How to Prepare for Military Occupation Reviews


​​​​​​​​​The purpose of an occupation review is to evaluate and validate on-the-job training for occupation designations and recommend postsecondary educational credit where appropriate. The American Council on Education (ACE) uses review teams compose​​d of faculty members to formulate the credit recommendations. To make their recommendations, faculty must first identify the skills, tasks, competencies, and knowledge associated with a given occupation by reviewing the official occupation documentation.

The documentation is validated by conducting interviews with service members working in each occupation. Each interview panel session lasts approximately 60 minutes for enlisted service members and 90 minutes for warrant officers.

Occupation reviews can be done either virtually or onsite at a training location. Although many of the preparations and procedures are the same for all types of occupation reviews, there are special considerations for onsite reviews. If you are planning an onsite occupation review, please read the Tips for Onsite Occupation Reviews section below.

 Before the Review

Submitting Documentation

Military training sites or schoolhouses work with service program managers for the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Coast Guard to identify occupations for review, as well as preferred review dates. Military training sites or schoolhouses then prepare and submit review requests to their service program managers using the MTEP Portal to start the review scheduling process. Once review requests and dates have been validated by the service program manager, the review requests are compiled into a master schedule and formally approved by ACE, DANTES, and the service program managers. For more information on review readiness, see the Military Review Resources page.

Occupation planning documents must be submitted to ACE through the MTEP Portal 90 days before the review is schedulted to begin. Additional documentation is due to ACE 60 days before the review and may include:

  • Occupation/rating/MOS manuals that include duties, qualifications, and expectations
  • Official position descriptions
  • Technical guides/training manuals
  • Career progression charts
  • Population counts by paygrade
  • Other official military documentation


ACE will provide a draft Army, Marine Corps, Navy, or Coast Guard agenda for the evaluation visit. The point of contact (POC) will provide a completed agenda by the date requested and should address any scheduling concerns with ACE staff.​

Pre-Review Meeting

Approximately 30 days before the scheduled site visit, ACE staff will schedule a pre-review meeting to review the list of occupations and draft agenda and to address any questions or concerns regarding the review.

The POC should invite anyone responsible for arranging the occupation interviews to the meeting.

Scheduling Interviews

The POC should confirm that at least two service members per pay grade for enlisted occupations (with the appropriate skill levels) will be available for interviews (either physically or via phone) during the agreed-upon dates. For warrant officer occupations, credit recommendations apply to the community as a whole, so adequate representation from community managers and junior and senior warrant officers is necessary.

The review team must interview at least two service members from each pay grade/skill level for enlisted occupations. If two members per pay grade are not available to participate, the interview and review will be canceled. Due to the time limitations, please do not schedule more than three service members per pay grade. Only service members from the occupation and pay grade under review may participate in the interviews.

For virtual occupation reviews, the preferred method is a virtual meeting platform (such as Teams, Zoom, or WebEx) that allows synchronous audio and visual feeds. Cell phone and basic office telephone speakers do not work well in a large group.

The order of the interviews may be changed to accommodate scheduling conflicts. For each interviewee, the name, rank, time in service, and time in grade should be provided in the schedule information. Substitutions may be made if necessary. The completed schedule should be sent via email to ACE no later than two weeks before the visit.

Preparing Service Members

ACE recommends that the POC communicates with and prepares the service members who are participating in the interview/validation process. A copy of the “Dear service member” letter (56 KB pdf) should be distributed to the interviewees prior to the interviews. The letter provides background information on ACE and the purpose of the interviews, as well as some sample questions.

Service members should also receive copies of or a list of the official documentation being provided to the team. Because the interview process is a validation of the job task knowledge, skills, and abilities, the service member should have a thorough understanding of what is being documented. The interview members should also be encouraged to reflect on the percentage of time they spend on tasks, the scope of responsibilities, and level of authority to make decisions.​​​​

 During the Review

In-Briefing (approximately 20–30 minutes)

A general presentation and overview by the POC and any other appropriate personnel helps the team understand the occupations being reviewed. The presentation should cover such topics as force structure, density, population by pay grade, career trajectory, and description of the occupation. In addition, any unique nuances should be pointed out to the team at this time.

The in-briefing should also include introductions of key personnel involved in the review.

ACE staff will briefly describe the background and goals of ACE, with particular emphasis on military occupation reviews. ACE staff will be available during the review to answer any further questions.


The questions asked during the interview session focus on the duties expected within a particular designator and enlisted pay grade/skill levels. The individual is not being evaluated during this process. Responses to the questions give the reviewers valuable insight into the scope of the required duties, enabling them to write a comprehensive subject area credit recommendation with supporting learning outcomes. The​ POC may not be present during the interviews, but should be available to the team at all times. If interview participants fail to arrive on schedule, the POC should immediately contact those individuals or their replacements, as appropriate.

Exit Briefing (approximately 30 minutes)

The exit briefing is an unofficial evaluation report conducted to discuss some initial findings. At that time, ACE staff will provide the unofficial credit recommendation totals. ​

 Tips for Onsite Occupation Reviews

Directions to Review Site

  • For onsite occupation reviews, the onsite POC should provide directions from the appropriate access gate or the hotel to the building location.
  • The POC should advise ACE staff of security requirements for access to the installation. ACE will provide the necessary information for access.
  • Any passes that can be issued in advance are appreciated.
  • If appropriate, please provide advance notice to the security gate/office personnel of the team’s arrival to expedite access.
  • Due to installation security issues or for convenience, some POCs prefer to arrange van transportation to and from the hotel for the team. This courtesy is greatly appreciated by the review team.

Work Space

For an onsite occupation review, the ACE review team will need:


If available, the service members scheduled in each group should report to a ready room near the conference room. Otherwise, service members should convene in the hallway outside the conference room. The interviews cannot begin until all interviewees on the panel are present.

 After the Review

Following the review:

  • ACE will submit a final report to the point of contact no later than 30 working days after the visit.
  • If the POC does not raise any issues about the occupation data in the final report, the occupation exhibits will appear on the ACE Military Guide three days after the report submission to the service.
  • If there are questions that require clarification, the results will not be released until they are resolved.
  • There is no rebuttal option.

​​​​Military Review Resources​

Visit the Military Review Resources page to access service-specific contacts an​d to download document samples and forms.

​View and Download Resources

 The Military Guide

​​​​​Explore military training and occupations carrying ACE recommendations.

The Military Guide​​