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From Uniforms to Highways: Why Veterans Should Consider a Career in Trucking

New to Trucking

Leaving the military can leave veterans at a crossroads, pondering the next steps in their careers. With a wealth of disciplines and transferable skills, an increasing number of veterans are discovering that their military experience can seamlessly transition into a fulfilling career as a truck driver. The trucking industry, recognizing the value veterans bring, has embraced initiatives to recruit from this skilled pool. If you're a veteran seeking your next mission in the civilian world, a career in trucking might be the perfect route for you.

Military to Trucking Transferable Skills


Transitioning from operating military heavy equipment to maneuvering a semi-truck is a smoother journey than one might think. The skills cultivated in the military directly align with those essential for success as a truck driver, including:


Precision

Military veterans, trained to uphold precision in their duties, find that this quality seamlessly translates to the world of trucking. Their commitment to meticulous task execution proves invaluable on the road.


Self-Discipline

A hallmark of military service, self-discipline is equally vital for a truck driver. Operating largely independently, truckers need the discipline to adhere to schedules, make timely deliveries, and efficiently manage their routes.


Safety Consciousness

In the military, safety is everyone's responsibility. This mindset seamlessly carries over to truck driving, where attention to safety while driving or handling cargo is paramount.


Familiarity with Complex Machinery

Veterans, already well-versed in handling intricate and heavy machinery, bring a significant advantage to trucking. Their knowledge is a valuable asset when it comes to routine maintenance of their vehicles.

Comfort in Consistency with Life on the Road


Many veterans-turned-truckers find solace in the routine and structure of life on the road, akin to their experiences in the military. The transition from a highly structured and regulated environment to the freedom of civilian life can be challenging, but the trucking lifestyle offers a sense of familiarity. Key military-acquired life skills come in handy:


Teamwork

Veterans, accustomed to the bond formed with comrades in the military, discover a similar camaraderie among fellow truckers. The trucking community fosters a sense of shared purpose and support.


Leadership

Leadership qualities acquired in the military, such as setting an example and taking initiative, are equally valuable on the road. Trustworthy drivers are essential for shippers and brokers, and veterans often embody these qualities.


Mental Stamina

The mental toughness developed in the military becomes a crucial asset for truckers. Long hours, traffic challenges, and the need for unwavering focus demand the same mental discipline veterans have cultivated.


Mission Focused

The transition from one mission to the next, a familiar aspect of military life, mirrors the trucking experience. The focus on completing tasks with precision and moving on to the next mirrors the military mindset.

Step-by-Step Actions to Become a Trucker


For veterans considering a shift from military service to trucking, taking actionable steps is essential. Here's a guide to kickstart your journey:

  1. Research and Planning:

    • Explore the various types of trucking jobs available.

    • Evaluate personal preferences regarding driving type, schedule, and lifestyle.


  2. Obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL):

    • Understand your state’s requirements for obtaining a CDL.

    • Seek the best approach for CDL training.


    Utilize the GI Bill:

    • If eligible, use the GI Bill to cover CDL training costs.

    • Explore sponsorship programs like Troops in Transportation.


    Attend Trucking School:

    • Take advantage of trucking schools with programs tailored to veterans.


    Gain Experience:

    • Start with an entry-level position to build skills and determine your preferred trucking type.


    Job Placement:

    • Leverage resources and networking connections from veteran-focused organizations and trucking schools.

    • Tap into veteran-friendly trucking companies.

Military to Trucking—Get Started Today


With tailored resources and a commitment from the industry to support veterans, the transition from the military to trucking is a natural fit. The GI Bill, specialized programs facilitating the career switch, and the American Trucking Association's pledge to hire veterans all contribute to a supportive environment. With an abundance of transferable skills, both technical and lifestyle-based, veterans are the ideal candidates for a successful trucking career. Start your journey today and make the road your new mission.