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While in the Army, you can receive training through a number of courses. With some of these programs, you can even receive certifications or college credit toward a degree. The type of training you'll receive depends on both your job in the Army and whether or not you want to be an officer in your field.
Initial Entry Training
When you enlist in the Army, you'll first go through Initial Entry Training, which consists of Basic Combat Training (BCT) and Advanced Individual Training (AIT). BCT is a nine-week course for all soldiers that focuses on soldiering skills like working as a team, handling a weapon and physical conditioning. After graduation, you'll go to AIT, which is focused on teaching you the more advanced skills you'll need to perform your specific job in the Army. During AIT, you may have the chance to be certified in your field, which can help you pursue a career in this field if you leave the military.
Most AIT programs allow you to be certified by at least one nationally-recognized board if you choose to follow through with the application process outside of the military. Additional training is also available beyond your normal AIT program for advanced certifications. Once you choose your career path in the military, you can see what certification options are available through Credentialing Opportunities Online, the Army's official website for receiving certifications.
If you want to become a non-commissioned officer or warrant officer in your field, you can do so by going through leadership training. These classes teach you to supervise missions and learn to lead groups of soldiers, as well as prepare you to make advanced decisions in your specific field. Through this career-specific training, you may qualify for more certifications through Credentialing Opportunities Online.
Whether you participate in Leadership Training courses or not, you can choose to go through specialized schools in the Army, which will qualify you for civilian certifications (as well as a pay raise, in some cases). Not everyone qualifies for these specialized schools; you may have to first achieve a certain rank, get a bachelor's degree, or have experience in the military. Specialized schools available include Airborne School, Pathfinder School, Ranger School, Aviation School and Drill Sergeant School.
College though the Army
While in the military, you can attend college classes though online school or certain campuses located near bases. The military provides money for this education, so not only could you receive certifications, but you can actually receive your degree. Even if you already have a bachelor's degree, through Army programs, you can get your graduate degree or a second degree in another field. If you leave the Army, your Army training may count as credits toward your degree, depending on your specific college's policies.
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