SOLDIER FOR LIFE
The Army needs to make sure Soldiers have the best skills that benefit the Army, he said. But it is also
important that Soldiers can get credentialed and transfer those skills to the civilian marketplace once they
leave the force, he added.
“Even after 35 years of being in the military, if this is my last year, which I hope it’s not, I have to get another
job,” Spitler said. People are living and working a lot longer, he said.
Soldiers embody the values taught to them in the military, he said, making them great employees in the civilian
The Army’s Soldier for Life program is an excellent example of showcasing how Soldiers serve their whole
lives – from when they enter the Army, through when they re-enter the civilian world and are productive
members of their community.
“The work that we are doing here is not just limited to that 18-year-old, who is joining the military looking for a
skill – that is also applicable to the 50-year-old, who is transitioning out of the military,” he said.
It is important for the Army to make sure the message of credentialing, education and opportunities gets out in
an understandable fashion, he said. “We have some work to do, especially associated with credentialing,” he
CREDENTIALING HELPS SOLDIERS, READINESS
Credentialing and readiness go hand-in-hand, said Col. Reed Hudgins, TRADOC’s director of credentialing,
certification and licensing.
That hand-in-hand walk begins when Soldiers enter the Army, and it continues their entire career, Hudgins told
a panel discussion.
“It’s a lifelong process – a life-long process that speaks to readiness for us inside the military,” he said.
Credentialing saves money since the training or certification could be low or no-cost to the Army, maintains a
professionalized force with industry’s best practices, and keeps members interested and challenged, he said.
Since industry’s best practices make up credentialing, the skills are in demand, fresh, and viable, he noted.
Credentialing is not just for the active Army, he said. “It’s applicable to the total force; without the National
Guard, without the Reserve, we can’t do what it is we do,” he said.