Soldiers can now earn journeyman certificates while working in military

Soldiers can now get extra credit of sorts for the training they receive while in the Army.

The service’s Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) teamed up with the Labor Department so soldiers can earn apprenticeship credit while doing the same work or training in the military.

The United Services Military Apprenticeship Program (USMAP) allows soldiers to put credit toward apprenticeships in trade and craft skills, which can culminate in receiving a nationally accredited journeyman certification.

Soldiers are eligible for certificates in more than 120 occupations, which are tied to their military occupation specialties (MOS).

“It’s about taking care of soldiers,” said Sgt. Maj. Matt Tran, a TRADOC senior enlisted adviser for training and leader development said in an interview with Federal News Network. “We invest heavily in the training and professional development of our soldiers and we want to give them the professional recognition that they’ve earned. Through the USMAP and in partnership with the Labor Department this program allows the soldier to advance his or her individual skills. At the same time it enhances the military and our country as a whole.”

The program requires no additional training and soldiers can self-enroll into the program at no cost.

The Army and Labor worked together to line up which MOS fit with certain requirements for accreditation. Not every MOS will line up with a specific accreditation.

One occupation that does not is a heavy equipment truck driver, for example. A soldier can complete an apprenticeship once they finish all the appropriate hours and requirements.

That doesn’t mean that a soldier will be able to earn a full accreditation in their first enlistment, however.

“There is a progression and there’s hours required for it,” Tran said. “Definitely within an 18 year span, based on the type of MOS, that individual can leave the service with a federally recognized journeyman” certificate.

When soldiers log onto the USMAP website, they get a schedule for what tasks and hours need to be completed for a certificate. A welder needs 6,000 hours of work to become a journeyman, for example.

“Every one of these trades has this work process schedule that breaks down by hour and task what they have to do to earn this certificate,” said Capt. Chase Standifer, staff action officer at TRADOC.

Soldiers log their hours and supervisors sign off on those hours.

As for soldiers who are already in the service, they can get retroactive credit.

Soldiers can get 1,000 hours of credit for every year of service and those hours can count for half the total hours of a trade. So, if a journeyman credit takes 5,000 hours, then 2,500 hours can be retroactively added.

Read more of the DoD Personnel Notebook.

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