Navy Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (COOL) announced two new program changes and an added feature on its website, May 1. A policy update replaced the minimum 12-month time of service requirement to use Navy COOL's services, including possible funding, to earn civilian credentials. Sailors who have at least six months remaining on their current contracts are now authorized to pursue civilian licensing opportunities through Navy COOL. Waivers for those with less than six months remaining on their current contract may be available for qualified Sailors. "The time-in-service change allows Sailors to pursue credentials throughout their military life cycle, from completion of technical training until they become eligible for transition opportunities," said Jim Johnson, the Navy's voluntary education service chief. Navy COOL also announced a pilot program to fund credentials aligned with academic degrees or certificates. Until now, COOL services have assisted with providing credentialing opportunities based on the Sailor's enlisted rating, officer designator or their work in a collateral duty or out-of-rating assignment. The update allows Sailors to pursue credentials based on their education, even if their degree or academic certification does not align with their military occupation. "Aligning credentials with formal education leverages the best attributes of both developmental paths, leading to a better-rounded Sailor," said Johnson. "To ensure success, Sailors should continue preparing for certification exams aligned to their education as they do for any other Navy COOL opportunities." In an effort to keep Navy COOL websites up-to-date with industry trends and practices, all Department of the Navy (DON) COOL websites, including Navy COOL, Marine Corps COOL and DON Civilian COOL, now include a live chat feature. The service allows users to communicate directly with Navy COOL staff in real time. A staff member is available to answer questions about the program between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. Central Standard Time. "Most questions can be addressed via a simple chat while surfing the website," said Keith Boring, Navy COOL program director. "Adding chat to the COOL website benefits the Sailors who do not desire to phone the Navy's Credentialing Program via long-distance or write a lengthy email. This new feature provides us with expanded capabilities to assist Sailors throughout the world." Navy COOL provides information about licenses and certifications applicable to all Navy occupations, offering resources and funding to help Sailors gain appropriate civilian desired, and in many cases required, credentials. For more information about Navy COOL, visit http://www.cool.navy.mil/ or call (850) 452-6683. You can also check out Military.com's Navy COOL page for more details, or our Credentialing Overview page for details on credentialing opportunities for all services.
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