USMAP Enables Service Members to Receive Journeyman-level Civilian Certifications

Story Number: NNS100223-11Release Date: 2/23/2010 4:49:00 PM
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By Ensign Peter Lee, Naval Education and Training Command Public Affairs

PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen interested in completing civilian apprenticeship requirements can do so through the United Service Military Apprenticeship Program (USMAP). As of Feb. 23, USMAP is helping more than 40,000 service members earn their professional certificates.

USMAP works with the U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) to provide nationally recognized apprenticeship programs that result in journeyman-level Certificates of Completion for members of the sea services. During their apprenticeship, military members further their professional development through documented work experiences while performing their regular military duties. Earning this DoL Journeyman Certificate is free and normally does not require working additional off-duty hours.

"It's about quantifying what you've accomplished," said Tom Smith, Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) Enlisted Learning and Development coordinator. "Service members are already doing the work; it's just a matter of documenting what they do. Now they have their work 'on the record' and an apprenticeship completed has additional recognized accomplishments, which looks good to promotion boards. Certifications can also open doors once one decides to hang up the uniform."

USMAP is a registered apprenticeship program which provides formalized and structured training. It combines on-the-job training (OJT) and related technical instruction in which the apprentice would receive practical and technical training. All the individual is required to do is regularly document the hours worked in the various skill areas either in a hard-copy log or through the Web and have it verified by their supervisor. In addition, the service member submits a report every six months, and a final report once all OJT is complete.

"Each apprenticeship requires anywhere between 2,000 and 10,000 hours of on-the-job work and training," said Marybeth Whitney, USMAP registrar. "Working a typical 40-hour week, an individual can complete an apprenticeship within a year. The 123 trades available range from aircraft mechanic to X-ray equipment tester and over 96 percent of Navy enlisted rates, 85 percent of Coast Guard enlisted rates, and 232 Marine Corps military occupational specialties are eligible for these programs."

USMAP's apprenticeship programs apply to virtually all members of the sea services, including those who have been serving for several years.

"Pre-registration credits can be awarded to those who have time-in-service and can even be applied towards college credits", added Smith. "The maximum credit a service member could possibly receive is 50 percent of the required OJT. For example, an E-6 with ten years of service and is interested in an 8,000-hour program can receive a maximum of 4,000 credits towards their apprenticeship, cutting their requirements for hours of logged OTJ in half."

Since 1976, USMAP, a program managed by NETC, has awarded nearly 37,000 certificates.

"The program continues to grow within the military while maintaining its recognition in the civilian sector," added Whitney. "The certificates provide the civilian sector a way to translate what military members are doing within their jobs."

Any active duty Sailor, Marine, or Coast Guardsmen can become an apprentice as long as they have been designated in a rating, have sufficient time to complete the program while on active duty, possess a high school diploma or GED, and the selected trade must be their primary job at their command.

"No service member, either officer and enlisted, should cheat themselves out of this program," said Ken Ledbetter, USMAP marketing and outreach coordinator. "Anyone can do it but to further one's work expertise takes that extra motivation. Each trade program is tailored to enhance knowledge of that job and an individual's enthusiasm to be a professional does not go unnoticed. They owe it to themselves."

For more information about the United Service Military Apprenticeship Program, visit

For more information about the Naval Education and Training Command, visit

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