Gary

  • MARRIED, FATHER OF 4
  • DROVE ARMY TRUCK 13 YEARS
  • 3 YEARS WITH ACT
  • 1 YEAR AS ACT TRAINER

What kind of trucking experience have you had?

After that first company I worked for folded, I drove for about 5 ½ years as a truck driver with various other companies. Then, when September 11th happened, I decided to join the military. I was just struck by what had happened. I looked into getting into the Army. I knew I was in good enough shape and felt it was my duty. So, I became a Fuel Handler and drove fuel trucks and other heavy equipment as a 92F Petroleum Supply Specialist. I did this for 13 years until 2016, when I got out of the Army. I was discharged on a Friday in April, and three days later I was sitting in Kansas City at ACT!

"THEN, WHEN SEPTEMBER 11 HAPPENED, I DECIDED TO JOIN THE MILITARY."

 
Gary Gary Gary
Gary Semelka — 13 year Army veteran, 3 years with ACT

HOW DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO ACT?

About 6 or 7 months before I was due to get out, I started looking around at trucking companies. Diesel’s been in my blood my entire life, so I knew I wanted to get back behind the wheel. So, I did my research. Most companies wanted me to go back to truck driving school because of the 13 years I had been out of commercial driving. But ACT said they had a program that would let me go out with a trainer to get back up to speed on the new things that had come out since I was on the road.

HOW’S IT GOING NOW?

It’s great. It was easy to roll my experience into a civilian career. Having been in the military, I always had brothers and sister in arms who that I knew I could depend on, who would support you. And that’s what it’s like here at ACT. It’s a close-knit group where people take care of each other. Nobody is more than a phone call away. The camaraderie here is a lot like the service. In February of 2018, I went through training to become a trainer. I really enjoy that. I especially love it when I get a Vet, because I get to help somebody else transition over to civilian life. I’ve referred two other truck drivers who have also come to ACT, one former Army and one former Marine.

ANY ADVICE FOR SOMEONE THINKING OF BECOMING A DRIVER?

I feel like any former service member already has the discipline needed to do this job well. It’s a good fit and ACT makes it really easy to get into a new career. And for someone like me, who also drove in the military, it’s even easier with the Reactivate Program. You’re used to the hours and the big equipment. Now, as a civilian driver, I like getting to drive for longer distances in a faster vehicle, without someone sitting in the right-hand seat.

I AM ACT.

Back to All Drivers