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Navy COOL: The More You Know the Farther You'll Go

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SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Navy Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (COOL) representatives met with Sailors assigned to USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Sept. 25, during a tour of military installations in the San Diego area to discuss credentialing opportunities offered by the Navy. 

Sailors where shown the fundamentals, how to find credentials that apply to their specific rate, and how to apply for examination funding. The credentials offered are aligned with military training Sailors have already received. 

"These credentials are designed for you to succeed," said Thom Seith, Navy COOL program analyst. "Eighty percent of the content on these exams is already in your head thanks to the world class training you've received during your service to the United States Navy." 

Seith shared values that he has learned from his personal experiences since being honorably discharged as a master chief petty officer with 27 years of service. The presentation touched on topics that military members may take for granted like negotiating salary, knowing your worth and the value of military training when it is reflected by civilian certifications and licenses.

"The first interview I went to ended after three questions. I had a bachelor's degree, but no certification. Three minutes later I was in the parking lot wondering what went wrong," said Seith. "Diversifying credentials to be competitive in the private sector is a must, not a plus." 

Navy COOL leads the way in providing funding for civilian credentials, according to Seith. The program will fund one attempt for as many certifications as a sailor is willing to take on an individual basis. Sailors must have one year remaining on their service obligation to qualify, however, a command endorsed letter confirming intentions to reenlist can make sailors eligible who are seeking funding. 

Unlike Navy tuition assistance, sailors are not required to pay back funding received for credential exams that result in failure. The program also funds the renewal and maintenance of any certification earned through this program. 

"We want to make sure our [Sailors] have every opportunity to succeed," said Navy Career Counselor 1st Class Natacha O'Reilly, educational service officer at Fleet Logistics Squadron 30. "The more they know, the farther they can go."

Carl Vinson is undergoing a Chief of Naval Operations Planned Incremental Availability maintenance period in its homeport of San Diego.

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