“I’ve had two jobs my whole life – the military and driving a truck for this company.”
What’s happening: Persistence and dedication are characteristic of the 665 self-reported military veterans at U.S. Xpress — including the nearly 600 veterans who drive U.S. Xpress and Variant trucks.
Why it matters: U.S. Xpress offers a variety of programs to support military veterans in growing meaningful careers in trucking, as well as making support for military veterans one of our key areas of community giving.
The bottom line: Though more than 10% of professional drivers for U.S. Xpress and Variant are military veterans, the company is working hard to grow that number.
Larry Holmes joined the U.S. Army two days after high school graduation and spent nearly 14 years in active duty as a mechanic for a mechanized infantry battalion. When he wrapped up his service in 1991, Larry took a few weeks to figure out what to do next. And nearly 30 years later, he’s still doing it.
“I’ve had two jobs my whole life – the military and driving a truck for this company,” said Larry, a professional driver for Variant who drives one of the company’s military-themed big rigs. “If you start something, you stay with it through thick and thin. You adapt, and you stick.”
That steady persistence and dedication are characteristic of the 665 self-reported military veterans at U.S. Xpress — including the nearly 600 veterans who drive U.S. Xpress and Variant trucks, said Wade Lipham, a military recruiting specialist for the company who spent four years in the Marine Corps.
“They’re great team members because of their experience, the things they’ve been through, their ability to adapt and overcome,” Wade said. “Veterans bring loyalty, integrity, and courage to the table.”
Though more than 10% of professional drivers for U.S. Xpress and Variant are military veterans, the company is working hard to grow that number.
“There are too many people who come out of the military who don’t have a place to go,” Larry said. “The more military veterans we have on our team, the better our company is going to be.”
U.S. Xpress offers a variety of programs to support military veterans in growing meaningful careers in trucking, as well as making support for military veterans one of our key areas of community giving.
- For drivers, driver managers, and diesel mechanics, U.S. Xpress offers the Post-9/11 GI Bill Apprenticeship Program. This program, which is approved by the U.S. Veterans Administration, provides veterans with competitive pay while they gain valuable work experience and training.
- U.S. Xpress also participates in the Skillbridge program through the U.S. Department of Defense. The program offers military service members the opportunity to spend the last six months of their military service working in internships for approved employers while still earning their salary from the Department of Defense.
- In a partnership that helps veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses find meaningful employment, U.S. Xpress supports Hiring our Heroes.
- Our community service partners include organizations focused on recognizing and supporting veterans, including Warrior Freedom Service Dogs, The National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, and Wreaths Across America.
- U.S. Xpress recently became one of 600 official partners in the Military Spouse Employment Program, as well. Frequent moves can make it tough for them to get a career foothold. In a new partnership with the Military Spouse Employment Program, U.S. Xpress has committed to becoming part of the solution to that challenge.
- For veterans who are members of the U.S. Xpress team, a Veterans Employee Resource Group provides a community of colleagues who share resources and relate to each other’s experiences and perspectives.
For six consecutive years, U.S. Xpress has earned the Military Friendly Employer designation from Viqtory, a military recruitment and networking group. In addition, the company has received the Best For Vets honor from the Military Times two years in a row.
As he prepared to drive his Variant truck in a Veterans Day parade in North Georgia, Larry reflected on what has kept him at the wheel for nearly three decades.
“It’s the people, the support staff, the friendliness of the teams at the terminals and all over the company,” he said. “We get the job done, and they take care of us. If you come in here and bring your same standards from the military to driving a truck, you’ll be successful.”