How To: Maximize the DoD COOL Benefit

The Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (COOL) is the military education benefit that provides up to $4,500 to Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines towards credentialing within their current job series.

The following tips and techniques are designed for the Airman, but translate to every military branch in some manner.

  1. Logon to the AFCOOL site to see which credentials are approved for your Air Force Specialty Code.
  2. As of May 2016, COOL reimburses for all preparation, exams, and annual fees for credentials obtained through COOL. The preparation is often the most expensive part of credentialing so this is a tremendous benefit!

TIP: If your credential does not have standardized preparation curriculum, find the exam references and purchase the reference books through AFCOOL, to include any top-rated commercial study guide/workbooks. This tip alone could save you thousands of dollars!

  1. Keep going. As of May 2016, the number of credentials you can earn is unlimited, within the $4,500 cap. Ask mentors and future employers which credentials mean the most on a resume.

Don’t see a credential in your specialty code? Ask your service career field manager to submit a request to add it!

Used the COOL program before? What would you add to this list?

Useful credentialing links:

Air Force COOL

Air Force COOL FAQs

Army COOL

Navy COOL

Marines COOL

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