Deck Officer) or 881A (Marine Engineering Officer) and are interested in pursuing a career as a civilian mariner when you separate from the military, this news is for you!
Employment in the Maritime Industry as either a civil service mariner or as a Merchant Mariner requires credentials from the US Coast Guard, obtained through the National Maritime Center (NMC). Your Summary page now includes a new USCG Licenses General Information tab in the Related Credentials section:
Use this tab to learn more about USCG credentialing requirements and processes. Note that Army funding is available – see the new tab for more information.
July 2017 – New ASIs on COOL
New Army Additional Skill Identifiers Added to COOL
Army COOL adds information for two ASIs (Additional Skill Identifiers) in July, part of an ongoing process of expanding COOL's ASI coverage. This month, ASI 6N (THAAD Launching Congrol Station (LCS) Operator) and ASI 7D (Assignment Oriented Training) have been added.
When considering civilian credentials related to your Army training and experience, make sure to include skills and experience related to any ASIs you hold, in addition to that of your MOS. You may be eligible for more credentials than you realized.
To see the ASIs currently included on COOL, click on "ASI" in the Find & Select Related Credentials search box to display the ASI drop down list (shown in the image). Note that ASIs are added often, so check the list frequently.
Although some ASIs are awarded only to Soldiers in a specific MOS, others are not MOS-specific. For example, ASI C5 (Court Reporter) is issued only to Soldiers in MOS 27D (Legal Specialist), so credentials related to it may already be reflected on the MOS 27D Summary page. However, ASI P5 (Master Fitness Trainer) can be earned by any Soldier, so credentials related to it are found on the ASI P5 page. Those with ASI P5 would want to check the ASI P5 page to see what additional credentials relate to their training.
The ASIs you hold provide opportunities to demonstrate and document the high-quality skills and experience you have attained in the Army through additional civilian credentials.
June 2017 – AGS Credentialing Program
AGS Credentialing Program Open Enrollment
The Army Adjutant General School (AGS) is pleased to announce the AGS Credentialing Program. Qualified Soldiers, in all components, may apply for the opportunity to participate
The purpose of the credentialing program is to provide professional self-development opportunities to impact Army HR and Music through education of AG Soldiers, as well as improve Soldiers’ private sector marketability during transition from the military. The program is being expanded to include a wider range of credentials that can positively affect AG Soldiers during their life cycle. Additionally, credentialing opportunities are now available to CMF/AOC 42 Army Musicians.
All preparatory courseware and examination fees are funded by the AGS. Expenses incurred by the student outside of the provided courseware and examination fee will be at the student’s expense. Selected Soldiers must meet established preparatory timelines and be able to work independently with little to no assistance. There is no TDY involved.
The program currently includes the Associate Professional in Human Resources (aPHR), Professional in Human Resources (PHR), Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), Project Management Professional (PMP), and multiple Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certifications.
Note that aPHR, PHR, and SPHR are open to 42A, 420A, and 42B/H only. CAPM/PMP and MOS are open to 42A/R/S, 420A/C, and 42H/C.
For prerequisites and requirements to participate, go to the Adjutant General School website, and select HR Credentialing (at the bottom-right corner). Choose the DoD Email certificate when accessing the page.
June 2017 – New Find & Select Features
Find & Select Search Box Updates
You likely by now have noticed that the Find & Select Related Credentials search box has a new look this month. It also has new features, which will make it easier and faster to use.
Let us know what you think of the new functionality, and as always, if you have comments or suggestions, feel free to contact us.
Enlisted and Warrent Officer categories now have their own tabs.
New Search Features
In response to user feedback, the search box has a new design to make it more intuitive. Only one drop-down list is in view at a time, to make it clear that searches are performed on one category at a time. Click on a category to open the search drop-down, and click X to close it.
You can now sort and filter the drop-down lists. Instead of having separate drop-downs for listing by code or by title, both are combined in the same drop-down and you can sort by one or the other.
You can now filter the list by typing in the text box above the list. The list will display only items matching the text you enter. Note that some special characters are not allowed as search characters, and you can't paste into the search box.
March 2017 – New COOL Videos!
Two new COOL Videos
If you'd like to understand how Army COOL and Transitioning and Credentialing fits into the Army's Soldier for Life Program, there is now a great video for you. And, if you'd like an overview of all the Services' COOL programs, there is now a video covering that too.
You can view them below, and refer to them later on the COOL Downloads page.
US Army Soldier for Life, Transitioning and Credentialing
January 2017 – New Default Sort Order
Credential Tables Have New Default Sorting Order
There can be a lot of credentials to consider on your MOS Summary page. Figuring out which ones you should think about first can be a challenge. To help with that, the National Certifications table now has Priority Sorting applied by default.
Priority Sorting means that any credentials that are most related, apply to the initial life cycle phase, and have a life cycle phase star are listed first.
A credential that has "most" in the Related As column is directly related to most of the major duties of your MOS. The Initial Life Cycle Phase applies to the first year of your enlistment. A Life Cycle Phase Star indicates that the Army Training Proponent chose this credential as the most highly recommended for that Life Cycle Phase. So listing these credentials first allows you to easily focus on the credentials that are most relevent to you.
If you sort a column by clicking on a column heading, you can return to Priority Sort order by clicking on the Priority Sorting button above the table. The button is gold when active.
If you disable priority sorting by clicking on the Priority Sorting button while it is enabled, the table returns to whatever sorting order had been applied (sorted by credential name by default).
July 2016 – Warrant Officer MOSs
All Warrant Officers Now Included on COOL
All Army COOL Warrant Officers can now use COOL to research civilian credentials and jobs related to their Military Occupational Specialties (MOSs). Until recently, only select Warrant Officer MOSs were posted on COOL. Now all 66 MOSs have COOL Summary pages, which include information on:
- Army duties
- Related credentials
- National certifications
- State licenses
- Related civilian occupations
- Civilian career considerations
- Additional related information
- Continuing education
To access a Warrant Officer MOSs Summary page, use the Find & Select Related Credentials dropdowns on the home page, or click the “Find” button from any other page.
June 2016 – Mastering the National Credentials Table
Using the National Certifications and Federal Licenses Table
The main resource on MOS Summary pages is the National Certifications and Federal Licenses table in the Related Credentials section, shown below. (Summary pages are the pages you see when you select an MOS from the Find & Select Related Credentials box and click Go.)
This table is where you can see the credentials related to your MOS. It has many features, such as the filter box on the left, to help you focus on the credentials that most interest you. Many of these features, however, may not be obvious at first glance.
For example, to find the credential that is most highly recommended for your career phase, filter by Life Cycle Phase Star. Or, to view only credentials that have been reviewd by a third party to ensure they meet quality standards, use the Accreditation filters.
The following information describes the table's features in detail. Hover over or touch each number in the graphic below to see a detailed description, or review the list following the graphic. Being familiar with how best to use this table can make Army COOL that much more useful to you.
- Filter box – Check the items in this box to filter the information displayed in the table. A filter works by limiting what you see in the table. For example, if you click the Promotion Points filter, the table will only display credentials that have promotion points (credentials not having promotion points are still there, but they are hidden.) The table is filtered instantly when you check a filter box. Note that by default, the table displays with the Most and Some filters active, so it displays only credentials related to some or most of your MOS job's tasks. (Other credentials in the table are related to your MOS, but not as directly as the Some or Most credentials.) Filters are additive—you can apply multiple filters: "I only want to see credentials with promotion points and that have GI Bill." The active filters are shown in the Active Filters list (described below). To clear all the active filters, click Clear All.
- Active Filters – Shows the filters that are currently applied to the table. You can turn off a filter either by checking its box in the filter box, or by clicking the filter's X in Active Filters. If you don't see what you expect to see in the table, make sure there aren't active filters you forgot about.
- Table Legend and Help – Click these buttons to view pop-ups explaining what is in the table and and overview of how to use it.
- Print – You can print the filtered view of the table for later reference.
- Text Search – Filter the table for any text you type in the box. If you type "American" in the box, the table will display any row containing that word. This is a quick way to find a certification if you know one of the words in its name.
- Column Sort – You can sort by any column by clicking on the heading. If you want to sort by multiple columns, hold down the Shift key when you click on a heading. Sorted columns are indicated by a gold triangle, and the sort direction is shown by which direction the arrow points.
- Data Overview and Navigation – The information shown just above and below the table tells you how many total credentials there are, and how many you are currently viewing. If there are multiple pages of data, it shows you which page you are viewing and lets you page forward and backward.
March 2016 – Training Proponent Recommendations
Training Proponent Recommendations
There are two new columns on each MOS Summary page National Certifications table to help you select a credential: Life Cycle Phase, and Life Cycle Phase Star.
Army Proponents have reviewed the credentials related to each MOS, and have recommended certifications for phases in a Soldier's life cycle:
- Initial phase (0-1 year): Begins at enlistment and extends through six months following completion of Initial Entry Training
- Service Phase (1-10 years): Begins after the first year of service and ends once the Soldier decides to transition and pursue post service career goals
- Careerist Phase (10+ years): Begins when Soldiers decide to continue military service and ends 12 months prior to transition
The words "Initial," "Service," or "Careerist" in the new Life Cycle Phase column (see image below) indicate which phase the Training Proponents feel the certification is most applicable to, and obtainable by.
The Proponents also picked a single credential for each phase they think is the most highly recommended. These most-recommended credentials are indicated by a star in the new Life Cycle Phase Star column.
The easiest way to zero in on the recommended certifications is to either sort by the new columns (simply click on the column heading), or to use the filter options. Check the boxes next to filter items to display only certifications that match the selected items. For example, to see only certifications that have a Life Cycle Phase star, check the box next to the Life Cycle Phase Star filter.
August 2015 – TA DECIDE
TA DECIDE Can Help You Choose a College
TA DECIDE is a dynamic information and comparison tool designed specifically to aid participants of DoD's Tuition Assistance (TA) program in making informed choices on schools and education programs. The TA DECIDE engine is fueled by more than 10 recognized and trusted data sources from across the departments of Defense, Education and Veterans Affairs.
It provides a first of its kind experience, uniquely tailored to the needs of the TA participant. We hope TA DECIDE provides you with high value, actionable information on educational costs and outcomes to compare educational institutions that you may be considering.
Visit the TA DECIDE website for more information.