Originally composed on 25 May: I've been a member of truckingboards.com for a little while, and this is the first time I actually have something to contribute to the website instead of solely being a consumer. My time in the Active Duty Army is coming to an end in a few months and I knew that despite all of the wonderful experiences I've had in my career, the ones that stick out most prominently were when I would be the driver for our unit's straight truck and hauling equipment. A little background information on me: I'm married and have a 7 year old step son that I am in the process of adopting. I've been in the Army my entire adult life as a musician. It's one of those unique jobs in the military that affords many travel opportunities and constant contact with the general public. Because of my expertise in Jazz (saxophone), I've had the pleasure of playing in countless clubs and throughout the country. Back in the day when the military had more money to spend on recruiting, the band would go on TDY (temporary duty) and I would usually be the one who drove the truck with all of the equipment behind the charter bus. I loved those trips! As a hobby, I fly airplanes and have just under 100hrs total logged time in airplanes such as the Cessna 150/152, 172, 182, Piper Cherokee 180 and Cirrus SR-20. I am also getting into home brewing beer and cycling. Back to trucking! Part of the separation process in the Army is to attend a program called SFL-TAP (Soldier For Life-Transition Assistance Program) that is designed to ease the transition process through informative classes and counseling. During a mandatory DoL Employment Class I learned about the ABF Teamster Military Assistance Program (TMAP). Bottom line is that the Army has an agreement with ABF to train separating Soldiers AT their duty station (there are only two that I know of right off hand and I just happened to be stationed at one of them) for 6 weeks to earn their CDL-A and then have a direct flow through for employment. While very recently on my second deployment to Iraq, I made it a point to study in preparation for the CDL-A Permit tests. I knew that once I got back I would need to get the ball rolling since I wouldn't have much time left. So, after doing the written application, getting approved by my Command for the program, and completing the online application I went ahead and took all of the tests I could and passed every one of them on the first try. The drive home with the paper copy of the permit in my wallet was an amazing feeling. I couldn't believe I was finally getting started on the road (no pun intended) to doing something I truly enjoy and getting paid very well to do it. Because ABF requires a HAZMAT endorsement, I completed the online application to schedule my screening and from there I will get a certificate that will allow me to take the HAZMAT test. According to the program coordinator, I will be taking my drug test and DOT physical about two weeks before the start of class. The class itself starts on Friday the 23rd of June, so I expect to take the physical and drug test either this next week or the week after. ABF is paying for the the drug test and physical but I'm not sure whether that's a TMAP thing or if they do that for everyone. A quick update on my progress as of 7 June: Today was my scheduled HAZMAT screening day. It took place in Topeka and was about an hour drive away. The whole process is ridiculously easy: Log onto the enrollment website for DHS, input some basic information and set up your appointment time, drive to the screening center for your appointment, show proof of ID (in my case, three different ways), do some fingerprints, pay $86 and I was on my way out the door in less than 10 minutes. Hopefully I will hear back from them soon so I can take the HAZMAT test and officially have all of the endorsements. Now to pack and take pictures of things we are selling in preparation for our move. While I know that my situation is very specific, I hope that my experiences will at least be entertaining to read and hopefully informative. Update as of 13 June: Looking forward to my first DOT physical and drug test this Friday. I checked on the TSA website about my HAZMAT screening and it looks like a determination was made the day after I went to the Topeka location. Hopefully I will be getting the letter saying I was approved (there shouldn't be any issue since I've never been arrested and am Active Military) within the next few days. I think that's enough for now, but I will be updating fairly frequently on my progress up until the class starts. From there I will have daily updates about everything from the training to the challenges in completing a successful transition to civilian life. Thanks for reading!