Mission-oriented and focus-driven, truck driving is proving to be an excellent career choice for military veterans! About ten percent of truckers on the road are vets, and that number is on the rise. The current administration recently launched the Trucking Action Plan to Strengthen America’s Workforce in response to a growing need for truckers amid a national transportation crisis.
This plan, which is the collaboration of five departments of the federal government, incorporates specialized training and unique benefits for military personnel who are considering a career in the trucking industry. For example, states may waive requirements for a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) test for qualified military personnel.
Mid-December 2022 the American Trucking Associations (ATA) headquarters in Washington, DC, hosted the Veteran Ready Summit, which focused largely on growing military veteran hiring programs. At this event, ATA Vice President for Advocacy, Bill Sullivan, encouraged collaboration between the military and trucking industry, stating that truck fleet owners want hard workers seeking an opportunity to make a good living, and the military produces those. It is an obvious career consideration for veterans who are self-disciplined, adventurous, and displaying leadership qualities that are sought after in the trucking industry.
Although many of the same skills transfer from military to trucking life, there are a few considerations that veterans should carefully explore. Former Marine Corps Lt. Col. James Rose warns that the military is an extreme life of uniformity with disciplined structures, expectations, and regular paychecks. Calling it the “discomfort of the unknown,” Rose referred to the challenge of his own transition from military to civilian trucking life and gave a healthy challenge to truck fleet owners on the necessity of focused and thorough training.
In other words, vets bring a lot to the table, but there are some distinct differences in how that table is set. As truck fleets are recruiting more military, fleet owners are seeing the need for the career and lifestyle training these drivers need to be successful in this uniquely rewarding industry. As these two forces join together, there are potentially great days ahead for the trucking enterprise in 2023.
We at ATC salute our nation’s military and look forward to increased partnership with our veterans!