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How to use the Military Guide

December 30, 1899


​The Military Guide is the sole source of information for all military courses and occupations evaluated by the American Council on Education (ACE). Users can search for courses and occupations using the ACE identification number, keywords, course numbers, training location, dates completed, or subjects and levels. The Military Guide is updated daily.

Military courses and occupations are evaluated by teams of college and university professors. Through discussion and the application of evaluation procedures and guidelines, team members reach a consensus on the amount and category of credit to be recommended.

ACE credit recommendations are advisory. They are intended to assist in placing active-duty service members and veterans in postsecondary programs of study and jobs. The recommendations may be modified.

The Military Guide is an important tool for college and university registrars because the course and occupation exhibits expand on the information found in a service member’s Joint Services Transcript (JST).

Course Evaluations

Courses listed in the Guide are service school training courses. They are approved by a central authority within each service. These courses are conducted for a specified period of time using a formal course of instruction, in a structured setting and with qualified instructors.

Course exhibits are reports on the results of ACE course evaluations.

The sample course exhibit explains the content and purpose of each section. For courses evaluated after October 1, 2015, see the NEW sample course exhibit (PDF).

When you read an exhibit, consider not only the credit recommendation section, but also the related learning outcomes, instructional strategies, methods of assessment, and minimum passing score sections. These portions of the exhibit outline the course content and scope and will help you determine the appropriate placement of credit for each individual student within the requirements and programs at your institution.

Occupation Evaluations

In conducting occupation evaluations, evaluators identify the skills, competencies, and knowledge required of service members in a given occupation specialty and relate that demonstrated learning to the same attributes acquired by students who have completed a comparable postsecondary course or curriculum. Because the evaluations are based on a comparison of learning outcomes, the amount of time a given enlisted service member may have spent acquiring occupational proficiency is not taken into consideration. The emphasis is on translating the learning demonstrated through occupational proficiency into terms used in formal civilian postsecondary education systems to recognize the same learning.

Occupation exhibits are reports on the results of occupation evaluations.

The sample occupation exhibit identifies the various sections of the exhibit and describes the contents and purpose of each section.

When you read an exhibit, consider not only the credit recommendation section, but also the description section. The descriptions are similar to learning outcome statements of postsecondary courses and programs of study, and provide essential information about the learning required for proficiency in the occupation. Comparing the description section with a description of the course or program of study that the student will pursue will help you:

  • determine how much of the recommended credit applies to the course or program of study at your institution
  • identify additional areas of possible credit
  • resolve problems with duplication of credit when the applicant has applied for credit for more than one military learning experience
  • place the student at the appropriate level in the course sequence or program of study


In December 1945, at the request of civilian educational institutions and the regional accrediting associations, the ACE established the Commission on Accreditation of Service Experiences, renamed the Commission on Educational Credit and Credentials in 1979, to evaluate military educational programs and to assist institutions in granting credit for such experiences. The first edition of the Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services was published in 1946.

The extension of the World War II G.I. Bill to include veterans of the Korean conflict, and the subsequent enrollment of many veterans in colleges and universities, created a need for the second edition, published in 1954.

The 1968 edition was prepared in anticipation of the increased enrollment of veterans resulting from the educational assistance provided under the Veterans Readjustment Benefits Act of 1966, and with the expectation that many would apply for educational credit for their learning experiences in the armed services. In addition, technological advances had necessitated major changes in service training, with a resulting need for new or revised educational credit recommendations.

The 1974 edition of the Guide marked the beginning of the publication of biennial editions of the Guide through computerized composition, continual staff review of courses, and the computerized storage of course information for a more rapid updating of credit recommendations. In 1994, the computerized Guide system came in house, with all data managed by the Military Evaluations Program staff.

Over the years the recommendations contained in the Guide have assisted education institutions in granting credit to hundreds of thousands of service members. The recommendations have been widely accepted because formal military courses share certain key elements with traditional postsecondary education programs. They are formally approved and administered, are designed for the purpose of achieving learning outcomes, are conducted by qualified persons with specific subject-matter expertise, and are structured to provide for the reliable and valid assessment of student learning.

In 1975, ACE implemented a program to  evaluate learning represented by demonstrated proficiency in Army enlisted military occupational specialties (MOS's). Subsequently, the occupational assessment program was expanded to include Navy general rates, ratings, warrant officers, and limited duty officers; Army warrant officer MOS's; Navy warrant officer and limited duty officer specialties; Coast Guard enlisted ratings and warrant officers; and selected Marine Corps MOS's. A small number of Naval Enlisted Classifications (NEC's) also have been evaluated.

In 1994, ACE published the 1954-1989 Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services. It contained all courses and occupations with exhibit dates from 1954 to December 1989. In 2005, this archived edition was incorporated into the Guide Online.

In 2006, after 60 years of publishing the hardbound Guide, the online version of the Military Guide became the sole source of information for all military courses and occupations that ACE continues to evaluate for the services.

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