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AF COOL Resources

Basic Airmen Eligibility Criteria

The AF COOL is a Total Force Enlisted program. It includes all enlisted AFSCs for RegAF, AFRES, and ANG. Funding will be provided for RegAF, AFRES, and ANG members on Title 10 or Title 32 (502F) active duty orders. Funding will not exceed a maximum of $4,500 per lifetime per Airman.

Enlisted RegAF, AFRES, and ANG component members participating in the Air Force COOL program must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Possess a 5 skill level in their Primary Air Force Specialty Code (PAFSC) that is associated to the assigned Control AFSC to which the credential is mapped.
  • Do not have an UIF, are not on a Control Roster and are current on their most recent Physical Fitness test at the time of application.
  • Have a profile in AFVEC with an approved credentialing goal.
  • Enlisted members must complete the entire credential while on active duty status and obtain supervisor approval.

Although the AF COOL program has transformed to allow Airmen to obtain unlimited credentials and licensures with their $4,500 cap, eligible Airmen may attain only one credential at a time per category, i.e., Control AFSC/Leadership, at AF expense. The AF will pay for the exam(s), prep courses, books, study materials, admin fees, and recertification fees necessary for that one credential. Once approved by the supervisor, and the member has uploaded supporting documentation into the educational goal (i.e., program invoice, applications, etc.), the member will then create a separate funding request for each item – exams and/or study materials – and ensure the request matches the provided invoice. Senior NCOs (E-7 through E-9) may also be eligible for leadership and management credentials. The maximum allowable lifetime benefit per Airman is $4,500. This includes the Senior NCO leadership credential(s) and any recertifications (if applicable and with certain restrictions). Some exams may be very expensive while others are relatively cost-effective. Regardless of the cost, Airmen may only complete one AFSC-related credential at a time and, if eligible, one leadership credential. (NOTE: recertifications are paid by AF COOL only if the initial certification was also paid for with AF COOL funding).

Airmen cannot choose another certification until their grades for previously taken exam(s), pass or fail, have been submitted. It is imperative that Airmen choose a credential wisely and prepare for the exam. Members who fail to submit their grades within 120 days of test completion may be responsible for recoupment of some or all funds – as of FY18). For more information, consult with your AF COOL Credentialing Program Office (CPO) at the contact information listed below.

Step 1 – Search AFSC Related Credentials

  1. Log in to your AFVEC account and find the AF COOL Homepage link at the top of the screen.
  2. Navigate to the AF COOL Homepage and once there, select the "Search AFSC Related Credentials" box and your AFSC specific credentials that you are eligible for will be listed.
  3. Select the credential you wish to pursue through the AF COOL program. (NOTE: You can sort the credentials via funding method, i.e., AF COOL, GI Bill, etc.).

When you open each credential, you will see the following tabs:

  • Summary
  • Eligibility
  • Comments
  • Exams
  • Other
  • Related Occupations

Goal Creation Tutorial

Step 2 – Create Education Goal

Select the credential that best suits your career progression needs. Create your education goal by clicking on the icon that is listed on the top right of the goal you are seeking; like the one below:

Once you have selected the credential of your choosing, an email will be sent to your supervisor to validate your eligibility criteria for the selected credential. While your supervisor is reviewing your credential request, please complete step 3 to assist us in processing your funding request, which will be accomplished in step 4.

Step 3 – Upload Supporting Documentation

It is the member’s responsibility to research the requirements for the credential - not AF COOL. Review the credential summary and eligibility requirements to ensure you meet any pre-requisites prior to selection. Review the exam(s) necessary to complete the credential. Review the credentialing agency’s homepage and the resources page to locate program information (i.e., pre-requisite details, testing centers, and pricing details) and any requirements the credentialing agency may need prior to payment (i.e., application process). Ensure you upload any required supporting documentation (files must be under 4MBs and one of the following file types: .pdf, .xls, .slsx, .doc, or .docx), such as:

  • EPRs (only if required as proof of eligibility for the credential)
  • Applications
  • Pre-requisite certifications
  • FAA Form 8610-2 (FAA Tickets to test) or CCAF-awarded Certificate of Eligibility
  • Books – MS Word document with ISBN, Title, and web link for each book per the vendor’s site
  • Login Information – If payment must be made via student login, please provide login and password to AF COOL on a MS Word document
  • Exam Cost – Invoice or quote from the vendor; screen shot or active link to the vendor’s site is also acceptable
  • Prep Course/Boot Camp – Invoice from the vendor

Also, ensure the invoice from the testing agency covers ALL items you are requesting payment for. Once you have conducted all your research, go to step 4.

TA Creation Tutorial

Step 4 – Start a Funding Request

In your AFVEC account, go to the bottom box on the right side of the home screen and click “Start a Funding Request”. Follow the prompts to complete the funding request application. You will need the following information from the credential web site and/or the invoice you obtained in Step 3:

  • Exam Center (provided by the credentialing agency’s website) TIP: enter the first word of the exam center and click “Search” – one or more options may appear (i.e., “Pearson” for Pearson VUE)
  • Cost for exam including admin fees (contact the credentialing agency and request an invoice to assist you with your funding request, if you haven’t already done so)
  • Testing Window – AF COOL has recently changed its testing window from 30 to 120 days. If you are testing outside of the AFVEC system’s 120-day window, continue to fill out the request, then email the AF COOL CPO with the anticipated testing date at the information listed below; a counseling note will be placed in your Education File to verify that you have contacted the CPO

Once you complete the funding request, an email will be sent to your supervisor who will review the request and approve or disapprove it. You will be notified via email once this action is completed.

Step 5 – AF COOL Approval Process

Once the supervisor approves your funding request, it is then electronically routed to the AF COOL office which will make the payment on your behalf. The CPO/ Purchase Agent will contact you through phone or email should they require any changes to be made prior to payment. (NOTE: Funding requests are processed on a First- In, First-Out basis. There are exceptions to this policy for ANG and AFRES members; you must contact the AF COOL CPO to inquire about these exceptions). Your patience with this process is appreciated.

Step 6 – Study and Take Exam

Take the exam(s) and follow up with the AF COOL CPO to report your scores and close out your educational goal. Send a copy of your exam results and/or Certificate of Completion to the Air University Service Desk after you have tested. Once the AF COOL CPO receives your grades, they will notify you that your educational goal has been completed and send you a voluntary End-of-Course Survey. This survey will be used to assist the AF COOL Program in providing a better service for future applicants. For further support, please contact the Air University Service Desk.

For more information on creating an Air University account, please see the following video.


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