Army Veteran’s New Mission: Repairing FedEx Fleet
As John Sheard prepares to celebrate his first anniversary as a FedEx Fleet Maintenance Manager, he reflects on one of the biggest transitions of his life—the move to FedEx on the heels of a 20-year career in the U.S. Army.
“I had a lot of family members who served in the military and it was just something I felt I wanted to do. The excitement drew me to it.”
Sheard enlisted in 1996. As a mechanic, he repaired everything from Humvees to Abrams tanks at U.S. military bases in Kentucky, Texas and Kansas, and was also stationed in Bosnia and twice in Iraq—time that was challenging for the husband and father of two boys.
“The mindset there was make it through today, and make it through tomorrow and then get back to your family. I didn’t want to count the days because it felt like you were there forever,” Sheard recalled. “Being in the army for 20 years, it was a long, hard road. You’ve got family you’ve been away from. It was time to retire and move on.”
Sheard’s second career started almost immediately after his first one ended, thanks to “Hiring Our Heroes,” a program that matches veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses with new jobs. While attending a “Hiring Our Heroes” job fair at Ft. Hood, Texas, Sheard learned his skills as a mechanic transitioned nicely to open positions at FedEx. On November 15, 2016, just two weeks after retiring from the Army, he started managing fleet repairs for 11 different FedEx facilities throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland.
“Every day is something new. I’m still learning at FedEx, and I want to learn things I haven’t yet done,” Sheard said.
It’s also a time for Sheard to reconnect with his family—maybe the biggest win of all.
“They see me every day. They see me every weekend. I no longer have to be gone for long periods of time.”