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Why Military Veterans Make Good Commercial Drivers

If you're a military veteran, you don't need to have experience operating military vehicles to be a commercial driver. No matter what your service experience was like, there are certain qualities and experience that make you the perfect candidate for a successful career as a trucker.

Below are a several reasons why most veterans make good commercial drivers, and a few resources that can help you jumpstart a new career.

Advantages of Veteran CDL Drivers

Many of the same skills and training you've developed during your military service can help you succeed in the trucking industry.

Here are a few qualities most trucking companies are looking for.

Situational Awareness

Your experience in the field or on deployment during your military career can provide situational awareness skills that those in the civilian work force don't have.

A big part of defensive driving and being safe on the road is how well you can react to what's happening around you. This awareness will help you to adapt to road hazards and sudden changes in your environment, such as adverse weather or route detours.

Dependability

Transporting a shipment from one side of the country to another is no easy task. To get the job done on time, it's important to be responsible and accountable for the work at hand. These are qualities most veterans have had to live up to on a daily basis.

Leadership

No matter what your rank was, it takes leadership traits to be a member of the military. Whether it's leading by example, instructing, or managing, the trucking industry needs new drivers who can be pushed toward the front of the class.

Logistics

There are a lot of logistics involved with deploying service members around the world. The same can be said for commercial drivers. Route planning, cost efficiency, and timing are just of a few aspects you'll need to stay on top of to succeed in the industry.

Teamwork

To get a shipment where it needs to go, there are a lot more people involved than just the driver. You'll have to work with an operations manager, dispatchers, and plenty of others. Your experience working with a team of people in the military to accomplish a mission is the kind of experience trucking companies are looking for.

Mental Stamina

Military members are no strangers to working long hours under stressful conditions. As a trucker, mental fatigue can be an issue with new drivers. Your ability to stay focused and mentally sharp gives you an edge over the competition.

Why Should Military Veterans Drive Commercially?

For some veterans, especially those who have seen combat, the transition to civilian life can be difficult. Below are a few reasons you might want to consider a career in commercial driving as a real possibility:

  • The industry needs drivers.
    • While it can be difficult to find work in certain industries, trucking companies are in need of good workers.
  • You'll need minimal training.
    • Trucking schools can normally be completed in just a few months.
    • If you have GI Bill benefits, they may cover the cost of most trucking schools.
    • If you have experience operating military vehicles, you may also be eligible to have your CDL skills test waived.
  • The job offers security.
    • Most trucking jobs will provide you with:
      • A steady income.
      • Health benefits.
      • Retirement options.
  • You'll get to see the country.
    • If working a 9 to 5 job isn't your thing, life on the road might be a better fit for your personality.

Career Resources for Veterans

If you're a veteran interested in the commercial driving industry, there are plenty of resources available that can help you get started. These include:

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