U.S. Military Applications

Back to CEM Corner

By Brian V. Bovyn, CEM, Emergency Services Supervisor, Manchester, New Hampshire Police Department

This article addresses two topics:

U.S. Military Applicant Packets

The CEM Commission has recently seen a significant increase in U.S. military packet submissions. As the Associate Emergency Manager and Certified Emergency Manager credentials gain wider notoriety and acceptability, the U.S. armed forces have responded by training key staff to support their member’s effort to attain the credential. While all branches of the U.S. armed forces have participated in the CEM Program, the U.S. Air Force and Coast Guard have taken the lead with respect to numbers of total and successful military applicants.

While military applicant requirements for AEM and CEM are the same as other applicants for the AEM or CEM, the military often meets the requirements for professional contributions, training and experience in ways that are not as mainstream as most other applicants. For example, the work experience requirement for disasters and exercises are often satisfied with military field exercises and specialized assignments, including deployments to war zones. The military services also have their own unique language and documentation.

Unique Challenges

At least one CEM Commissioner with a military background will review each application packet. However, the unique language and documentation used by each service component makes it difficult to understand and quickly verify the claims made. To speed the review process and ensure accuracy, the military candidate should include letters from a supervisor that explain percentages of time devoted to emergency management duties and that explain in plain language any specialized military activities.

Place appropriate documentation and any explanatory letters behind each requisite category tab. If a training course is listed in the IAEM Training Allocation Chart spreadsheet, then a course syllabus or narrative is not required. If it is not listed, include a course syllabus for each training course submission. For professional contributions, the military applicant should include letters, evaluation reports, orders, photos or other validating documentation that verifies the contribution. Do not forget to obtain appropriate signatures on the forms where required.

Many military training courses cover a multitude of topics. An example is an NCO Professional Development Course lasting a few weeks or more. By providing a detailed course syllabus and short narrative, a military applicant could claim multiple topics and actually receive the entire 100-contact hours for emergency management training and/or general management training with just one course completion certificate! It comes down to the documentation the military candidate provides.

For references, provide updated contact information, including e-mail and after hours contact numbers. Also, include a job description verified by a supervisor. Explain any non-standard military job titles.

For more details, please refer to the two previous CEM Corner articles written on this subject by Daryl Spiewak, CEM:

International Applicant Packets

International CEM applicants’ requirements are similar to U.S. CEM applicants, except that candidates from outside the United States are not required to possess a baccalaureate degree until Dec. 31, 2013. Until then, these CEM candidates may substitute emergency management work experience for formal education on a two-year experience for one year of formal collegiate education substitution. A candidate with no college coursework completed would require 11 years of emergency management work experience. The three-year baccalaureate degree conferred by many colleges and universities outside the United States is equivalent to the four-year baccalaureate degree conferred by U.S. colleges and universities. Submit all application packets in English. Also, provide a translation for any documentation not already in English.

Documentation for Exercise Participation

The requirement for exercise participation is that it must be a full-scale exercise. That is a high-stress, multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional activity involving actual deployment of resources in a coordinated response, as if a real incident had occurred. Validate full-scale exercise participation with letters from a supervisor, reports specifically naming the candidate, photographs showing the candidate, newspaper articles or similar documentation verifying that the candidate actually participated in the exercise and explaining the role the candidate played in the exercise.

IAEM Bulletin, May 2010

AEM® and CEM® are registered trademarks of the International Association of Emergency Managers.

Back to CEM Corner