Written by Roger H. Still, Transportation Manager – Safety
In July 2007, Tyler had just completed his sophomore year in high school and didn’t have any plans for the summer. But little did the self-described troubled youth know, all of that would soon change. During this time, his best friend was leaving for U.S. Army Basic training—but not before providing his recruiter with the name of someone else who might want to join. Who’s name was given to the recruiter? You guessed it—within a couple of days, Tyler and his parents found themselves sitting in their living room with the recruiter describing what the military could provide for Tyler. That same night, his parents signed the paperwork, allowing their 17-year-old to join the Pennsylvania Army National Guard as an inactive reservist.
Over the next year, Tyler realized that he had two fathers, one at home that tried to keep him in line and the recruiter who insisted that he needed to keep on the straight and narrow if he wanted to continue in the military.
“Heck, once I even got in trouble with them both for fighting in school,” said Tyler.
Basic Combat Training
In July 2008, between his junior and senior years of high school, Tyler went through Basic Combat Training at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. Surrounded by cornfields, the young man from Pennsylvania was a long way from home. He said it was the “first time I flew and the first time I was exposed to so many people from so many different backgrounds, cultures, and walks of life.”
Tyler admittedly described the experience as a constant mixture of culture shock and homesickness, but he embraced the new adventure, pulled himself out of his shell, and ended up appreciating the experience.
Advanced Individual Training
In July 2009, just after high school graduation, Tyler returned to Fort Leonard Wood to attend the 12B Advanced Individual Training (AIT) where he learned the skills of a combat engineer. The Army describes the course as the first step in training a combat engineer—the person who gets their team out of most tough spots. There, they learn how to tackle rough terrain during combat operations. They’ll construct fighting positions, and prime and detonate explosives.
“I enjoyed learning how to build things,” said Tyler. “But I enjoyed blowing them up the most.”
What could be more fun?
After AIT, he was attached to Headquarters Battalion—one of the oldest, continuing serving divisions in the US Army—28th Infantry Division. The 28th can trace their lineage back to the Associators Militia first established by Benjamin Franklin in November of 1747. Today they are headquartered in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Life After the Army
Tyler has since fulfilled his commitment but is still most grateful to the Army for turning his life as a troubled youth around and preparing him for a successful future. They instilled discipline that prepared him for life and forced him to grow up, as well as a work ethic that served him well over the next few years as he found work as a correction officer, a warehouseman, and a car salesman. Tyler eventually joined Dot Foods Maryland in the warehouse in March 2017.
After six months in the warehouse, Tyler applied and was accepted into Dot’s Warehouse to Driver program. He says his Army work ethic is what prepared him most for the customer delivery specialist (CDS) role with Dot Transportation, Inc. (DTI). Tyler has found his niche at Dot and commends our company on its culture, morals, and work environments. He said he has never had a problem at Dot, and he is “very comfortable going up the chain of command with any issue.”
“Dot overall is a very well-functioning organization, just like the military in that they believe that good leadership takes care of the people and the people take care of the mission,” said Tyler.
In his time off, Tyler enjoys hanging out with family and friends, watching mixed martial arts, and playing football and the guitar. Tyler has an 11-year-old son, Zayde, and an 8-year-old daughter, Zoey. Tyler lives about 30 minutes from the Williamsport distribution center (DC) in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.
From Dot/DTI – Thank you to all our great veterans for your service to our country!