When CPC Logistics Operations Manager Jeff Boyington joined the United States Army in 1989 at the age of 18, he had no idea it would lead to a lifelong passion for trucking.
“I had just graduated high school and never been away from home before,” Jeff said. “This was a lifechanging experience for me.”
Jeff originally wanted to become a U.S. Marine like Gregory “Pappy” Boyington, his first cousin once removed who served as a fighter ace during World War II. He received the Medal of Honor, Navy Cross and Purple Heart and even inspired a 1970s television show called “Baa Baa Black Sheep.”
“My brother Greg, who is a regional manager here at CPC, is named after him,” Jeff said. “To this day we both get people who will meet us and call us ‘Pappy.’”
However, when Jeff visited the recruiting station to sign up for the Marines, the recruiter was out for lunch. On his way back to his car, Jeff ran into an Army recruiter who invited him to learn more about serving in the Army. Jeff agreed, and less than a month after their conversation, he enlisted.
Stationed at Fort Lewis in Washington, Jeff was assigned a transportation and logistics specialist role based on an aptitude test the Army gave him. He was charged with material storage and handling along with transportation of various warehouse products.
“I first learned to drive a truck at Fort Lewis,” Jeff said. “Little did I know how well it would serve me. At first, I thought the warehousing part of my job would interest me the most, but as it turns out, the driving was the most beneficial.”
Eventually Jeff was deployed to Iraq where he supported the 82nd Airborne Division, which specializes in parachute assault operations into denied areas.
“We functioned as a repair shop on wheels,” Jeff said. “If any equipment broke, we would deliver the needed parts and then help make repairs. We had big storage trailers where we housed tires, windshields, motors, and all kinds of different parts. It was everything but the kitchen sink.”
While overseas Jeff also participated in Operation Desert Storm, the 42-day U.S.-led air offensive in response to Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait. He attained the non-commissioned officer rank of sergeant.
After more than four years of service, Jeff transitioned from military to civilian life in 1993. He became a delivery driver for AOC Resins in Lakeland, Florida. Over 14 years, Jeff drove 2 million accident-free miles.
“Truck driving was something I knew I could do well,” Jeff said. “I’ve always enjoyed getting to see new places and being responsible for myself without someone micromanaging me all day.”
Jeff held several more truck driving positions before hearing about CPC Logistics from Greg. Jeff had recently moved to Georgia where he was working as a senior operations manager at TForce Freight.
“Greg kept talking about how much he loved CPC, and I thought that I’d like to be a part of it,” Jeff said. “One day Greg encouraged me to apply for a safety supervisor position, and I ended up getting the job. It didn’t take long for me to discover that everything Greg said about CPC was right—especially the people. Here, everyone knows your name, and it feels like one big family.”
Jeff learned many valuable skills—in addition to driving—during his time in the Army that he applies to his current job, including punctuality, professionalism, and interpersonal intelligence. He said many of the veterans he works with also demonstrate those abilities.
“When I hire someone who has served, I know they understand how important it is to show up on time and interact professionally with the customer,” Jeff said. “In fact, I always look for military service in job applicants because I know they have the qualities needed to be successful here at CPC. I believe the more veterans we have, the stronger our company will be.”
Jeff encourages current and former service members to consider careers in transportation and logistics, especially at CPC. He said they will be able to use many skills they already have, benefit from a strong team atmosphere, and continue serving their country by ensuring people have access to the products they need.
“Veterans make CPC better, and I hope that after they start working here, they realize CPC has made their lives better, too,” Jeff said.