ARLINGTON, Va. — The Ordnance Corps has convinced the United States Army to officially adopt a policy that awards promotion points to military personnel for earning civilian certifications. Initially, the Ordnance Corps requested this policy for its use, but the U.S. Army saw value in the initiative and extended it throughout the entire Army.

Starting in October, the Army will begin awarding promotion points to technicians who earn civilian technical certifications directly related to their trade. This includes automotive mechanics, HVACR technicians, and electronics repairmen. An Army technician can earn 10 points for each certification, up to a maximum of 50 points. The Army currently promotes its soldiers to junior grade noncommissioned officers using a scoring system, which allows them to earn and compile points for such areas as education, awards, special achievements, and performance.

According to the U.S. Army, national skill standards have become an important component of its personnel professional development models. For example, the Ordnance Corp’s welding courses were recently recognized by the American Welding Society, the machinist course was recognized by the National Institute for Metalworking Skills, and all electronics training has been approved by the Electronics Technician Association.

Still in the works is the accreditation of all automotive training under Automotive Service Excellence’s (ASE’s) Continuing Automotive Service Education (CASE) program and the HVAC training under the Partnership For Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration accreditation (PAHRA), of which North American Technician Excellence (NATE) is a partner. Individuals under the Montgomery G.I. Bill can be reimbursed for taking a NATE test.

Publication date: 07/21/2003