New York State Division of Veterans' Affairs

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Experience Counts

In November 2011, Governor Cuomo launched an initiative to ensure that Veterans' valuable and specialized military experience is recognized when they transition to the civilian workforce.

Military Veterans are highly trained, often in specialized skills that are in great demand in the public and private sectors. However, Veterans' training is often unacknowledged when they pursue licenses, degrees, and certifications in the civilian workforce. Through the Governor's "Experience Counts" campaign, state agencies would identify ways that New York can better recognize the skills and training those Veterans possess. 

In the first step in the "Experience Counts" campaign, the Governor announced a series of reforms to state licensing and higher education that will ensure military experience is appropriately credited when servicemembers return to civilian life:

  • Effective immediately, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has granted an exemption in their regulations to allow states to waive the CDL skills test for up to one year (instead of only 90 days) after separation from military service for Veterans previously employed in a military position requiring operation of a commercial motor vehicle.  
    Updated Program details can be found at:
  • The State University of New York (SUNY) and the City University of New York (CUNY) will each launch "Experience Counts" programs to improve their processes for awarding credit for military training. Both campuses will implement new systems to flag applications by Veterans and active duty military and will provide centralized guidance to increase the likelihood of awarding veterans college credit for previous military training and coursework.
  • The Department of Motor Vehicles will make it easier and less costly for military members who have gained experience driving trucks and heavy equipment during their military service to obtain a New York commercial driver's license by waiving the road test.
  • The Department of Health will allow military training and experience as a medic to count toward certification for home health aides and nursing home aides, as it already does for certification as a paramedic.

Some of the current licenses and certifications covered under the “Experience Counts Campaign” include:

Advanced Emergency Medical
Armed Security Guard
Bus Driver
Certified First Responder
Crane Operator
Emergency Medical
Home Health Aide
Home Nurse Aide
Licensed Radiological Technologist
Personal Care
Security Guard
Tractor Trailer Operator
Truck Driver

More Information

For assistance, find a New York State Labor Veterans Representative near you by clicking on the following link:

Website:, or contact the New York State Department of Labor by email at: 

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