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Licensing, Certification Info for Military Jobs Available Online

By Sgt. 1st Class Kathleen T. Rhem, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 9, 2002 – Separating military members can now get help earning professional certification or licenses related to their military jobs for the civilian world before they leave the service. Where to go? Online.

"There are a lot of people who get out of the military only to find out that they are not prepared, even though they've probably gotten all the training and all the experience that they need to have those credentials," said Sandra Winborne, certification program manager for the Defense Activity for Nontraditional Education Support, or DANTES.

Many military specialties require certification or licensing to perform that job in the civilian world. Some of the more common are information technology and telecommunications jobs, most specialties in the medical and aviation fields, and most types of engineers and mechanics.

Winborne spoke to attendees at the recent DoD Worldwide Transition Assistance Program training conference in New Orleans. She described some information separating service members can find on the DANTES Web site.

The site describes certifications or licenses required to take a job in a wide variety of civilian career fields. Service members can search based on their occupational specialty or service code. The site describes how well members' training and experience in military jobs prepare them for the tests and what added work members might need to do.

The DANTES site also contains links to information from the Department of Labor and the Bureau of Labor Statistics on what civilian jobs correspond to military specialties.

Winborne also cited an Army site as an excellent information sources for departing members of all the services.

The Army runs Credentialing Opportunities Online, a similar site at www.armyeducation.army.mil/cool. This is the official site of the GI to Jobs program.

"GI to Jobs" is an Army initiative with the sole purpose of helping military personnel understand the entire process of earning professional certification or licensing before they leave the military, Winborne said.

She explained that DANTES maintains memoranda of understanding with more than 50 organizations that provide professional licensing and certification. Many such tests can be taken at the 580 DANTES testing centers on military bases worldwide.

In many cases, financial assistance is available. DoD has signed agreements with some licensing or certification boards to cover the cost of tests given to military people. Many other tests are covered under the Department of Veterans Affairs' Montgomery GI Bill. For more information on using the GI Bill to cover these costs, go to www.gibill.va.gov/education/LCweb.htm.

Wilborne advised that the Army Reserve and National Guard and the Air Force Reserve will now reimburse members of those services for some tests associated with licensing and certification. Individuals can contact their nearest DANTES testing representative or military education center for more information. Reimbursement procedures are also discussed on the DANTES Web site.


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