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Future technological advances will increase the complexity of repairing, managing, and maintaining equipment. The Army currently operates in a resource-constrained environment that may continue to persist into the future. To maintain a competitive advantage over our adversaries, time and resources will have to be used efficiently and effectively. Future educational strategies will have to evolve to support the training and educational requirements of Soldiers and Army civilians. The responsibility to educate and train Soldiers is shared between the learner, the institutional training community (i.e., Training and Doctrine Command instructors, training developers, etc.), the chain of command, and leadership roles. The learning strategy described in the U.S. Army Learning Concept 2020-2040 calls for a career-long adaptive and continuous learner-centric training and educational environment that requires individual commitment to career-long learning. The Army People Strategy, Line of Effort 2: Develop Talent, calls for the development and employment of education and training opportunities that extend Soldiers talents, close talent gaps, and maximize Soldiers contributions to the Total Army. This is envisioned to be achieved through the “Educate,” “Train,” and “Credential” supporting objective areas that provide the framework for implementing initiatives that achieve Army strategic outcomes. The United States Army Ordnance School, in partnership with the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), has developed the Military Tactical Wheeled Vehicle (TWV) Certification Test Series, otherwise known as the MIL Series, to modernize and supplement the training and education of TWV maintainers now and into the future.

Development of the ASE Military TWV Credentials

The ASE Tactical Wheeled Vehicle credentials have been in development since early 2020, following a memorandum of understanding between the Ordnance School and ASE. Junior enlisted Soldiers, noncommissioned officers (NCO), warrant officers (WO), officers, and civilians from the Army, Air Force, Marines, served as subject matter experts and collaborated with ASE to develop the tests. All seven intermediate-level tests will be available by August 2021, and an entry-level test should be available by January 2022. Additional details on the test series can be found on the ASE website: https://www.ase.com/test-series - See MIL Series. The Military TWV tests are designed to provide Army maintainers with a relevant and viable self-development credentialing program that develops them outside of the institutional training domain. The tests align ASE tests to Army equipment, critical task lists, and processes, set the conditions for career-long learning and growth and provide maintainers with a portable credential that can be used both in and outside of the Army.

Benefits of ASE Military Credentials to the Army

The ASE Military TWV credentials are tests that objectively measure an individual’s level of technical job competence and provide feedback to themselves, their unit’s leadership, and the Ordnance School to support training and leader development programs that improve maintainer and unit readiness. Time in grade, service, or position will no longer serve as a primary factor in determining occupational knowledge and skills. Leaders and Soldiers can use the test results to develop individual training plans tailored toward areas that require improvements. The Ordnance School can use the test results to inform and assist training developers and Critical Task and Site Selection Board members in determining critical tasks and developing relevant institutional training. The tests can inform and influence personnel actions in areas such as promotions and WO accessions. For example, test scores and/or certifications achieved could be documented on NCO and officer evaluation reports to assess technical competence in addition to the performance and potential metrics that are currently used. This could be accomplished by revising evaluation forms or writing comments in the rater and/or senior rater blocks on evaluation forms. Test scores and/or certifications achieved could also be used to identify an NCO’s level of technical proficiency for warrant officer accession purposes. The credentials could also be viewed favorably on promotion boards and used to identify and select technically proficient NCOs and WOs for promotion advancement. Furthermore, the tests could also be used to assess a civilian applicant’s knowledge and technical competence on military equipment before being hired or during probationary periods for civilian employees who are being considered for jobs that require a considerable amount of military vehicle knowledge. Finally, the tests could be used as a viable self-development option for civilians in the same manner that they can be used for Soldiers.

Benefits of ASE Military TWV Credentials for civilian and defense industry employers and employment

ASE was founded in 1972 as a nonprofit, independent organization dedicated to improving the quality of automobile and truck service and repair through the voluntary testing and certification of technicians. ASE certifications are widely accepted and recognized as the standard industry credential for automotive professions in the automotive service, parts, collision, truck, school bus, and transit bus segments. ASE tests were originally designed to test and certify civilian sector automotive professionals so shop owners and service customers could better gauge a technician’s level of expertise before contracting the technician’s services. ASE tests certify automotive technician professionals to offer tangible proof of their technical knowledge. The ASE certification testing serves to provide peace of mind to automotive service managers and customers. Correspondingly, the ASE Military TWV tests will provide contentment to Army commanders, maintenance managers, and operators of Army equipment.

Before the development of the ASE Military TWV tests, neither the U.S. Armed Forces nor defense contractors had an independent, third-party administered program to establish the competency levels of maintainers and provide a measure of trust for employers who want to know that they are hiring a civilian or veteran who possesses the knowledge and skills required to work independently on tactical wheeled vehicle systems (i.e., engines, brakes, etc.) and repair them right the first time. The ASE Military TWV credentials, which are open to any military or Department of Defense (DOD) civilian mechanic and/or technician, will prove invaluable to employers who provide products and services for military equipment such as contractors, Army National Guard military technicians, U.S. Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, Logistics Assistance Representatives, and general schedule employees. The credentials can also be used by civilians and veterans applying for jobs at defense companies, who manufacture vehicles and components for the DOD and provide training to DOD personnel.

Civilian sector employers also favor the Mil Series credentials. They are looking for credentialed military technicians as they are aware that military training for tactical wheeled vehicle mechanics and technicians are somewhat aligned with training for private sector technicians. However, they also understand that because of the differences between military and civilian vehicles, that some military mechanics and technicians may lack critical knowledge and hands-on experience in specific areas that keep them from successfully passing the A Series (Automobile and Light Truck) and T Series (Medium-Heavy Truck) ASE tests that are designed for civilian sector technicians who primarily maintain and manage maintenance on automobiles and over-the-road or commercial vehicles.

With the right emphasis and management, the ASE Military TWV certification tests will modernize the self-development domain of training and provide maintainers and supervisors with a tool that objectively measures occupational competence, encourages educational development outside of the Institutional training domain, and provides education and training opportunities that extend Soldiers talents, close talent gaps and maximize Soldiers contributions to the Total Army.


Chief Warrant Officer 4 Jeremy Bentley is a training developer at the U.S. Army Ordnance School, Fort Lee, Virginia. He holds an MBA from the Louisiana State University in Shreveport, and a BS in Management and AA in Business from Upper Iowa University. He completed all levels of warrant officer professional military education and is a graduate of the Industry Based Broadening-Logistics Seminar.


This article was published in the July-Sept 2021 issue of Army Sustainment.


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