In 2002, Jose was serving in Puerto Rico as a police officer, but he decided he needed to do more to serve his country. So, he enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserves. There was a program in place at the time that permitted qualified police officers to join the reserves in the Master of Arms (Security Police) career field. The program allowed those selected to proficiency to advance through their technical training requirements and be attached to an operational command upon graduation from Basic Training. So, in January of 2003, Jose reported to Naval Station Great Lakes to begin his new adventure.
Upon graduation, Jose reported to the Naval Security Forces unit at Roosevelt Roads Naval Station in Ceiba, Puerto Rico. Jose was attached to the command for approximately one year before the facility closed. Then, his unit relocated to the U.S Army’s Ft. Buchanan in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Jose was attached to the unit until November 2017. During those 14 years, Jose would end up doing his annual training every year in either the Naval Security Forces unit at Mayport Naval Station in Jacksonville, Florida, or with the Naval Security Forces unit in Washington, D.C.
Deployment to the Middle East
In addition to the annual training exercises, Jose was also deployed twice to the Middle East—first in 2013 to Camp Arifjan in Kuwait, where he worked in the camp’s customs area, and in 2016 to Bahrain as part of their security detachment. It was those two deployments that Jose remembers the most. Being deployed provided him the sense of service that most, if not all service members, crave—being part of a bigger effort in support of their nation. During those deployments, Jose was awarded the Army Achievement Medal and the Naval Achievement Medal respectfully.
Natural Disaster Strikes
On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico, causing extensive damage. As a result of that event, Jose and his family relocated to Buffalo, New York, in November of 2017, and Jose was attached to the Buffalo Naval Reserve Center. With the change in duty assignment, Jose now supports the U.S. Southern Command during his training events.
Jose shares that he is continually grateful for the outstanding opportunities for travel, meeting lots of friends, and exposure to a wide array of cultures the service provides. Furthermore, he states that it has instilled in him strong attention to detail, Navy values, and a sense of discipline and service that translates well into his driving career with Dot.
Starting His Driving Career
Once Jose got settled in after the move to Buffalo, he took advantage of GI Bill benefits to attend driving school and embark on his career as a professional driver. Once he completed his CDL training, Jose reached out to Dot and was hired on as a traditional, no-touch freight driver operating out of the Buffalo terminal.
Jose said the sense of family he has found, along with the comradery of the coworkers, is very reminiscent of the military. He appreciates Dot’s diverse and inclusive culture, as well as the helpful attitude of all those he comes across. Jose shares that Dot has been an excellent fit for him over the last year and a half, as he feels that it has a great training program, outstanding pay and benefits, the right balance of home time, and provides lots of variety in his work.
Jose and his wife, Lina, live in Buffalo, New York. In his free time, when he isn’t deployed in support of the Naval Reserves or driving a truck for Dot, Jose enjoys time with family, which includes six children and one grandchild, as well as hitting the road on his motorcycle whenever he has a chance.