It can be frustrating for veterans to return to the civilian world only to be told that they need to go through months and years of training to classify for skills that they honed for years in the military. Fortunately, some organizations are trying to rectify that – New Hampshire and Virginia now both feature Troops to Trucks programs. Both states are providing service members and veterans who have spent less than 12 months separated from the military to enter accelerated programs to obtain their commercial driver's licenses.
This is a great opportunity for service members and veterans who are looking for solid, stable work. But, not everyone must qualify. To use the Troops to Trucks program, you must:
- Be a resident of either New Hampshire or Virginia and hold a driver's license in that state.
- Be active duty military or have been out of the military for 12 months or less.
- Have not held more than on driver's license except for a military operator's license.
- Have not had any license suspended, revoked, or canceled.
- Have not had any convictions for any type of motor vehicle for a CDL disqualifying offenses, more than one conviction for any type of motor vehicle serious traffic violation.
- Had any conviction for a violation of military, state or local law relating to motor vehicle traffic control (other than a parking violation) in connection with any traffic crash.
- Have a record of a crash where you were at fault.
Service members and veterans that qualify will need to complete the following steps to obtain a CDL:
- Take and pass a knowledge test.
- Obtain a Medical Examiner's Certificate.
- Complete the CDL Skills Test Waiver Military Application
There are a few exceptions to the above rules, but they are very specific. By in large, if you have a clean record, experience with driving commercial-sized vehicles in the military, and haven't been transitioned out for too long, this program will help fast-track you to secure employment.
Details on the Troops to Trucks Program: