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The American Legion’s Credentialing Roundtable Series 2016

The American Legion hosted a day long proactive discussion on the state of credentialing for Service members and Veterans: Challenges and Opportunities on Monday, 11 April 2016.  Each service updated the status of the Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (COOL) programs.  U.S. Air Force and Department of Labor offered on-line active displays, and www.MyNext

The Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Readiness), Mr. Frank DiGiovanni and Mr. Michael Michaud, Assistant Secretary for Veterans’ Employment and Training, noted that licensing and credentialing were a top priority of the President.  Government, Industry, labor, and credentialing professionals all are working as one team to remove the impediments to employment of veterans while keeping the standards for quality control of credentials high.  Innovative programs like SkillBridge are offering opportunities to work in industry prior to leaving the service. The sea services are reviewing occupations E-1 through E-9 in Military to Mariner to build a blueprint to mariner for members as they serve.  Engineers of all services are mapping knowledge, skills and experience into industry certifications.

The Department of Defense representatives noted the NDAA 2016 Section 559 as written, would support only 20 percent of current credentials and industries gold standard credentials.  Senior leaders spent considerable time listening to the concerns of force senior enlisted to ensure any recommendations for amendments would meet the intent of the legislation.  The Key heartburn issue was the requirement for a credential to be accredited by an independent accreditation body in order for the service member to have it funded by his or her command.  The Institute for Performance Improvement supports the intent of the law to ensure Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen receive credit from their military schooling and experience to qualify for certifications that lead to job opportunities.  Insisting on a third party accreditation group’s approval will diminish opportunity for awarding credentials.  Serious consideration should be given to removing the requirement for an independent accreditation body to approve long standing and well accepted industry certifications and credentials.

The roundtable was a catalyst to continue the American Legion’s fine work and bring Government, Industry, and Credentialing professionals together.  Proactive work continues with Senior Enlisted working closely with volunteer groups to crosswalk enlisted occupations into solid certifications and viable jobs for our nation’s finest.

Donna Crisp, CPT, CACP

Rear Admiral, USN, retired

The Institute for Performance Improvement,

Senior Practice Leader 

(c) The Institute for Performance Improvement (TIfPI), 

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