The Air Force COOL program is a Total Force enlisted initiative. All RegAF, USSF, AFRES, and ANG members on Title 10 or Title 32 (502F) active duty orders are eligible for the program. Members of the AFRES and ANG who are not on Title 10 orders may be paid by their respective components. During your career, you can receive up to $4,500 in benefits.
Credentialing has two functions. For starters, it serves to professionalize and educate the service by training enlisted individuals in industry-recognized abilities. Second, it helps airmen prepare for civilian life by ensuring that they are prepared to work in the civilian sector. Credentialing encompasses various areas, including certifications and licenses. Enlisted members who participate in the Air Force COOL program must meet the following requirements:
Have at least a 5-skill level in their primary Air Force Specialty Code
At the time of application, they do not have a UIF, are not on a Control Roster, and have passed their most recent fitness test.
Have an AFVEC profile with an authorized credentialing goal.
While on active duty, you must acquire supervisor approval and finish the entire credential.
Despite the fact that the AF COOL program has been expanded to allow Air and Space professionals to earn an infinite number of credentials and licenses with their $4,500 cap, qualified personnel may only obtain one credential at a time per category, i.e., Primary AFSC/Leadership, at AF expense. Preparatory classes, boot camps, or coursework are not paid for by AF COOL.
AF COOL will cover the exam(s), up to $500 in books, admin/application fees, and recertification fees for that single certificate. Once the supervisor has accepted the credentialing objective and the supporting documentation has been uploaded to the educational goal, the member must make a separate funding request for each item – examinations and/or books – and check that the request matches the specified price quote.
Senior NCOs (E-7 to E-9) may be eligible for leadership and management certifications as well. The AF COOL Program has recently been expanded to allow obtaining one non-AFSC related certification and one completed degree-related credential (bachelors or higher).
If a member fails the non-AFSC credential, they must reimburse the credential's fee. The highest permissible lifetime benefit per Air and Space professional, however, remains $4,500. This covers Senior NCO leadership credentials, non-AFSC and degree-related credentials, as well as any re-certifications (if applicable, and with certain restrictions).
Some exams might be somewhat costly, while others are relatively inexpensive. Regardless of cost, Air and Space personnel may only finish one AFSC-related certification, one non-AFSC credential, or one degree-related credential at a time, as well as one leadership certificate if eligible. (NOTE: AF COOL will only pay for recertification if the initial certification was also paid for with AF COOL funds.)
You may learn more about credentialing and licensure by visiting the Air Force COOL website. The webpage will allow you to:
Learn about civilian licensure and certification in general, as well as detailed information on various credentials, such as eligibility requirements and exam preparation tools.
Determine the licenses and certifications required for Air Force Specialties.
Learn how to bridge the gap between your Air Force training and experience and the requirements for civilian credentialing.
Learn about the services available to Airmen members to assist them in obtaining civilian career credentials.
AF COOL also contains an area where you may view all credentials for all enlisted AFSCs. While you can only receive tuition help for authorized credentials, you might look into alternative occupations for future planning. The certificates and licenses associated with such AFSCS, as well as other information such as related civilian vocations, will be included in the search results. Airmen can also search for credentials by civilian occupational category, credential name, and credentialing agency name.
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