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The Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence recognition program is seeking nominations for this year’s Top Veteran Rookie Driver award, and the top prize is kind of a big deal. 

Each year, the country’s best rookie military veteran truck drivers are nominated for the annual Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence Award for the opportunity at the title ‘Top Veteran Rookie Driver.’ In addition to the title, the Hiring Our Heroes Program, Kenworth, and FASTPORT have come together and are looking to award a brand new semi truck to a deserving veteran who recently entered the trucking industry.

The top prize, a Kenworth T680 equipped with a 76-inch sleeper and the PACCAR Powertrain featuring the PACCAR MX-13 engine, PACCAR 12-speed automated transmission and PACCAR 40K tandem rear axles, was provided by Kenworth as a demonstration of their appreciation for the sacrifices our veterans make. 

“Kenworth recognizes the importance of supporting our veterans, and the donation of our on-highway flagship Kenworth T680 is one way to express our appreciation,” said Laura Block, Kenworth assistant general manager for sales and marketing.

“FASTPORT’s mission is to educate and inform veterans about career opportunities in the nation’s trucking industry. An estimated 200,000 veterans make the transition from the military into the private sector each year,” said Brad Bentley, FASTPORT president.

Last year, US Marine and Army veteran of 24 years, Joseph H. Campbell Jr. received the top award thanks to his hard work and the nomination from his company, Roehl Transport’s Flatbed Division. 

“The Transition Trucking award campaign offers a valuable platform to highlight veterans’ positive impact on the transportation industry, and to introduce veterans to the excellent economic opportunities offered by a career in trucking,” said Eric Eversole, vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and president of Hiring Our Heroes. “Hiring Our Heroes has helped more than 150,000 transitioning service members and veterans connect with career opportunities in industries nationwide, including trucking, and we hope that veterans will take this opportunity to shape their futures in this high-demand industry.”

The top driver will be selected by an expert panel of judges. Drivers must meet four eligibility requirements to qualify for entry:

  • Must have been an 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.
  • Employed by a trucking company that has made a hiring commitment and pledge to hire veterans on the Trucking Track Mentoring Program website.
  • First hired in a trucking position between January 1, 2019 and July 31, 2020.

“The Kenworth T680 will serve as a worthy award for a well-deserving veteran in the ‘Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence’ program this year,” Bentley said.

“We urge fleets in America to nominate their best rookie military veteran drivers now serving the country in today’s challenging times,” Block added.

The deadline for nomination is July 31st. Nomination requirements and forms can be found here.

Check out this video on last year’s winner, below.

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