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Why Military Veterans Should Consider a Career in Trucking

Starting a new career after the military can be challenging, but knowing where to look for opportunities can make a big difference. The trucking industry is a great place for military veterans entering the civilian job market to find new opportunities with great potential.

Not only are there many jobs available due to the current driver shortage, but many of the skills and qualities that Veterans develop while serving can also be applied to professional truck driving. Some military jobs develop skills related to truck driving, such as driving military vehicles or operating heavy machinery. However, there are also several other skills and qualities that many Veterans gain simply from being in the military, regardless of their job roles, that are also highly valuable in the trucking industry.

Here are ten skills and qualities that translate from the military to truck driving and how they can help military Veterans excel within the industry:

Situational Awareness

Situational awareness is a crucial skill in the military and plays a vital role in safe truck driving. Knowing the position of other vehicles around your rig and monitoring road conditions, weather changes, and route detours are essential for truck drivers. Veterans who possess this skill have an advantage in the trucking industry.


Veterans are known for their ability to perform tasks efficiently and effectively. Logistics such as route planning are crucial in maintaining efficiency and keeping costs low in the trucking industry. This is important for reducing fuel costs for the carrier and minimizing the expenses of the consumer products that drivers deliver.


Situational awareness and knowing your surroundings are essential, but adapting to dynamic situations is another valuable skill. Whether you’re driving regionally or cross-country, conditions can change. Like service members, professional truck drivers must adapt and overcome evolving circumstances, adjusting based on sudden changes in road conditions, weather, other drivers’ actions, and more.


In the military, situations require individuals to stay focused on a given task for an extended period. Veterans with this ability have an edge in trucking because most drivers begin their careers by driving long distances. These long-haul trips can span several weeks, making maintaining physical and mental stamina crucial.


Military Veterans deeply understand the importance of taking responsibility and being accountable for their actions. Similarly, professional truck drivers require a sense of accountability because they are responsible for transporting shipments to their final destinations, often located on the other side of the country. Safe and timely delivery of the goods is crucial, and truck drivers play a significant role in ensuring that the shipments arrive at their destination without any issues.


Service members must rely on one another to achieve their objectives. Teamwork is crucial for the military to function effectively. Similarly, all personnel must work together in the trucking industry to ensure smooth operations. This includes operations managers, dispatchers, and drivers themselves. If one person is not on the same page as the rest, it can significantly impact the entire operation, causing shipments to be delayed.


Being in the military instills a sense of pride in people. They take pride in their work, as well as in the uniforms they wear. Similarly, as a professional truck driver, taking pride in your crucial role in serving the country is essential. It would be best to prioritize your truck’s cleanliness and appearance. When you’re on the road, your conduct, attire, and truck maintenance speak volumes about you and, by extension, your company and the entire trucking industry.


The military is built upon a foundation of respect, where every member is expected to show respect to their superiors, fellow service members, and themselves. Similarly, in the trucking industry, showing respect to everyone you encounter, such as the dispatchers, the people you deliver cargo to, and the fellow drivers you meet along the way, can help you earn the respect of others and move up within the industry. Therefore, being courteous to all is considered one of the best ways to succeed in this industry.


Patriotism refers to supporting, defending, or being devoted to one’s country. If you’re a Veteran and looking for a way to continue supporting the country, consider becoming a professional truck driver. Trucking is a crucial industry that keeps the economy moving. Truck drivers ensure that groceries, medical supplies, and more are delivered to local supermarkets and hospitals.


Long-term quality is just as important as any other factor in the trucking industry. Instructors and the men and women on the road play a vital role. A good instructor teaches students how to drive and sets an example of how students should conduct themselves. Veterans who take on leadership roles or become instructors can pass on all the skills on this list to new drivers. This helps the trucking industry continue down the right path for years.

Many companies offer programs designed to assist military Veterans entering the trucking industry. For instance, in Werner Enterprises’ Operation Freedom Tour, select Veterans drive a unique fleet of trucks to raise awareness for fellow industry Veterans and those who may wish to join. As a returning military Veteran, the trucking industry provides an excellent opportunity to apply the skills and qualities developed during your service. You can excel as a driver and explore related career paths within the industry. The trucking industry is an excellent place to start a new career after serving in the military.