Why Veterans Often Find a Career in Trucking

Choosing a Post-Military Career

Jonathan Pence, US Navy Veteran

Unemployment rates for veterans increased in the last year to 6.5%, reflecting the COVID-19 pandemic, which is slightly higher than the national average at 6.1% (1). Meanwhile, in the transportation industry, there is an abundance of opportunities due to a growing driver shortage: No matter how technology continues to automate roles and no matter how consumers buy goods, truck drivers will always be the backbone of our economy to meet the demands of our country.

Job Security

For US Navy Retired Veteran Ben Taylor, trucking offered the best transition while still offering variety. “Job stability, minimal supervision, ability to do my own thing, and good pay,” Taylor said. “I get to do something different every day.”

It’s Not a Desk Job

US Marine Corps Veteran Jim Blanchard chose trucking because the idea of a desk job with a view of cubicle walls was more than he could bear. “I wanted to get out of the office and see America,” said Blanchard. “But having a valid CDL with a clean license and CSA score means you will always have a job.”

Great Pay

For most, trucking is attractive because it’s a great income. Most entry-level drivers can earn anywhere from $55,000-$80,000 in their first year. US Navy Veteran Jonathan Pence was quite frank on why he choose the trucking path: “Well I choose a career in trucking because of the $$$ and honestly, it’s just cool to drive a Big Truck!”

5 Military Skills that Overlap in Trucking That Veterans Love

  1. Teamwork – The military is a cohesive unit. It’s not about grandstanding to attract attention or sabotaging a fellow team member in order to look better in the eyes of a superior. It’s about the mission and how each individual understands their role. In trucking, our Driver Managers provide the support you need, our planners develop the timetable based on your abilities and expectations, our maintenance team sets you up with the tools you need, and ultimately, you, the driver, executes the mission.
  2. Communication – Drama has no place in the military. Fortunately, military training includes respectful communication and effective communication to all individuals, including members of a higher rank and civilians. Great communication skills – whether it’s to make a plan, solve a problem, or resolve a conflict when communicating with a customer, a team member, or someone from the motoring public—is crucial to achieving a mission.
  3. Situational Awareness – An argument can be made that complacency is the leading cause of injuries or deaths. It means you’ve developed a routine and will let your guard down. Anything – from a “routine” patrol to another day driving down the interstate – can change in an instance. That’s why situational awareness is paramount to safety. Perceiving (seeing) your surroundings, understanding the situation, and projecting the future status is key to safety.
  4. Problem Solving – Not every mission goes as planned and you have to think on your feet. Finding problems before they occur and the ability to pivot to find a solution when a problem does occur is key to safety and accomplishing the mission.
  5. Grit – Courage and resolve. Physical and mental stamina. Resilience and tenacity. Goals are set and followed through. Never leave someone behind. Never say die. We see a lot of new drivers come in from other industries enter trucking because they want to see America. After the first their first week on their own, they’ll drop out because of some adversity. Grit is perseverance to not give up.

Ready for a Great Career in Trucking?

What drove you to serve? Was it a better job? A career? Benefits for yourself and your family? To travel? To have fun and adventure? Or was it the feeling of being part of a team? Whatever drove you to serve, bring it here to Paper Transport, Inc. Those same things you sought in service can be found here.

“From the small unit feeling of a squad, a ship’s crew or an Air Wing, we live the philosophy of Family First. Come home to PTI and start your second career. When people say R.E.D. they ‘Remember everyone deployed.’ We don’t just say it, we live it and drive it. So my question to you is … “WHAT DRIVES YOU?”

– Benjamin Taylor,

US Navy Retired,
Paper Transport, Inc. Company Truck Driver
Jacksonville, Florida

Learn more about Paper Transport’s trucking jobs here.

(1) U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2021). Employment Situation of Veterans Summary