We served America then, we serve America now.
From Veteran to Trucker
Chris McCarroll always dreamed of joining the military. His parents served in the Air Force and he was eager to serve his country as well. He started his journey in Jr. ROTC and also enjoyed being a part of the Flying Rifles, while in high school. McCarroll became good friends with his local Navy Recruiter, they grew a great friendship over the next 2 years, prior to Chris enlisting. Chris has always had a natural gift to teach and he shared this by helping new recruits learn the basics, like standing at attention, and with their physical preparedness.
Since Chris wasn’t 18 yet, he had to obtain a signature from his parents in order to enlist. The day finally came when his dad was ready to sign the paperwork so off they went to the Marines recruitment office. Upon arrival, McCarroll met with a Recruiter that he had never talked to before, they exchanged pleasantries and reviewed Chris’ expectations. For the first time in Chris’ journey, he felt like the Marines weren’t the right fit for him. Him and his father went over to the Navy Recruiter’s office, where they were greeted with a warm smile and laugh as the Recruiter pulled a stack of documents that he had already prepared for Chris. He explained how he grew to know Chris well and how he knew he would come back to join the Navy.
One of McCarroll’s favorite orders was working directly with the Base Commander, in Jacksonville, FL. He helped plan exit ceremonies and worked with the base newspaper. It was here where he grew his love for photography. After serving for four years, McCarroll left the Navy and went on many more adventures, including sailing the Caribbean with a friend.
In October 2016, McCarroll started his career at Knight as a trainee. He subsequently worked as an experienced driver, a classroom instructor, a recruiter, and a driver development manager. Currently, he drives OTR.
As a veteran, McCarroll found many similarities between his career in the military and his career at Knight.
“The military protects [our] nation and way of life, while trucks supply the goods so we can enjoy our way of life,” McCarroll said.
Much like the military, truckers have a unique level of independence. This independence requires truckers to be self-starters who are reliable, punctual, disciplined, and motivated. With this independence, truckers function as an essential part of a larger team, and veterans thrive in this collaborative environment.
For both veterans and truckers, situational awareness and safety are paramount to keep themselves as well as those around them safe. Additionally, many veterans have important skills like time management and flexibility that help them succeed in the trucking industry.
“Both jobs require a level of professionalism,” McCarroll said. “No two days are ever the same. The only easy day was yesterday. Tomorrow will always be a new adventure.”
“The core values for the department of defense are duty, integrity, ethics, honor, courage, and loyalty. I wholeheartedly believe that those same core values carry over to the trucking industry.”
As he continues to grow his career at Knight, McCarroll is currently training to become a professional drone pilot and plans to start a photography business in the future.
Favorite piece of Navy equipment: Blue Angels - FA - 18, #7, the only Blue Angel that is a two-seater.
Favorite parts of serving:
- Having a uniform every day so you never have to pick out an outfit.
- A unique camaraderie with brothers and sisters that haven’t ever been found in a different civilian job.
- Sharing a special bond with who you’re serving with.
Favorite part of working with Knight: The people. Every department from dispatch to break down. From the mechanics to payroll. Knight hires the best talent to support the drivers and the company.