Former Army helicopter mechanic finalist in trucking contest

Kevin ScottKevin Scott

Kevin Scott, 26, has always been independent. He’s been on his own since he was 14, and he knew if he wanted a better life, he had to take his future into his own hands.

“I pretty much decided that my family doesn’t really have anything, and if I want a good life for me and my future family then I need to do something myself. I can’t wait on anyone. So I joined the military,” Scott said.

Scott joined the Army where he served as an E-5 15 Blackhawk helicopter mechanic and crew chief. He spent six years in the military before exiting in 2012. He went to work at an airfield working on helicopters, but he wasn’t a fan of the five-day a week monotony. He headed offshore to work on supply vessels in the oil field, but that work left him feeling unfulfilled. He decided it was time to make a career change, and looked toward trucking. 

“I always wanted to drive a truck. Offshore I was working on engines as big as these trucks, literally as big as these trucks, and I wanted to make a career change. I started CDL school the following week and I’ve loved it ever since,” Scott said.

Scott felt trucking was a smart career move because it offered job security and he knew he could succeed in it.

“Now that I’ve tried it, I love it. I won’t ever do anything else,” Scott said.

Scott’s military service made him well-prepared for a career in trucking. Scott, who lives in Gulfport, Mississippi, drives for TMC Transportation. When he was deployed, Scott says, he was truly at work. Trucking has a similar dynamic.

Kevin Scott during his time in the Army.Kevin Scott during his time in the Army.

“Whenever I’m in this truck I’m truly at work. I’m at work 100 percent, but then whenever I’m at home, I’m at home,” Scott said. “I don’t have to worry about the monotony of a five-day-a-week job. I can take three or four days off at a time if I need to and it allows me to be there for my family a lot more and have that flexibility I needed.”

Scott is one of three finalists up for the Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence Award. It recognizes America’s top military rookie driver and the award winner will receive a fully-loaded Kenworth T680. The winner will be announced Dec. 16. The award is a partnership betwen the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes Progam, Kenworth and FASTPORT.

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Scott says TMC nominated him because of his driver statistics and how quickly he excelled. He is also a driver trainer for the company. When he found out he was a finalist for the award, he was speechless.

“I knew I was a contender but I also knew that the other drivers were very good drivers. I was just speechless,” Scott said. “I don’t even know how to describe it. This can ultimately change mine and my family’s lives, for the rest of our lives.”

One of Scott’s biggest goals is for him and his wife to pay off their debts and secure a future for their daughter. 

“It’s just that last little bit of debt and securing that and also being able to make more money for my family and invest for my daughter’s college fund. It opens up a whole other pathway to this industry for me to learn,” Scott said. 

Scott says he would recommend trucking to anyone he can convince to try it, civilians and veterans alike. He feels veterans have a strong pull to this type of work because they’re used to having to be away for long periods of time, and their families are used to it as well.

“It’s the being away part that people have issues with, where as veterans and veterans’ families are kind of used to it. Used to their significant others being away and also as far as being able to take care of and provide for the family, this is one of the leading industries and it pays very well,” Scott said. 

You can vote for the finalist of your choice online.