Giving Back to Those Who Serve
Consider how your certification program can build opportunities and incentives to fully support service members and veterans transition to civilian employment. Veterans can access resources to learn more about their entitled benefits.
In February 2013, the Executive Office of the President released a report on streamlining credentialing and licensure for service members, veterans, and their spouses. Access the full report.
ICE Member Resources
GI Bill Payment of Certification and Licensure Fees
The Montgomery and Post-9/11 GI Bills provide opportunities for veterans to receive reimbursement for pursued education and certification. However, Veterans can only apply these benefits to licensing or certification exams that are approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
ICE encourages members who offer certification programs to seek approval. If you represent a state or local licensing board, the approval requirements are minimal. If you represent a non-governmental organization, your test must be generally accepted within the industry, must have been in existence at least two years, and must meet other requirements.
If you wish to seek approval for your certification exam(s), find the State Approving Agency for the State where the headquarters of your organization is located and contact them.
Military Services’ COOL Programs
The Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps have established Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (COOL) programs to facilitate credentialing of Service members and Veterans. Each of the military Services will pay for credentials related to Service members’ military occupational duties. The COOL websites (listed below under “Military and Veteran Resources”) provide detailed information on the over 1,500 certifications and federal licenses that have been linked to military occupations. Explore the sites to learn more about the programs and to determine if your agency is included.
The Veterans Benefits and Health Care Improvement Act of 2000 Expands Veteran Opportunities in Professional Certification
The Veterans Benefits and Health Care Improvement Act of 2000 [Public Law 106-419] expanded opportunities for veterans to use their Montgomery GI benefits to pay for professional certification tests. ICE supported the passage of this legislation.
The American Jobs Act
President Barack Obama presented the American Jobs Act in an address to Congress on September 8, 2011; the bill aims to increase employment and provide tax relief.
The Office of the Press Secretary explained in a September 8, 2011 release that under The American Jobs Act, "the President is proposing a Returning Heroes Tax Credit of up to $5,600 for hiring unemployed veterans who have been looking for a job for more than six months, and a Wounded Warriors Tax Credit of up to $9,600 for hiring unemployed workers with service-connected disabilities who have been looking for a job for more than six months, while creating a new task force to maximize career readiness of servicemembers." Learn more about the impact of The American Jobs Act in your state and find out how state and local officials are responding.
Read the complete American Jobs Act that President Obama sent to Congress.
- The American Legion. The State of Credentialing of Service Members and Veterans: Challenges, Successes, and Opportunities
- Section 558 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2012 (FY12), as amended by section 543 of NDAA FY13, required the Department of Defense to carry out a pilot program to assess the feasibility and advisability of permitting enlisted members of the Armed Forces to obtain civilian credentialing or licensing for skills required for military occupational specialties or qualification for duty specialty codes.
Military and Veteran Resources
Military Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (COOL) Programs
The Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps have established Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (COOL) programs to facilitate credentialing of Service members. Each of the military Services will pay for credentials related to Service members’ military occupational duties. The Services COOL websites provide detailed information on credentials related to military occupational specialites.
College Credit for Military Training and Experience/Education Benefits
GI Bill Certification Benefits
The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides more opportunities for veterans to receive reimbursement for pursued education and certification. Veterans can only apply these benefits to licensing or certification exams that are approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). To view a complete list of VA approved programs and exams,
Federal Resources for Displaced Workers
Occupational certification represents an excellent opportunity for displaced workers to learn a new skill and transition into a new and rewarding career. Below are resources designed to assist persons looking to earn a new credential.
U.S. Department of Labor's Career One Stop - a comprehensive source for career information.
Job Corps - Job Corps is a no-cost education and vocational training program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor that helps young people ages 16-24 to learn a new skill.
Other Federal Resources
Veterans Service Organizations
- The State of Credentialing of Service Members and Veterans: Challenges, Successes, and Opportunities
Directory of Veterans Service Organizations, Department of Veterans Affairs