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From Uniform to Civilian: Building a Future for Life After the Military (Part 3)

Aug 7, 2023 | Truck Drivers, Veteran

Werner returns with the final installment of our “From Uniform to Civilian” series, where we speak with three exceptional team members at Werner who are veterans and hold different positions within our company.

For the third part of the series, we chatted with Immanuel O., Field Recruiter, about his time in the military and why he joined Werner.

With this interview and others, we hope to shed light on the experiences and perspectives of our veteran team members, highlighting their valuable insights, unique contributions to the organization, and challenges encountered during their transition.

If you missed part 1, click here. To read part 2, click here. To hear more from all three of our veterans, you can also watch their segment with Military Makeover.

Can you tell us a little bit about your time in the military?
My 20-year career in the Navy included ten deployments. It was outstanding, and I’m honored to have served.

I started as an E-1 onboard the USS Independence CV-62 and retired as an E-6, having worked on seven different aircraft platforms. On the flight deck, it’s controlled chaos. A lot is happening at once, but everybody knows what to do.

Though there were highs and lows during my time in the military, I met some great people who helped me grow and become who I am today. I look back at my deployments as both good and bad. Though it meant time away from home, they gave me to visit different countries and learn about new cultures.

What brought you to Werner after your service?
When I got out of the military, it was a bit confusing. I didn’t know what I was going to do. I was used to one type of structure for so many years, but suddenly I was out and questioning, “what am I going to do next, and how am I going to survive?”

I found Werner through a few friends who also work here. When I first joined, my goal was to be a million-mile driver for Werner, but things changed a few years in when I became the third driver to join the Freedom Fleet. From there, I transitioned to my current role as a Field Recruiter.

One of the best parts of working for Werner is that they give you choices from day one. You can start a path that’s best for you at the time, but if your journey and career aspirations change along the way, Werner is there to help support you. 

What is it like being a veteran at Werner?
It’s similar to working in the military. We are a big family working towards the same goals, to provide a service to our drivers and the schools that help train new drivers entering the workforce and ensure that we offer our customers the best service.

For me, it’s especially gratifying because I also have the opportunity to help someone decide to start their career at Werner and to show them how rewarding it is to be a part of this amazing team.

What skills could you translate over from your time in the military?
Veterans develop a wide range of skills. However, I’ve found the most transferable skills to a career in the transportation industry are communication, dedication, leadership, work ethic, dependability and teamwork.

What would you tell other veterans looking to find the next step in their career?
Find a home with a company you can fit into like a puzzle piece. The result will be a career where you can gain experience, confidence and have the ability to grow professionally.


Click here to learn more about transitioning to civilian life as a professional driver, click here. For more info on our current opportunities for veterans, click here. To learn more about how Werner supports our veterans, click here.

If you’re a Veteran in crisis or concerned about one, there are caring, qualified VA responders standing by to help 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Veterans Crisis Line is a free, anonymous, confidential resource that’s available to anyone, even if you’re not registered with the VA or enrolled in VA health care. 

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