Troop Welfare, Mission Accomplishment, and Accountability – Veteran Robert Carpenter

Valley Transportation, Inc.  |  Troop Welfare, Mission Accomplishment, and Accountability  | 

Published in the July/August 2013 issue of print Search & Employ®  | 

Robert Carpenter is a former lance corporal who spent two years in the Marine Corps before joining the Army National Guard. In the Marines, he was an infantry machine gunner. Now he is a truck driver with Valley Transportation, Inc. (, which is located in Ashland, Ohio. The company transports steel and aluminum coils throughout the Midwest and East Coast. Valley Transportation currently employs 115 drivers and 35 support staff, and is always looking for drivers.

Carpenter trained at Great Lakes Truck Driving School, which is headquartered in Columbia Station, Ohio, southwest of Cleveland. He began his training in November 2012, graduated in March 2013, and started working for Valley Transportation in April 2013.

He credits the military with helping him find success in the civilian world. “The discipline and self-motivation I learned in boot camp helped with obtaining my first civilian job,” he said, “and it’s important to take advantage of the educational programs offered by the military to help you achieve your goals.”

He also believes that other skills he learned in boot camp – troop welfare, mission accomplishment, and accountability – will be applied to his new career as a truck driver. As for those servicemembers thinking about working in the civilian world, Carpenter recommends using the all transition and post-transition resources possible, including those from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

As for landing a job at Valley Transportation, Carpenter said that it is important to complete a professional truck driving school, “while maintaining a proper physical, mental and emotional attitude. Be healthy, think positive, and remain drug-free.”

Carpenter believes that Great Lakes Truck Driving School is a great option for veterans. “They are a VA-approved, nationally accredited school,” he said. “Many of the instructors are also veterans; this allowed me to feel more comfortable with my training.”

As for his new place of employment, Carpenter thinks he has found a home. “Valley Transportation, Inc., offers a veteran the opportunity to work in a family environment, much like the military, and allows the veteran to have long-term gainful employment,” he said. “Because Valley Transportation hires many veterans, it allows me to feel like I fit in.”

Jim Hoover, a veteran of the Marine Corps and now the personnel and safety director for Valley Transportation, Inc., hired Carpenter after he completed his training at Great Lakes Truck Driving School. “As a veteran of the Marine Corps, I find it rewarding hiring veterans,” Hoover said. “I know where and what they have gone through in their careers, and it makes the transition a little easier for them.”

Veterans bring a lot more to the table than their civilian counterparts, according to Hoover. “There’s no doubt that a veteran comes with loyalty, discipline, drive, and maturity that I don’t see in civilian prospects,” he said.

Starting a successful career does not take long at Valley Transportation. “Valley can bring a veteran into our organization and after a five-week paid training program be on their way to a rewarding career as a professional truck driving averaging between $40,000 and $45,000 their first year,” Hoover said.

About the Author

This article was written by Jay Myers