Trucking Training Scholarships
“Drive The Guard”
United States Truck Driving School will work with you to get the trucking training education you need to start your new career.
The “Drive the Guard” enlistment option is a national partnership between the National Guard and the Commercial Driver Training Foundation, Inc. (“CDTFI”). The option was created to enable National Guard recruiting personnel to be able to offer potential recruits full-time civilian employment at the time of enlistment, without the need to relocate. The “Drive the Guard” Program will have a unique enlistment code, and recruits joining the National Guard under that enlistment code will be eligible for the maximum enlistment bonus available at the time of enlistment.
The option also benefits the trucking industry by providing high quality candidates for employment at a time when there is a serious driver shortage. The trucking and warehousing industries in the United States employ more than 9 million Americans. There are an estimated 15.5 million trucks operating in the U.S., of which 1.9 million are Class 8 tractor trailers. There are an estimated 3.3 million truck drivers in the United States (Source: truckinginfo.net). The U.S. Department of Labor says of the truck driving occupation:
Overall employment of truck drivers and driver/sales workers is expected to increase by 8 percent over the 2006-16 decade, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations, due to growth in the economy and in the amount of freight carried by truck. Because it is such a large occupation, truck drivers will have a very large number of new jobs arise, over 258,000 over the 2006-16 period.
Job opportunities should be favorable for truck drivers. In addition to growth in demand for truck drivers, numerous job openings will occur as experienced drivers leave this large occupation to transfer to other fields of work, retire, or leave the labor force for other reasons.
U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, “U.S. Occupational Outlook 2008 – 2009.” (Emphasis in Original). Further, truck driving jobs can never be outsourced. After trucking training, entry level drivers typically earn $40K during their first year, plus benefits (including health insurance, 401K and retirement).
When a recruiter has a candidate that is interested in enlisting under the option, CDTFI will locate a participating school nearest them. The candidate will apply to the school prior to enlistment. The school will work with participating motor carriers to obtain a conditional “pre-hire” letter from the future motor carrier employer. The “pre-hire” letter is a conditional offer of full time employment following completion of National Guard training, the successful completion of the school’s trucking training program, and obtaining a Commercial Drivers’ License. Issuance of the “pre-hire” letter can usually be accomplished within 24 – 48 hours from the time of application to the participating school. The letter will be sent from the motor carrier to the participating school, and then forwarded to the recruiter for presentation to the candidate.
Upon acceptance by a participating school and a participating motor carrier, the recruit will then enlist and complete all basic National Guard training prior to attending the participating truck driver training program. Normal military educational benefits will be available to pay for the training. In addition, participating schools have agreed to provide a limited number of partial scholarships in the amount of $500 as a credit toward tuition to participating recruits.
If an accredited trucking training program is not located in the local area, and the recruit chooses to attend a non-accredited program, the recruit will be responsible for payment of the tuition. However, most truck driver training programs have “tuition reimbursement” agreements with the training programs. Under these agreements, the tuition will be repaid at a fixed monthly amount while the Guardsman remains employed with the motor carrier. Also, if the institution is accredited, the National Guard has agreed to maintain the recruit on active duty status for a period of up to 10 weeks while he or she is attending the truck driver training program. The recruit will thus be entitled to receive active duty pay, travel expenses and per diem while attending the trucking training program.
Learn more about how to become a truck driver or call us for more information regarding our trucking training programs.