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Military Training and Education

Military personnel are the beneficiaries of extensive training and experience that advance their occupational skills and can be applied within the oil and natural gas industry. As described below, their skill sets are cultivated through a combination of formal mandatory military training, extensive on-the-job training, and participation in voluntary educational opportunities afforded to them during their military service. Employers can request official service documentation of service members and veterans training and experience.

Mandatory Military Training

Throughout their military careers, all service members – both enlisted and officer – are required to participate in technical training related to their military occupations.

Most enlisted service members will receive the bulk of their occupational training from the schools they attend in the military and the on-the-job training and experience they acquire throughout their service. Enlisted service members begin their military careers with basic training, commonly known as “boot camp,” which lasts between seven and 12 weeks. It is intended to build physical and mental stamina, develop team building skills, and orient recruits to the military mission, culture, and ethos.

After boot camp, enlisted service members attend initial technical training that is specific to their military occupation. Depending on the military occupation, initial technical training can range in length from eight to more than 40 weeks. Keep in mind that service members attend this training full-time during that period – training is essentially their job. Upon completion of this skill training they are qualified to hold their military occupational specialty and they are assigned to a field unit to begin their on the job training, which is conducted much like an apprenticeship program. At specific phase points throughout enlisted members’ careers, they attend additional, in-residence, advanced skills and leadership courses.

Enlisted

The level of quality of military training is evidenced by the fact that service members can receive college credit for much of their training and experience. The American Council on Education (ACE) collaborates with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to review military training and experiences and recommend appropriate college credit for members of the Armed Forces. ACE’s credit recommendations appear in the ACE Military Guide and on military transcripts (described below). Enlisted service members in the Air Force are awarded college credit for their military training because it is offered as part of the regionally accredited Community College of the Air Force.

Military officers typically enter the service with a degree that forms their initial qualification for their military occupation. But like the enlisted service member, officers also have an opportunity to receive extensive technical, leadership, and managerial training throughout their careers.

Voluntary Education

In addition to the mandatory training provided to service members, numerous opportunities for professional growth and development are provided through voluntary education. The Department of Defense (DoD) recognizes that investing in the professional development and education of its workforce can allows service members to bring a higher level of capability to their jobs. DoD’s voluntary education program makes up one of the largest continuing education programs in the world and includes a wide variety of programs, including academic skills, college courses and degrees, licensure and certification, and apprenticeship opportunities.

Each year, one-third of service members enroll in postsecondary education programs leading to associates, bachelors, and advanced degrees. Military service members participating in voluntary education programs are considered non-traditional students in that they are working and going to school at the same time, demonstrating their commitment to continued professional growth.

Tuition Assistance

The Tuition Assistance (TA) program provides financial assistance for voluntary off-duty education programs in support of a service member's professional and personal self-development goals. TA is available for courses that are offered in the classroom or by distance learning and are part of an approved academic degree or certificate program. The courses must be offered by schools accredited by accrediting agencies that are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and are signatories to the current Department of Defense Memorandum of Understanding (DOD MOU).

Civilian Credentialing Opportunities

For service members transitioning to the civilian workforce, certifications and licenses are a means of demonstrating to civilian employers that their skills are on par with those of their civilian counterparts. All military branches have adopted programs to facilitate civilian credentialing of service members, and service members are encouraged to attain professional certifications and licenses related to their military occupational specialties. These credential programs pay for credential fees, match military occupations to civilian credentials, identify gaps between military training and experience, and provide resources to fill gaps so the certification or license can be attained during military service.

Service members have a high success rate in attaining civilian credentials: one statistic from the Navy showed that its service members have a pass rate of over 85 percent on certification and licensure exams, compared to industry averages of 70 percent. High pass rates demonstrate the relevance of military training and experience to civilian jobs. It would be fair to say that the metric of passing civilian certification or licensure exams could be used as a means of screening military job applicants for jobs.

For more information on credentials related to military occupations, see the Services’ Credentialing Opportunities On-Line websites:

Apprenticeships

Service members in the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard are provided opportunities to participate in a U.S. Department of Labor registered apprenticeship program. The United Services Military Apprenticeship Program (USMAP) is a formal military training program that provides active service members the opportunity to improve their job skills and to complete their civilian apprenticeship requirements while they are on active duty. The U.S. Department of Labor provides the nationally recognized "Certificate of Completion" upon program completion. Examples of apprenticeship programs that can be completed through USMAP that are particularly relevant to the oil and natural gas industry include Bulk Fuel Specialist (Pumper-Gauger), Fuel System Maintenance Worker (Any Industry), Maintenance Mechanic (Any Industry) and Pumper-Gauger (Chemical, Petrol; Refin; Pipe Lines).

Documentation

Employers can take advantage of formal documentation that is available to all service members to verify their military training and experience. Service members can request that formal copies of these documents be sent directly to an employer.

DD Form 214

DD Form 214

Applicable Services: All

Purpose: Verify military service and discharge status

DD Form 214

Department of Defense Form 2586

Department of Defense Form 2586

Applicable Services: All

Purpose: Verify military occupations held

Department of Defense Form 2586

Joint Service Transcript

Joint Service Transcript

Applicable Services: Army, Marines Corps, Navy, Coast Guard

Purpose: Verify military occupations held, military training courses completed, and college level credit for each

Joint Service Transcript

Community College of the Air Force Transcript

Community College of the Air Force Transcript

Applicable Service: Air Force

Purpose: Verify military occupations held, military training courses completed, and college level credit for each

Community College of the Air Force Transcript