Story and photo by
MCSN Carla Ocampo
The occupational skills attained by military members serving aboard Stennis and throughout the Department of Defense are being certified and recognized through a U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) credentialing program.
The United Services Military Apprenticeship Program (USMAP) is a formal military training program that provides service members with the opportunity to complete civilian apprenticeship requirements based on the work they’ve done while on active duty.
“USMAP is one of the many programs the military offers to help Sailors when they’re ready to separate,” said Navy Counselor 1st Class (AW) Annette McGehee, one of Stennis’ career counselors from VFA-192. “I recommend programs like USMAP to many Sailors because they’re not being utilized like they should. Certifications like these cost money outside of the military, so it’s important to take advantage of them.”
USMAP, working with the DOL, journeyman-level certificates of completion to those that qualify, documenting that a Sailor has the proper knowledge and experience in a particular vocation.
“When Sailors separate, having a journeyman certificate can put them ahead of the next person when applying for a job,” said McGehee. “It can also make a big difference in pay.”
The apprenticeship program furthers Sailors’ professional development while they perform their regular military duties. Participants can complete the training without requiring any off-duty work. After registering all Sailors must do is log their working hours online.
“It’s a very easy program to get involved in,” said McGehee. “It’s just a matter of going to their (USMAP) website, registering and logging hours. Sailors can get as many certificates as they qualify for.”
Gaining a certification can benefit Sailors both in and out of the military.
“Rather than just saying I was in the Navy, the certificate is proof that I can do my job,” said Personnel Specialist 3rd Class Chia Hu, who has worked on a certification. “It’s something that’s going to benefit me after I get out, but also looks good on an evaluation.”
To participate in the program a Sailor must be on active duty, designated in a rating, possess a high school diploma or general education degree, and the selected trade must be his or her primary job at the command.
“The program is simple,” said Hu. “I completed the certification in six months and now that I’ve finished one I am going to get another.”
USMAP is just one of the many opportunities Sailors have to prepare for separation while demonstrating motivation while serving in the Navy. For more information on USMAP visit usmap.cnet.navy.mil.