U.S. plans pilot program with military drivers

John G Smith

WASHINGTON, DC – Young members of the U.S. military could secure a fast track to driving jobs under a pilot program being proposed by the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

(Photo: United States Marine Corps)The pilot would allow a limited number of people between the ages of 18 and 21 to operate commercial vehicles in interstate commerce if they have received heavy-vehicle driver training while in the military and are sponsored by a participating carrier.

Under current rules, drivers must be 21 to operate a vehicle involved in interstate commerce.

Comments about the proposed pilot program are being collected over the next 30 days.

On this side of the border, several Canadian provinces now recognize current Department of Defence 404 licences for military vehicles, and do not require additional tests to secure an equivalent civilian licence.

“This initiative is very important to the military personnel who are transiting to civilian life and have many driving-related skills and qualifications to transfer with them,” said Captain Chris Sutherland, Base Commander at Canadian Forces Base Halifax, when Nova Scotia announced its plans. “But it is more than the DND 404 qualification, our military people have attributes such as respect, discipline, organization and leadership that are extremely valuable.”

John G Smith

John G. Smith is the editorial director of Newcom Media's trucking and supply chain publications -- including Today's Trucking, trucknews.com, TruckTech, Transport Routier, Inside Logistics, Solid Waste & Recycling, and Road Today. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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