Murphy Legal blog post – From Military Service to the Trucking Industry

Murphy Legal blog post – From Military Service to the Trucking Industry

We all owe a debt of gratitude to those who have served our country in the military. According to the Pew Research Center, there were approximately 20.4 million US veterans in 2016, with 27% less than 50 years of age. Making the transition to civilian life can be a challenge for these individuals, and one of the ways they often struggle is in the search for a meaningful career. The trucking industry may be a great option for these individuals as they re-enter civilian life and seek employment and a new career.

1. Truck drivers and military personnel share similarities.

There are several similarities between these careers which can make the transition to civilian life much smoother than with other jobs. Both military personnel and truckers are often expected – and relied on – to do their jobs without a lot of oversight. They know they need to be punctual, reliable, and disciplined to get the job done – often on their own once they know the expectations of the assignment. Many times, both jobs have a critical time component and a timeline that must be adhered to, so time management is a valuable skill. Justin Clark, a former Marine who lives in Surprise, AZ says employers appreciate that, “We show up on time, we work hard and we’re resourceful.”

2. Veterans may have fewer background and qualifying tests to take.

Veterans may be able to take advantage of a military exemption called the “Military CDL Skills Test Waiver.” This waiver is in place in all fifty states and the District of Columbia and applies to veterans who have at least two years of experience managing heavy military equipment and machinery. If the veteran has operated such machinery in the past year, they will be exempt from the road test necessary to obtain a Commercial Drivers License (CDL). Not having to clear this “hurdle” means less time required to begin a new career. AND, veterans can usually pass background and drug tests – which is a big deal in today’s job market.

3. Financial assistance is available for education.

There are many financial assistance opportunities for education available to both active duty and military veterans. Numerous GI Bill programs and the Veterans Administration offer funding programs for active service members, reservists, veterans, dependents, and spouses. The Advanced Career Institute also offers a variety of programs which provide financial assistance.

Currently, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is coordinating with the military services and motor carrier [trucking] associations to recruit driver and trucking participants. The ongoing three-year pilot program was designed to study the feasibility, benefits, and safety impacts of allowing 18-20-year-old drivers to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce. Learn more about this program and how your company can participate.

4. Trucking offers great salaries, full benefits, and job security.

Salaries for fulltime truck drivers often start at $40,000 per year or more. In addition, companies typically offer a full range of benefits, including healthcare coverage, retirement benefits, and vacation time. And security is virtually guaranteed as no one anticipates the need for trucking services and truck drivers to diminish in the foreseeable future.

A survey conducted by Orion Talent in 2018 of more than 100 human resources and recruiting professionals showed that companies value veterans for their “qualifications, composure, productivity and skills.” Hiring a military veteran is one big way that trucking companies can show their gratitude to the service provided by returning military personnel.

At Murphy Legal, we care about the future of the trucking industry. To learn more about our passion for this industry, call us at 979-690-0880 or visit the Murphy Legal website. Be sure to check our Refuel blog series for additional resources and information about rig and driver safety. Click here to sign up for our newsletter covering a wide variety of topics to help protect owner-operators and trucking companies from liability in the event of an accident. As always, stay safe out there!


Advanced Career Institute. Why Veterans should consider truck driving. Advanced.edu (blog post). 31 Oct 2018 [accessed 16 Jul 2019]. https://advanced.edu/military-to-trucking-industry/

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Under 21 Military CDL Pilot Program. US Department of Transportation. Fmcsa.gov [online]. [accessed 17 Jul 2019]. https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/under21pilot/under-21-pilot-program

Wiles R. Veterans returning to civilian life find a more welcoming labor market. USA Today [online] via Arizona Republic. 9 Nov 2018 {accessed 17 Jul 2019]. https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/columnist/2018/11/09/job-market-brightens-veterans-returning-civilian-life/1925001002/

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