State Licenses & Military Training
The Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs and numerous Illinois state agencies are actively taking steps to develop policies and procedures through which military experience can be applied toward professional licensing standards.
Collaborative Partners Include:
- Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
- Illinois Department of Public Health
- Illinois Department of Employment Security
- Illinois Department of Military Affairs (Illinois National Guard)
- Illinois Office of the Fire Marshal
- Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
Current Military Training Equivalencies For Veterans
IDVA is actively working to help veterans receive credit toward state licensing standards for relevant military training. So if you are a veteran with experience in any of the areas listed below, find out how your prior training applies toward state licensing standards:
- Military Medics to Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) - Military medics are qualified to be a CNA and are exempt from training if they have proof of completing a hospital corpsman or medical service specialist training from the Air Force, Army, or Navy (certificate or DD 214). If they have one of these, then they would only need to have a skills check-off and pass the written competency exam.
- Military Medics to First Responders (EMR) - Military medics are qualified to be an EMR and are exempt from training if they have proof of completing a hospital corpsman or medical service specialist training from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, or the Air Force (certificate or DD 214). If the military medic in question is an active (drilling) member of the IL National Guard with a current CPR certification and have no other disqualifiers, an EMT-B license can be issued without the testing. If they possess one of these, then military veterans would only need to have a skills check-off and pass the written competency exam.
- Army Medics to Emergency Medical Technicians Basic (EMT-B) - Army medics are qualified to be an EMT-Basic and are exempt from training if they have proof of completing a hospital corpsman or medical service specialist training from the Army (certificate or DD 214). If they possess one of these, then ;military veterans would only need to have a skills check-off and pass the written competency exam.
- Educational Waivers - Illinois State Police and the Illinois Conservation Police The educational requirements needed to join the Illinois State Police will be waived for veterans who have been honorably discharged with a campaign medal of service in Afghanistan or Iraq. All other requirements to join the Illinois State Police still apply. For further information, please contact the Illinois State Police. Additionally, the educational requirements needed to join the Illinois Conservation Police (a component of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources) will be waived if they:
- Have been honorably discharged and awarded a Southwest Asia Service Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, or Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal by the United States Armed Forces;
- Or are active members of the Illinois National Guard or a reservist component of the Unites States Armed Forces and awarded a Southwest Asia Service Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, or Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal as a result of honorable service during deployment on active duty
- All other requirements to join the Illinois Conservation Police still apply. For further information, please contact the IDNR Office of Law Employment
- Educational Waiver for Municipal Police and Firefighters - The educational requirements of an Associate's Degree needed to be hired as a firefighter or policeman [woman] are waived if;
- Applicant served honorably for 24 months of active duty or
- The applicant served 180 days in combat.
- Applicant served honorably for 36 months of active duty or
- The applicant served 180 days in combat.
- Commercial Drivers License - (Military Skills Test Waiver Program)
- Military CDL Waiver Programs - Qualified, eligible active military service members and those who have been discharged within the past 12 months who wish to obtain an Illinois Commercial Driver's License (CDL) and can fulfill the necessary requirements will have the opportunity to have some or all of their CDL testing waived, due to their extensive training and experience. This program is only available to those service members who are obtaining their initial CDL and not for upgrades or restriction changes to an existing CDL. There are two options under the Military CDL Waiver program, the Even Exchange and the Skills Test waiver. For either option, the applicant and their Commanding Officer must provide a fully completed and acceptable application for the appropriate option. The Commanding Officer must submit the application with required documentation, via email to the CDL Division at CDLSafeRideIllinois@ilsos.net. The CDL Division will review and verify the application then contact the Officer and the applicant in reference to the applications approval. Once approved, the applicant will be required to present the approval notice (from the CDL Section), and all other necessary documentation to a CDL Facility. Each applicant will be required to pay the appropriate CDL fee and satisfy all the CDL and other licensing requirements.
- Even Exchange option — The Even Exchange option is available to service members who have certain military MOS/Rating's in the Armed Services as noted on the application for this option, along with the proper military commercial driving training and experience. After an acceptable Even Exchange application is received and verified, these service members are permitted to have their CDL knowledge and skills testing waived. This also could include certain endorsement tests, if applicable to the applicant's experience.
- Skills Waiver option — The Skills Waiver option is available to all service members who have the proper military commercial driving training and experience but do not have the certain MOS/Rating's for the Even Exchange option. After an acceptable Skills Waiver application is received and verified, these service members are permitted to have their CDL skills testing waived. This does not include the CDL knowledge testing required and does not apply to any endorsements requiring skills testing.
- Police Academy Intern Program at Southwestern Illinois College - The Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board (ILETSB) Intern Program is an ideal training outlet for veterans seeking a career in law enforcement. Successful intern applicants attend a basic law enforcement training academy (400-hour program) and, upon passing the state certification examination, will receive ILETSB State Certification. Interns are integrated into classes with sworn officers and receive the same training. The costs for training (tuition, housing, meals, etc.) are the responsibility of the intern, but eligible interns may use the Illinois Veterans Grant, GI Bill or the Workforce Investment Act to pay tuition. This program is for Illinois residents only and seats are limited. Applicants must have valid Illinois driver's license and Illinois Firearms Owner Identification Card. Other facts:
- 90-95% of Interns (1/3 are veterans), have been hired as part-time or full-time peace officers.
- Receive college credit that may be applied to Southwestern Illinois Colleges Administration of Justice AAS Degree.
- Police Agencies grant Veterans and Education Preference Points in accordance with 65 ILCS 5/ Article 10-1-16.
- Firefighter Certification - The Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) maintains a process by which qualified veterans can obtain state certifications based on prior military experience. To summarize, veterans must;
- be employed by an Illinois Fire Department
- submit a letter to OFSM requesting equivalency
- attached with the letter, provide proof of prior military experience (i.e. copies of pertinent Department of Defense certificates)
- pass the relevant state written and practical examinations.
For more information, visit the following page: www.sfm.illinois.gov/fireservice/DODEquivalencyPolicy.aspx. For detailed questions, veterans are advised to contact Mitzi Woodson in the Office of the State Fire Marshal at (217) 785-1003 or Mitzi.Woodson@illinois.gov.
For further information, please contact the CDL Division at 217-524-5971.
The above information is provided to assist CLP applicants and CDL holders with the necessary requirements but it is not meant to be all inclusive. For additional information, please refer to the Illinois Commercial Driver's web page, CDL Study Guide or the Federal FMCSA website.
Making Military Training Count toward Academic Credit
The Office of the Governor and the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, in cooperation with the Illinois Community College Board, several community colleges, the Illinois Board of Higher Education and MyCreditsTransfer, completed a collaborative project to grant student veterans appropriate academic credit for the education and training they gained in military service.
As a result of the "Making Military Training Count" initiative, veterans and service members can enter college with earned course credits, useful credits that apply toward meeting degree requirements, simply by documenting their already-completed military training. See how your military coursework, exams, and/or learning experiences count at specific schools using Transferology. Visit www.iTransfer.org/MyCreditsTransfer to learn more. You can also find out what your options are for taking classes at another school to transfer back to your current school by using the "Find a Replacement Course" feature.
Many Illinois colleges have developed transfer credit for military learning experience, including City Colleges of Chicago, College of DuPage, College of Lake County, DePaul University, Kaskaskia College and Southwestern Illinois College.