by Bradley Hood
In Military Education Contributor
During my time in the Marine Corps Reserve, I often encountered references to the United Services Military Apprenticeship Program (USMAP), but never quite knew what it was or how to get involved in it. I have recently discovered my ignorance of the program stemmed from the fact that it is not available to Reservists, but for anyone who may be pursuing their education while on active duty, this is an extremely great program to take advantage of before transitioning to civilian life.
So what are the advantages of enrolling in USMAP? While USMAP is a formal training apprenticeship that leads to a journeyman rating certified by the Department of Labor (DOL), it does not require any off duty time! Unlike military training and experience, which can be difficult to explain to a civilian employer, a DOL Certificate is easily recognized by civilian employers familiar with the value of apprenticeships, and will make a transitioning military service member much more competitive in the civilian job market. Completing a USMAP sponsored apprenticeship requires dedication and a significant commitment of time to ensuring you meet all the obligations, but because it is all done on duty, there is little reason to pass this opportunity by – I would go as far as to say you should consider the program even if you do not intend to work in your current field when you leave the military, having options in a tough civilian job market is never a bad thing.
The requirements for enrolling are as follows:
- Must be active duty Coast Guard, Marine Corps or Navy
- Must be in a qualifying MOS (a list can be found on the USMAP site)
- Must have a HS Diploma or GED
- Must have sufficient time left on active duty to finish the program
More information on the USMAP can be found at https://usmap.cnet.navy.mil/usmapss/static/usmap.jsp