Fort Hood announced they are conducting a limited user test for soldiers to earn civilian professional credentials and certifications during their time on post.
Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel Dailey said they've offered the tuition assistance program for traditional education for years, but now they're taking it one step further.
"We're doing a good thing for American young men and women who choose to serve their country," Dailey said. "We're going to give them the ability to pursue a huge job market of available jobs out in America called the technical trades, certifications and licensures."
During a press conference on Tuesday, Dailey said this is a journey he and Congressman John Carter have been on for more than two years.
"I hope Fort Hood is going to make it shine so brightly that everybody in the Army that's about to get out is going to get some kind of ticket that's going to get them a job," Carter said.
In another room, soldiers were already clicking away on more than a dozen computers. They were checking to see where they can match up what they've already accomplished with a certification they're interested in getting.
"It's an opportunity for myself to get trained technically for things I need outside the military if I so choose to," said Sgt. Karriem Minor, a soldier on Fort Hood.
While the program is extremely useful for soldiers, officials said it will also benefit the Army as a whole as well as future employers.
"The American soldier is always doing extra," Carter said. "So I told them, 'you've done a great job in the Army. What we want you to do is do a great job in the private sector when you get out and have the credentials to do it.'"
The Army has selected a total of 28 credentials in the following industries, including fitness, food services and human resources.
The limited user test will officially begin on Sept. 6. Soldiers may then visit with their education center to learn more about the program.
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