Tester backs 'Troops to Truckers' to improve job opportunities for veterans

Senator’s bipartisan bill helps experienced military truckers get commercial driver licenses

(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester took another step in his fight for veterans this week, backing an effort that makes it easier for former military truck drivers to get their commercial driver licenses.

Veterans who operated large, commercial-type vehicles during their military service currently must undergo the same training as applicants without any experience behind the wheel.

Tester’s bill – known as “Troops to Truckers” – calls on the U.S. Transportation Department to improve the licensing process so that military experience counts when veterans apply for trucking jobs.

“If you drove a heavy-armored vehicle in Iraq or Afghanistan, you’re well on your way to navigating a big rig on a highway,” Tester said. “It’s vital to recognize the value of skills learned in the military so that we can put more veterans back to work and strengthen the economy.”

Tester’s initiative builds off his bipartisan veterans’ jobs bill, the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, which required government agencies to work together to better translate military skills to the private sector.

Tester added that his initiative will reduce wait times and bureaucratic hassles that delay veterans’ job opportunities.

Tester, Montana’s only member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, established the Senate Veterans Jobs Caucus earlier this month to secure more job opportunities for American service members. 

His bipartisan VOW to Hire Heroes Act – the only jobs bill to pass Congress last year – creates job opportunities for veterans by streamlining the transition from military service to civilian work, expanding training opportunities, and providing tax incentives for companies that hire veterans. It became law in November.

Tester’s bipartisan “Troops to Truckers” measure is available online HERE. He and his colleagues have filed a similar bill as an amendment to the highway bill currently under Senate consideration.