Expert Advice for Transitioning Veterans into Trucking

Military and trucking experts agree that trucking jobs are an excellent option for service members looking to transition to civilian life. Traits that make great service members are also hallmarks of successful drivers such as an interest in serving the greater good and a willingness to help others.

“I really appreciate you giving options to those who have served,” said Brig. Gen. John Cushing deputy commanding general for the U.S. Army Recruiting Command, during the Veteran-Ready Summit. This recruitment-focused event was hosted by American Trucking Association December 14-15 at the group’s headquarters in Washington D.C.

Cushing went on to stress the importance of including some discussion of good post-service civilian careers as part of the recruitment process. Ideally, he said, you would want to provide options that provide opportunities to continue serving by, “doing something that’s bigger than me,” such as those found in trucking.

“You’ve got to know that when people look at joining [the military], they look at how you treat those who served. It is important to bridge that gap to help people,” Cushing added.

ATA Executive Vice President for Advocacy, Bill Sullivan, stressed that trucking offers service members the ability to make a good living and is ideal for those who are goal-focused, disciplined, and thrive in teams.

Cushing encouraged carriers to get to know local military recruiters and form relationships that allow them to work collaboratively to refer candidates.

The event also featured a panel discussion featuring four veterans who spoke about their personal experience in pursuing careers in trucking post-military service.

Former Marine Corps Lt. Col. James Rose, a contract driver for Prime Inc., who is also a driver trainer serving on Prime’s driver advisory board, believes trucking is a great fit for veterans because it is mission-oriented and focus-driven. From his experience in these roles, he noted that veterans often experience a “discomfort of the unknown” when transitioning from the familiarity and uniformity of the military to civilian life. He also noted that trucking can be a “very, very lucrative industry,” which can help veterans build generational wealth.