Program Offers Apprenticeship Credit for Military Experience

Vet2Tech veteran technician repairing equipment.

The United Services Military Apprenticeship Program (USMAP) program is a formal military training program that provides active duty Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy service members the opportunity to improve their job skills and complete their civilian apprenticeship requirements at no cost. Experience more challenging assignments, with no off-duty hours, and receive a "Certificate of Completion" issued by the U.S. Department of Labor.

USMAP enhances your job skills and shows your motivation for more challenging military assignments. Having a DOL Certificate of Completion is a definite advantage in getting better civilian jobs since employers know the value of apprenticeships. Keep reading if you want to get a jump on the competition for those great career jobs.

The USMAP program costs nothing, requires no off-duty work and provides you with proof of national recognition with documented work experience in sought-after skills.

What is USMAP?

The USMAP is a formal, structured training program providing on-the-job training and related technical instruction. It is an industry-driven training program where you complete 2,000 to 8,000 work hours and 144 hours of formal, structured training for every 2,000 work hours.

Who Can Participate?

The program is open to all active duty Army, Navy, Marine, or Coast Guard personnel with:

  • Minimum of 1 year left on current enlistment
  • High school diploma or GED
  • Assigned to and performing duties in an authorized trade.

The trade you select for your apprenticeship must be related to your military occupation.

For example, if you prepare food you would select the Cook trade. You are not eligible to select the Printer trade because it has nothing to do with the work you normally do. There are two trades, Corrections Officer and Counselor, that are sometimes based on special duty billet assignments.

What Work is Involved?

Each trade is broken into work processes or skill areas. These skill areas form an outline of the tasks to be completed and the work hours required in each skill area. 

For example, if you are an E-4 cook and want to enroll in the USMAP program, you have the following apprenticeship options open to you:

  • Baker
  • Cook, Any Industry
  • Cook, Hotel & Restaurant
  • Housekeeper
  • Manager, Retail Store
  • Manager, Hotel Food Service

If you choose "Baker" this is the breakdown of what your apprenticeship would be:

Job Description: Mix and bake ingredients according to recipes to produce breads, pastries, and other baked goods. Goods are usually produced in large quantities for consumption in high volume dining areas. Generally, high volume production equipment is used.

Skills needed:

  1. General Administration: Operate office equipment. Maintain publications and directives. Use publications and directives. Maintain files and records.
  2. Safety: Conform to prescribed safety factors to include use of proper methods of handling baked goods in ovens.
  3. Logistics: Order supplies and equipment. Maintain stock records.
  4. Mechanical Maintenance: Perform operator maintenance on equipment.
  5. Sanitation: Comply with principles of personal hygiene. Dispose of waste products properly. Maintain food service spaces and associated equipment in a clean and sanitary condition. Inspect baked products for spoilage.
  6. Bakery Operation: Operate ovens, bakery equipment, and other equipment required in bakery operations. Mix ingredients according to specifications. Follow guidelines for production control. Compute recipe adjustments based on number of food portions to be prepared using standard recipe cards. Bench and handwork: Bread, cakes, doughnuts, eclairs, cookies, cup cakes, and miscellaneous pastry. Finish work: Racking, filling, icing, decorating, and making of icings and frostings.

Guess what? A civilian resume would look pretty good if it was filled out with all these skills AND you had the certificate to back up the fact that you were an expert at them.

Of course, different jobs require different skills.

What is the Benefit of This Program?

Most of the job duties required as a part of the USMAP Program are the same ones that you perform on a daily basis, the only difference is that you and your supervisor must document the work you do. Once you complete the required hours and any necessary formal training (military schools count as formal training) you will receive an apprenticeship certification issued by the U.S. Department of Labor. While you are in the military, getting your certificate shows your chain-of-command that you are working to improve yourself.

Once you leave the military, this certification can help you get a civilian job, and will certainly place you above others who have no training who are seeking the same job. An apprenticeship certification often helps get you promoted or to be considered for the jobs you want. When you get out of the military, employers want to know you really have the skills necessary to perform a job. Proving you have your apprenticeship certification can open doors to better jobs and significantly more pay.

How Do You Get More Information?

Go to the USMAP website to see what jobs can participate in the program, and for more details.

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