Becoming a commercial driver is a rewarding career path for anyone who pursues it. Not only is it a secure career choice, it enables you to travel and earn a good living to support yourself and your family. While commercial driving is available to anyone who obtains a Commercial Driver’s License, it’s also a viable career path for military veterans transitioning to civilian life.
The trucking and commercial driving industry is particularly supportive of military veterans and their families. In fact, many commercial freight companies are actively seeking veterans because their unique skills make such a valuable contribution to the industry.
Why do veterans make such great CDL drivers?
Even if you don’t have experience operating military vehicles, you’ve still learned many of the skills that transportation logistics companies seek in their drivers; such as: teamwork, leadership, and an aptitude for mission-focused work.
Commercial drivers must also be reliable and dependable. These are both qualities that are expected in the military, and they translate well when you become a CDL driver..
What is the process of becoming a Veteran CDL driver?
You can obtain a CDL through the following standard process:
- Start with your state’s CDL manual: Your local DMV office will have a copy of your state’s CDL manual, which you’ll need to study to pass written exams. Depending on your chosen career path, you should also determine if you need to obtain a Class A, Class B, or Class C CDL. These classifications will dictate which type of vehicle you can operate and what type of cargo you can haul.
- Obtain a CDL permit: After proving that you meet certain medical requirements, passing a background check, and taking written exams, you’ll receive your CDL permit. This allows you to drive on public roads only while a qualified CDL holder is sitting next to you.
- Obtain endorsements: Depending on the type of CDL license you wish to acquire, you’ll need to add endorsements for specific types of trailers and vehicles. These endorsements may require you to take skills tests in addition to written tests.
- Take a CDL skills test: You’ll take a final exam that includes a skills test. Once you’ve passed, you’ll be issued your CDL.
There are resources available to help you become a CDL driver as a veteran. Some companies may even offer training programs specifically for veterans. You may need to rely on your veteran’s benefits to cover training and schooling at some organizations.
However, Lily Transportation Corp. has a one-of-a-kind program for veterans that doesn’t require you to drain your benefits. After certification of your CDL, you’ll enter Lily’s training program, which includes:
- A fully paid curriculum that doesn’t require you to drain your GI Bill benefits
- A paid salary of $800 per week, including company benefits
- Annual compensation in the $70,000 range upon graduation
- A one year commitment from you in an over the road assignment
Lily has specific programs for:
- Veterans whose MOS was as a heavy duty truck driver in the military
- Veterans with prior commercial truck driving experience
- Veterans interested in management careers
For more information about Lily’s veterans programs, visit the Lily Transportation Corp. website.