Photo: Transition Trucking
The country remains eternally grateful for the sacrifices made by the brave women and men in the armed forces. That’s why Kenworth joins Fastport Trucking Track Mentoring Program, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring our Heroes Program to support the Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence award for the sixth year in a row.
Members of the military often earn their CDL while serving to operate heavy-duty vehicles necessary to transport supplies. Once their duty has been completed, a career as a tractor-trailer driver seems like a natural transition. In an effort to support military vets furthering their CDL careers, the truck manufacturer reportedly plans to donate a Kenworth T680 with a 76-inch sleeper and Paccar MX-13 engine to this year’s winner. The field has been narrowed down to the following 10 nominees.
- Steven Brown, U.S. Navy, Epes Transport System
- Lacresha Daniels, U.S. Navy, Prime Inc.
- Marcus Ellis, U.S. Air Force, Stevens Transport
- William Gamez, U.S. Army/Army National Guard, Roehl Transport
- Scott McFadden, U.S. Navy, Melton Truck Lines
- Jimmy Reddell, U.S. Army/Army Reserves, Stevens Transport
- James C. Rose, U.S. Marine Corps, Prime Inc.
- Christopher Slindee, U.S. Army, Knight Transportation
- Brad Stonebraker, U.S. Army, Melton Truck Lines
- Justin Utt, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Swift Transportation
A shortlist will be whittled down to three finalists to be announced at the Chillicothe, Ohio, MHC Road Ready Center on Oct. 6. Following that announcement, an online vote will run from Oct. 28 through Veterans Day on Nov. 11. The winner will get the nob from the selection committee on Dec. 17 at the Washington, D.C., U.S. Chamber of Commerce office.
While Kenworth will deliver an industry-leading rig to jumpstart a deserving veteran’s truck driving career, it’s also important for members of the military to understand they have opportunities waiting when they complete their service.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration offers skills and knowledge test waivers to qualified veterans. In addition, those who complete their service before reaching the usual 21-years-old threshold to work as an interstate trucker are welcome to participate in the Under 21 Military CDL Pilot program. This opportunity allows younger drivers to haul loads with the exception of hazardous material and passengers until they are old enough to buy alcohol. It’s a little ironic. All kidding aside, secure trucking career opportunities await the country’s valued service members that offer good salaries, sign-on bonuses, and benefits.