CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti (NNS) -- Service members forward deployed to Camp Lemonnier took part in a presentation by Navy Credentialing Opportunities Online (COOL) representatives, Feb. 19-20, to provide information on the importance of credentialing and licensing during their military careers.
The goal of the program is for Sailors and Marines to learn what civilian credentials pertain to their military training and experience and resources available to help them attain the credentials.
"We conduct these briefs to talk to service members about the advantages and opportunities of the Navy COOL program," said Thom Seith, Navy COOL program analyst. "The program allows Sailors to take Navy 'A' and 'C' training, along with other technical expertise, and correspond it to civilian certifications."
"The Navy COOL representative visit was an opportunity for the program managers to explain firsthand about the benefits of Navy COOL, the new changes that have been implemented and some of the things that are in the works coming down the line, as well as explaining how the funding works," said Chief Navy Counselor Daniel View, Camp Lemonnier and Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa command career counselor.
All services have recognized the important role that occupational credentials can play in professionalizing the force and in enhancing service members' ability to transition to the civilian workforce upon completion of military service.
"Navy COOL is about civilian-level credentialing," said View. "Basically, it's taking what a service member is already doing in the military, background, training [and] schooling and correlating into terms on what civilian counterparts are doing and certified in. The benefits of the program [are] immense."
In terms [of] benefits to the Navy, it helps with manning flexibility and provides an opportunity to fulfill billets based on credentials and skillsets, said View. Sailors have the opportunity to fulfill billets, not necessarily directly tied to their rating because based on the licenses and credentials through Navy COOL, Sailors qualify for these opportunities.
For those interested in learning more about credentialing and licensing opportunities and how it pertains to their military service, the COOL website offers a variety of resources and information.
The Navy COOL and Marine Corps COOL sites contain a multitude of service-specific information about certifications and licenses related to military occupations. Some benefits include background information about civilian licensure and certification on individual credentials, identify licenses and certifications relevant to individual Navy ratings, designators, collateral duties and Marine Corps military occupational specialties, learning how to fill gaps between Navy and Marine Corps training and experience, and civilian credentialing requirements.
"Navy COOL is an excellent resource for a lot of ways to help with professional development," said Seith. "The website contains useful information about certifications, bibliographies for advancement exams and no common access card (CAC) is needed to use the site, so it can be accessed from anywhere. There's also an app available for download that service members can use to access Navy COOL information."
The COOL initiatives began in 2002 when the Army launched the first COOL website. In 2006, the Army and Navy entered into an agreement to allow for collaboration on COOL for Soldiers and Sailors. The Navy launched its COOL website in 2006, and the Marine Corps and Air Force joined the COOL team and launched their own sites in 2014. Beginning fiscal year 2017, DON COOL was expanded to include credentialing opportunities for Department of Navy civilian personnel. Because DON civilian COOL focuses on the broad federal occupational series and not just Department of Navy-centric duties, the information contained in DON COOL can apply to all federal employees.
The Department of Navy (DON) COOL program began as part of a joint-service initiative to promote civilian credentialing opportunities for military service members and it has now been expanded to include civilian personnel. The Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps have collaborated to share data, research, analysis and best practices so that all service members can benefit from credentialing opportunities.
"It's one of the programs that impacts Sailors the most, in my opinion, as far as career progression. It's a great program. It's free and there's no penalties for failing a test. I think it's a program more Sailors should take advantage of. It's a fantastic opportunity," said View.
For more information about Navy COOL, please visit http://www.cool.navy.mil.
Camp Lemonnier's mission includes enabling joint warfighters operating forward and to reinforce the U.S.-Djibouti relationship by providing exceptional services and facilities for the tenant commands, transient U.S. assets and service members.
Camp Lemonnier is one of Navy Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia, installations that conducts eight lines of operation to support air operations, port operations, safety, security, housing, MWR, Fleet and Family Support, and what is called the core: the fuels, water and power that keep the bases operating.
For more news from Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/CAMPL/.