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DON COOL Offers Civilian Credentialing for Marines

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PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- The Marine Corps Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (COOL) program is well underway, providing Marines a way to take the skills they have learned on the job and translate them into civilian credentials.

The program reached an initial milestone with the funded credentialing of its first Marine, July 30. Since then, 108 Marines have applied, and of those 21 have obtained credentials.

Comparable to its Navy counterpart, Marine Corps COOL is a resource for Marines through the Department of Navy (DON) COOL program, part of a joint-service initiative to promote civilian credentialing opportunities for military service members.

Staff Sgt. Robert Nelson Jr. was the first to receive funding through Marine Corps COOL to cover the costs for a leadership certification exam in the business and management consulting field.

"What the certifications mean to me in and out of the Marine Corps is they show my employers that I'm always pursuing higher education, I'm seeking self-improvement, and that I'm qualified to do the job," said Nelson, administration chief for the Marine Detachment at Naval Air Station Pensacola Corry Station in Pensacola, Fla. Since completing the leadership certification, he is pursuing another certificate for operations management.

Established in October 2014, Marine Corps COOL partnered with Navy COOL, which has provided credentialing information and opportunities for Sailors since 2006.

"We are proud to be partnering with the Marine Corps and sharing lessons learned," said Keith Boring, Navy COOL program manager. "Together we are demonstrating efficiencies with best practice, best intent for the government, as well as best opportunities for the service member."

Just like Navy COOL, Marine Corps COOL offers Marines information about civilian credentials related to their military occupational specialty (MOS) and how to attain them. It can also help Marines stand out within their professional field and prepare for the civilian workforce.

"Our Marines have greatly benefited from COOL and are excited about their Military Occupational Specialties translating into civilian credentials," said Cassandra Coney, COOL program manager, United States Marine Corps. "The virtual tool has been an excellent platform in navigating through a Marine's life cycle of recruiting, retention, and transition."

From the DON COOL web portal, Sailors and Marines can search service-specific websites for certifications they may be eligible for by selecting their enlisted rating or MOS and occupation. Requirements and available resources are provided with information consolidated from federal, state and local sources on certifications, licenses, apprenticeships and growth opportunities.

"The Marine COOL website has credentials that map to every MOS in the Marine Corps, from infantry to food service to information technology," said Staff Sgt. Jonathan Kennedy, a special intelligence system administrator close to receiving his fifth certification. "It would benefit every Marine to at least visit the website to research what certifications are being offered in their occupational specialty, so they can build a road map for their future."

DON COOL is an example of the Navy's ongoing commitment to Sailors and Marines in providing world-class training, experience, and opportunities that will serve them well on active duty and as future veterans when they decide to transition to civilian life.

"When I enter the civilian work force, I will already have a huge advantage over other potential employees because of the combination of work experience in the military and the industry certifications I have earned," said Kennedy. "These certifications from various credentialing agencies have a direct link to how much earning potential I have as a civilian and how much responsibility I will be given as well."

The Navy and Marine Corps COOL offices are located at the Center for Information Dominance (CID) based at Corry Station, part of Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla. CID is the Navy's learning center that leads, manages and delivers Navy and joint forces training in information operations, information warfare, information technology, cryptology and intelligence.

With nearly 1,300 military, civilian and contracted staff members, CID provides training for approximately 24,000 members of the U.S. armed services and allied forces each year. CID oversees the development and administration of 226 courses at four commands, two detachments, and 10 learning sites throughout the United States and Japan.For more information on Marine Corps and Navy COOL programs, visit https://www.cool.navy.mil. To go direct to the Marine Corps COOL website, visit https://www.cool.navy.mil/usmc

For more news and information from Center for Information Dominance, visit http://www.netc.navy.mil/centers/ceninfodom/ or http://www.facebook.com/CenterForInformationDominance/ or http://twitter.com/CenterInfoDom/ 

For more news from Center for Information Dominance, visit www.navy.mil/local/cid/

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