Active members and veterans of the Navy, Marine Corps, Army, and, soon, the Coast Guard, now have a single, collaborative transcript program to reflect military academic credit recommendations. Called the Joint Service Transcript (JST), this official transcript tool replaces three others that were formerly used: The Sailor Marine Corps American Council on Education Registry Transcript (SMART), the Army American Council on Education Registry Transcript System (AARTS) and the Coast Guard Institute (CGI).
JST is approved by the American Council on Education (ACE) as a means of validating a service member’s military occupational experience and training, along with ACE college credit recommendations.
The consolidation has been overseen by the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES). Its director Dr. Carol Berry said, “Having a single officially-recognized military transcript makes it significantly easier for colleges and universities to assess potential credits for service members and will certainly enhance the educational experience for service members and veterans as they pursue their college education.”
Written using civilian language and terminology, it covers the individual’s military schooling and work history. Academic and career counselors can use it to help counsel service members, who can use it to prepare resumes and explain military work experiences to civilian employers.
It also awards academic credits for the military experience, which translates into less coursework required and less tuition. However, it is up to each individual institution to decide what ACE credit recommendations can be accepted, modified, or rejected. Whether or not the credit recommendations are accepted depends on variables such as policies and procedures for transfer credit, the program of study, and the degree requirements.
Each JST document contains the following information for individual service members or veterans:
- Military Branch-Specific Seal
- Service Member Data
- Course Completions
- Occupational Affiliations
- Military Experience
- Summary Page
- Academic Course Page (Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy only)
- College Degrees (Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy only)
The JST website and transcripts can be accessed by military members who are on active duty, reserve, are veterans or with the National Guard. They can register at https://jst.doded.mil/smart/registration.do.
After registering and logging on to the website, a “transcript” link at the top of the page leads to the transcript, which has sections for military course completions, military experience and college level test scores. Transcripts will be sent electronically to institutions as requested via the JST account.
The Air Force will continue to use the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) for its transcripts.
Prospective students are highly encouraged to conduct their own research as government rulings and regulations change with each year. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, please consult an education service officer.