Army Credentialing Assistance Is Expanding. Here’s How to Make It Work for You

Army Credentialing Assistance Is Expanding. Here’s How to Make It Work for You
Photo by Master Sgt. Brian Hamilton/Army

More soldiers of all ranks now can take advantage of a program that will help cover the cost of civilian credentials and certifications, with plans for an Army-wide rollout in fiscal 2020.

Self-Directed Credentialing Assistance (CA) expanded to soldiers stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky., on June 3, with some soldiers in Texas already using the benefit. The program allows soldiers to pursue credentials, certifications, and licenses in fields within or outside their military occupational specialty (MOS), including general certifications such as a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt. Soldiers have up to $4,000 per fiscal year to use between CA and traditional tuition assistance (TA) programs.

Pursuing these certifications “gives you a leg up on your peers and make you more competitive against your civilian counterparts, who are already working in and seeking career advancement in their chosen industry and sector,” said Col. Brian Anderson, USAF (Ret), MOAA’s director of career transition and member services.

[RELATED: MOAA’s Transition and Career Center]

Soldiers can choose from more than 1,600 credentials, licensures, and similar certifications available through Army Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (COOL).

Unsure what to pursue? Anderson offered some credential-related career advice to soldiers considering the CA program, or other servicemembers pursuing credentials while in uniform; learn about MOAA's career center member benefits and our Military Executive Transition workshops.

  • Build that résumé … A basic part of your résumé is demonstrating your educational and professional development — when employers are choosing between equally qualified candidates, credentials related to your targeted civilian career can be a powerful tiebreaker.
  • … but be smart. Don’t get credentials for the sake of getting credentials – make sure the qualifications are ones your employer will value. How to know for sure? Network with veterans who’ve transitioned into your intended career field, and reach out to company recruiters and human resource professionals in your sector to get the real story on what credentials carry weight. (Get some networking tips from MOAA here.)
  • Let’s talk money. Your credentials may put you higher up your employer’s salary band. Use them to your advantage during salary negotiations – it’s estimated that new employees take a little over 3 months to contribute to their employer’s bottom line, and you should be rewarded for having the training to cut that time significantly.
  • Don’t let them lapse. Whether it’s a regular recertification fee or updated training, keep your credentials current. Not only will the additional training keep you at the cutting edge of your field, but you’ll be able to maintain your strong résumé should you seek a new position.
Soldiers interested in the CA program can contact their local education center or email Learn more about the program here.


PREMIUM and LIFE MOAA members making the switch to the civilian workforce can access our Marketing Yourself for a Second Career guide to prepare for a successful transition.

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About the Author

Kevin Lilley
Kevin Lilley

Lilley serves as MOAA's digital content manager. His duties include producing, editing, and managing content for a variety of platforms, with a concentration on The MOAA Newsletter and Follow him on X: @KRLilley