Veteran Employee Story – Michael Laughy

Roadmaster Drivers School  |  Gear Up for a CDL  |

Published in the July/August 2012 issue of print Search & Employ®  |

Michael Laughy, school director of Roadmaster Drivers School of San Antonio, Inc., is a former Air Force chief master sergeant. He now monitors his school’s profit and loss statement, ensuring that the school meets or exceeds all Federal Department of Transportation, State Department of Transportation, Texas Workforce Commission, and corporate compliance standards. Additionally, because he works at a Veterans Approved School and is a VA Certifying official, he ensures that all prospective veteran students are handled professionally.

Roadmaster offers professional, short-term, hands-on, Commercial Drivers License (CDL) training and CDL refresher courses. Roadmaster training locations across the United States include Tampa; Orlando; Jacksonville; Columbus; Salt Lake City; San Antonio; West Memphis, Arkansas; Indianapolis; Dunn, North Carolina; Tulsa; Fontana, California; and Chattanooga.

Laughy says that his military experience is paying dividends at Roadmaster. “The leadership I learned in the military cannot be replicated in the civilian world,” he said. “Regardless of the veteran’s past AFSC (Air Force Specialty Code) or MOS, the leadership, discipline, confidence, and problem-solving techniques learned in the military are highly marketable.”

Observing leaders can help develop servicemembers and civilians. “Much can be learned by simply watching a leader attend to the litany of problems a leader deals with each day,” Laughy said. “One can learn a lot from poor leaders as well, even if it’s simply what not to do. The lessons learned at various leadership academies coupled with lessons learned from leaders is truly invaluable in future careers.”

He also said he learned more than skills in the military. “Though learned skills are important, the methodology of training received in the military is also important,” Laughy also said. “A veteran can quickly assess the skill needed and prepare themselves to set a personal learning plan. Assess where they are and where they need to be.”

Being adaptable and having a “no excuses” attitude are also helpful. “A get-it-done attitude with a good work ethic creates a high level of camaraderie in the military,” he said. “Camaraderie in its simplest form is nothing more than cohesive team building. Cohesive team building is lacking in the civilian community. These learned behaviors and skills will be tremendously valuable in all future careers.”

Laughy believes that Roadmaster is a great place for veterans to start in the civilian workplace because it will launch them into successful career. “Roadmaster Drivers School is part of the transportation industry,” he said. “Today’s transportation industry absolutely has a spot for any qualified veteran regardless of the veteran’s prior AFSC or MOS. The professional trucking industry offers opportunities from a basic commercial driver position to starting your own company.”

Laughy advises looking for organizations that already know how valuable veterans can be. “Apply to military-friendly industries and companies,” he said. “These industries, such as the transportation industry, not only seek out veterans, they have an understanding of the very valuable ‘unseen’ skills that veterans have.”

He has no doubt that veterans can succeed in the civilian workplace. “You are starting over,” Laughy said. “Yes, you bring a lot to the table, but you have yet to prove yourself as a civilian. However, this isn’t a daunting task; you have become adept to starting over with each PCS (permanent change of station) move. This time you are PCS’ing not to a new base, but to a new life. Apply all that you have learned about leadership, discipline, work ethic, and camaraderie, and you will excel.”

About the Author

This article was written by Jay Myers