Back to Basics with Academic Skills Training

Online degree

Back to Basics

Basic training, also known as boot camp and various other terms, prepares recruits physically, mentally and emotionally for military service. It gives them the basic tools necessary to perform their duties as a Marine, Soldier, Sailor, Airman, and Coast Guardsman. Throughout a typical military career, members are also required to use basic skills such as reading, vocabulary and math for performing tasks which are equally essential.

Advances in technology have revolutionized our ability to communicate instantly. However, those same advances have also impacted HOW we communicate, by replacing the fundamentals of good writing and grammar with an abbreviated language, which doesn't necessarily align with the military standard of clear and effective communication. So, let's get back to basics with a few of DANTES on-line training programs.

Online Skills Academic Course (OASC)

Without going back to school, how can military members "refresh" their basic skills and why is this important? The ability to write and communicate an order, critical decision, policy or plan of action is vital to the daily mission, career advancements and success in the military. The Online Skills Academic Course (OASC), offered by DANTES, teaches the concepts and skills that are needed to increase proficiency, not only in reading comprehension and vocabulary, but in math abilities as well. This is a no-cost education tool (Yes, it's FREE for the military) and available 24/7, anywhere there is Internet access. Members begin by completing verbal and math pre-assessment lessons. Once the pre-assessments are completed, a customized learning path will guide the member through the lessons that have been assigned, returning to any areas that haven't been mastered, to ensure training success.

College Placement Skills Test (CPST)

If returning to college or just getting starting is something a service member has been considering, but he/she isn't quite sure about their academic skills, the member can tune up targeted areas with the College Placement Skills Test (CPST) also through DANTES. This educational tool is designed to determine individual readiness with comprehensive online lessons to aid in scoring well on college-placement exams (e.g., Accuplacer, COMPASS) and college-level courses. Subject areas include college-level math, English and writing, with 116 available lessons. CPST is also available at no cost through DANTES, 24/7, anywhere there is Internet access.

Whether interested in military career advancement opportunities, improving college level skills or both, registration for OASC & CPST training is quick and simple, with a generous allowance of 365 days to complete the courses. Visit to register.

Prepare for the Future

As a member plans for promotion, another career or his/her future after the military, they will likely learn that many jobs require some type of writing. Good writing skills can set a service member apart from others and are definitely worth the time and effort. Once the basics are mastered, writing skills will only get better with practice. Military members should accept and volunteer for writing tasks with a positive attitude. They should share their military stories with service organizations and on their installation's website. Individual experiences, lessons learned and military tips are always valuable to someone else, especially those who may serve in the future.

For more information on DANTES military education support programs, visit the DANTES Website or's DANTES Information page.

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