Military Crosswalks & Credentialing

Last Updated: 04/01/2024

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Overview

A crosswalk is a tool that helps to equate competencies gained from training or experience to a credential or to a new job or career.  Military crosswalks assist in identifying skills and demonstrating how to translate in-service skills, training, and experience into civilian credentialing.

Federal and state policies affect military crosswalks and credentialing.  At the federal level, the U.S. Department of Defense uses military crosswalks to match job classifications from the various branches of military to civilian jobs. Veterans’ hiring and job programs attempt to identify the best fit for exiting service members, and to help employers understand the skills that veterans bring with them. The crosswalks can be complicated because different branches of the military have different coding structures, and because military jobs have numerous classifications and subclassifications and are updated frequently.

Some states have established general guidelines for state agency use. These guidelines help state agencies use the military crosswalk properly. Crosswalks are typically used to match the MOS (Military Occupational Skills) codes from each branch of the U.S. Armed Forces to each job classification series in a state. 

The Higher Education Opportunity Act also sets policy regarding in-state tuition levels for active-duty military members. The most pertinent part of the law: it allows active-duty personnel, their spouses and dependents to pay in-state tuition if they attend a public college or university while stationed in a state for more than 30 days.

Relationship to Ecosystem

Military crosswalks help military personnel receive credit for their experience in different settings. This facilitates credit interoperability among credential providers and is important to advancing the educational and career goals of military personnel.

Examples

O*NET OnLine Crosswalk Search, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, allows military personnel to search codes or titles from the Military Occupational Classification (MOC).

Career One Stop helps military personnel put their military experience to work in a civilian career. 

Military.com’s Military Skills Translator matches an individual's military experience to civilian jobs. 

My Next Move for Veterans helps military personnel find careers similar to their in-service jobs. 

Spouse licensure reimbursement policies: In some cases, an individual’s license may not transfer to a new state. If individuals move due to a permanent change of station and pursue the same licensure or certification in a new location, they can apply for up to $1,000 in reimbursement of relicensure or certification fees from their service branch.

COOLSM (Credentialing Opportunities On-Line, also known as Credentialing Assistance or CA) is an interactive website that uses a database of occupational and credentialing information to allow service members to easily identify and attain credentials that will support their professional development in the military and beyond. 

Texas’s Approach to Military Crosswalk: The TX cross walk assists state agencies on how to use the military crosswalk. State agencies have the flexibility to use the MOS codes that best reflect the responsibilities of the job. The State Auditor’s Office maintains the military crosswalk and updates it on an as-needed basis. Agencies are responsible for confirming the skill sets of job applicants that are appropriate for their job openings.

North Carolina:  Since 2020, legislation has permitted individuals with military training and experience to qualify for various NC health care credentials, including: Emergency Medical Responder (EMR), Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT) or Paramedic. Individuals qualify by either completing a NCOEMS-approved education course and passing the NCOEMS EMS State exam, or through the legal recognition process. Individuals with military training and experience (and military spouses) have a third option for credentialing under N.C.G.S. § 93B-15.1. The law allows credentialing to those individuals who have been awarded a military occupational specialty and have completed various requirements at a level substantially equivalent to or exceeding the requirements for an NC credential (these are delineated in the bill). 

Military OneSource is a state licensing and career credentials initiative designed to help military spouses transition their credentials to a new state. To date, all states except New York and the District of Columbia have made progress toward licensing portability. Once the initiative is in effect, individuals have three options for credentialing when they move:

  • Licensure through endorsement. This option lets individuals prove their expertise and skill set by completing continuing education units, or through recent work or volunteer experience (at least two years of experience within the five years before submitting the application).
  • Temporary licensure. Many states will provide a temporary license with proof of a current license or certification. Individuals can work while completing the requirements for the new state credentials, or while waiting for an endorsement.
  • Faster processes for issuing licenses. Some states will approve a license if the application is correct and verified by affidavit or sworn statement. Other states will allow the director of the supervising agency to approve applications on behalf of the licensing boards. These options won’t change the quality standards in licensed or certified professions.

References

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