I know that becoming a fighter pilot is highly competitive, making it a difficult route, but would becoming a pilot for an Air Force cargo aircraft or something of the like be a good way to reach my final goal of piloting for an airline?
It depends on which part of the world you're in.
Airlines based in a country with a healthy General Aviation scene will probably prefer civil pilots. If there General Aviation scene is limited then it would make military pilots an attractive source.
I'm not saying that Military pilots are any worse/better but there have been airlines where the safety record was quite poor as a result of poor CRM from the military pilots, China Airlines and Korean Air are examples. These airlines have recognised and rectified the problems and today are up to industry levels in terms of accidents/incidents.