Shirley Bland, Aim’s Fleet Asset Manager, recently retired from the military, as a Master Sergeant, after 37 years of service. Bland has been an integral part of Aim’s day-to-day operations since joining the company 35 years ago. For more than three decades, she has successfully balanced her military career, including multiple overseas deployments, with her Aim career and raising her children.
Bland began her military career on June 10, 1985, when she joined the U.S. Army Reserve. She has worn many hats during her service, working in human resources, fuel, water and logistics. In June 1991, six years after joining the Army Reserve, she was called to duty in support of Operation Desert Storm, and one year later she was honored with the Soldier of the Year award.
In April 2009, Bland was deployed again, this time to Afghanistan. There, working in an Expeditionary Sustainment Command (a logistics headquarters), she supported more than 16,000 soldiers. Later, in 2010, she transitioned to Kuwait, working for Army Central Command in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The unit Bland served in was instrumental in the drawdown of U.S. forces coming out of Iraq.
After a two-year tour in the Middle East, Bland returned to the States and joined a combat support team in March 2011. This team functions out of Milwaukee, WI, and supports combat training for units deploying to various parts of the Middle East.
Shirley Bland came from a long line of military service members. Her mother was in the Women’s Army Core. She also has a sister who served, and her two children also serve: One is active duty stationed in Hawaii, and the other is a sniper serving in Iraq.
“Sometimes we have to sacrifice for things that are bigger than yourself,” said Bland, speaking about what her service has meant to her. “We all enjoy our freedom, and it comes with a cost.”
At Aim, as the Fleet Asset Manager, Bland orders new equipment Aim’s customers across the country and Aim’s large nationwide fleet of rental vehicles. Basically, any new vehicle, including all customizations, passes through Shirley. She also coordinates logistics between OEMs, sales and service.
“I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the love and support the Flemings, and everyone in the company, has always given me,” Bland said. “I’ve raised four children; I’ve been able to do my military career and have a full-time job here [at Aim].”
“It was stressful at times,” Bland added, “but I think because of the support I got from Aim, it made it a whole lot easier on me.”
Aim proudly supports military veterans and their families. For decades, Aim has been been a military-friendly company, providing rewarding careers to former—and active—service men and women. Everyone at Aim deeply values the service and sacrifice of the brave individuals who serve and have served our country, and we’re honored to provide them great careers to support them and their families.
When asked if she would recommend Aim as an employer to military veterans, Bland said, “Absolutely—you couldn’t work for a better company. I love this company—obviously, I’ve been here 35 years—with the love and support and the chances for advancement, especially in the military arena.”
“You leave the military, and you come out into the civilian sector, you need that support [like Aim provides] when you’re adjusting back into civilian life,” she concluded.
Aim Transportation Solutions is proud to provide rewarding careers with great benefits to our country's military veterans. Check out our careers page for opportunities near you.