An Army veteran took the skills he learned in his MOS to build a successful civilian career in trucking — and he was recently recognized for all-star status.
Edward R. Carley III, a driver for the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s West Coast Distribution Center, was selected as a 2019 National Private Truck Council National Driver All-Star. The annual award recognizes private fleet drivers who exhibit an exceptional commitment to safety, compliance and customer service. The Exchange, the Department of Defense’s largest retailer, operates the 12th largest private retail fleet in the U.S. and employs roughly 4,000 veterans.
Carley, who has 40 years behind the wheel, pursued a childhood dream of becoming a truck driver when he enlisted in the Army at 18 years old. He served more than 11 years across all Army components driving tractor-trailers and transporting heaving equipment. After leaving active duty, he continued his career with the National Guard, then as a civilian. He says the military gave him the foundational skills to be successful out of uniform.
“The Army taught me the need to be alert and always aware of your surroundings. With trucking, anything can happen on the road, and every day is different, so you always need to be alert and aware,” he stated in an email response.
The Sacramento, California-native began his Exchange career in 1996 after moving near Fort Gillem, Georgia. He says the position provided an outlet to stay connected to the military community.
“When I’m making my deliveries, I’m around the soldiers and am able to talk with them a bit. I let them know I’m a proud veteran. I’m proud to have served and to serve them now,” Carley said.
He was also attracted to the independent-nature of the job, which he said is a perfect fit because he doesn’t require much direction. And it allows him to be home on a daily basis.
“I get up early — my run starts around either 1, 2, 4 or 7 a.m. I go to the terminal to get my truck, which is pre-assigned. I get my load and deliver to the Exchanges on military installations. I deliver to Exchanges on Army, Air Force and Coast Guard installations. I have to offload most often by hand, and my days vary from eight hours to as long as 16. This job definitely keeps me in shape. I also like the fact that I’m home every night sleeping in my own bed,” he explained.
Carley’s award tops off a career of exemplary service, including numerous awards for his safe driving from the Exchange and the National Transportation Safety Board.
“I believe it’s because I take my job seriously. I do my part to help the Exchange achieve its mission. I’m efficient and take safety to heart,” he said.
Col. Douglas Vallejo, deputy director of Exchange Logistics, agrees.
“All-Star drivers like Edward Carley bring experience and prestige to the Exchange’s fleet,” Vallejo said. “In the last 10 years, the Exchange has had five All-Star drivers — all of whom honor the warfighters we serve with their hard work.”
The Exchange currently employs about 230 truck drivers worldwide. For information on careers with the Department of Defense’s largest retailer, go to https://www.aafes.com/about-exchange/exchange-careers.Read comments