Program helps Marines, Sailors achieve expertise license

19 Mar 2004 | Lance Cpl. Justin V. Eckersley

The Department of Defense and the Federal Aviation Administration have joined forces to create the Navy and Marine Corps Airframes and Powerplant Program for Marines and Sailors who are looking for a way to transfer their military expertise into civilian credentials.

Before the NMCAP, military experience was not widely recognized by the FAA, according to Lt. j.g. Doug Johnson, Navy News Service. This hindered Marines and Sailors from acquiring jobs civilian jobs after serving their enlistment.

“Trying to get a civilian job without an A&P License is similar to trying to gain access to a military base without the proper credentials — almost impossible,” said Lt. Cmdr. Gabe Castro, Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training NMCAPP Officer. “Well, that time is gone. There are now certifications in place for Sailors and Marines which allow our mechanics to enroll in the A&P licensing program.”

Marines and Sailors may apply for a single mechanic rating certificate after 18 months of appropriate experience in one field, or they may apply for both Airframes and Powerplant certification after 30 months of concurrent experience.

This experience can either be regular job experience, or it can be a part of the United Services Military Apprenticeship Program, according to Kimberly Hill,    administrative assistant, Education Office, Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort.

“If they do the USMAP as a way to get their experience, then not only do they get the A&P certification, but they also get a certificate from the Department of Labor,” Hill said. “That looks really good on a resume.”

Applicants must be 18 years old, be in an appropriate military occupational specialty or Navy enlisted classification, meet all the experience requirements, and be able to pass all the prescribed tests within a 24 month period.  A list of available MOS and NEC categories is available at the Education Office, located in Building 596 aboard the Air Station.

“As long as they meet the experience requirements, just about anybody can do it,” Hill said.

The certification process takes a week, which the Marine will have to use leave time to cover. However, the test is free.

“It’s one of the great ways we are taking care of our Sailor and Marines,” said Gunnery Sgt. Anthony Sosa, CNATT gunnery sergeant. “It shows young Sailors and Marines that we are interested in their future as they continue their careers in the Navy and Marine Corps, but also as they leave their service and embark on a civilian career.”