PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- Navy Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (COOL) announced two new program changes and an added feature on its website May 1.
A new policy update, to be eligible for Navy COOL credential funding support, reduces the minimum 12 or more months' time remaining-in-service requirement down to six or more months. 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; waiverable conditions are outlined on the Navy COOL website.
"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 academic certificates. Until now, COOL services have assisted with providing credentialing opportunities based on the Sailor's enlisted rating or their work in a collateral duty or out-of-rating assignment. The new opportunity will allow Sailors to pursue credentials based on their education, even if their degree or academic certificate 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 a continuous effort to keep the Navy COOL websites up-to-date with industry website trends and practices, all of the Navy COOL websites, including Department of the Navy (DON) COOL, Navy COOL, and DON Civilian COOL, now have 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's 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.
Navy COOL is located with the Center for Information Warfare Training, which delivers trained information warfare professionals to the Navy and joint services, enabling optimal performance of information warfare across the full spectrum of military operations.