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‘Transition Trucking’ program names three finalists

Oct. 18, 2021
Search for this year’s top rookie military veteran truck driver narrows; winner to be revealed Dec. 17 in Washington D.C.

FASTPORT recently named its top three finalists for “Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence,” a program dedicated to finding America’s top rookie military veteran driver.

The program recognizes top drivers who have made the successful transition from active duty to driving for a commercial fleet.

The top three drivers, listed with their military branch of service and current truck fleet, are: Jimmy Reddell/U.S. Army, Army Reserves/Stevens Transport; James Rose/U.S. Marines/PRIME Inc.; and Christopher Slindee/U.S. Army/Knight Transportation. The announcement was made during a ceremony at the MHC RoadReady Center in Chillicothe, Ohio, following a recognition event and tour of the adjacent Kenworth Chillicothe manufacturing plant.

“Congratulations to our three finalists—Jimmy Reddell, James Rose and Christopher Slindee—and to the other successful drivers who achieved Top 10 status in this special recognition program,” said Jim Walenczak, Kenworth assistant general manager for sales and marketing. “Kenworth’s continuing participation is a way to thank our military veterans for their service, and to encourage the trucking industry to offer them career opportunities and support.”

For the sixth consecutive year, Kenworth teamed with the FASTPORT Trucking Track Mentoring Program and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring our Heroes Program to support “Transition Trucking” by providing a Kenworth T680 with a 76-inch sleeper to serve as the program’s award to this year’s overall winner.

The T680 features the complete PACCAR Powertrain with MX-13 engine, TX-12 automated transmission, and DX-40 tandem rear axles.

“Each of our three finalists achieved significant accomplishments during their military careers and are now excelling as professional truck drivers,” said Brad Bentley, FASTPORT president. “It is always important to help our veterans make a smooth transition into civilian life, and the trucking industry certainly provides a key avenue for that objective.”

Other truck drivers who achieved the Top 10 are:

  • Steven Brown/U.S. Navy/EPES Transport System
  • Lucresha Daniels/U.S. Navy/PRIME Inc.
  • Marcus Ellis/U.S. Air Force/Stevens Transport
  • Will Gamez/U.S. Army, National Guard/Roehl Transport
  • Scott McFadden/U.S. Navy/Melton Truck Lines
  • Brad Stonebraker/U.S. Army/Melton Truck Lines
  • Justin Utt/U.S. Marine Corps Reserve/Swift Transportation

To qualify, drivers had to meet three eligibility requirements:

  • Must have been active military or member of the National Guard or Reserve
  • Graduated from PTDI-certified, NAPFTDS or CVTA member driver training school, with a valid CDL
  • First hired in a trucking position between Jan. 1, 2020, and July 31, 2021

A popular vote will take place online from Oct. 28 until Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11. The winner will be determined by a selection committee and revealed Dec. 17 at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C.

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Commercial Vehicle Staff

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