Kenworth News

Top 10 Finalists Named in Search for Top Rookie Military Veteran Driver

Winner To Receive ‘Driving for Excellence Award’ – Kenworth T680

Kenworth has teamed with the FASTPORT Trucking Track Mentoring Program and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring our Heroes Program to find America’s top rookie military veteran, who has made the successful transition from active duty to driving for a commercial fleet.

Kenworth T680

For the fourth consecutive year, Kenworth will provide The Driver’s Truck™ – a fully-loaded Kenworth T680 with a 76-inch sleeper – to serve as the “Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence” recognition program award. The Kenworth T680 features the complete PACCAR Powertrain with a PACCAR MX-13 engine, PACCAR 12-speed automated transmission, and PACCAR 40K tandem axles.

The program’s top 10 finalists were named recently as America’s top rookie military drivers. The drivers, listed with their military branch of service and current truck fleet, include:

–Chris Bacon/U.S. Marines/TMC Transportation
–Thomas Blitch/U.S. Navy and Naval Reserves/Werner Enterprises
–Wade Bumgarner/U.S. Navy/Veriha Trucking
–Joseph Campbell/U.S. Marines and U.S. Army/Roehl Transport
–Keso Going/U.S. Army/Epes Transport
–Steve Harris/U.S. Marines/Stevens Transport
–Kevin Lassing/ U.S. Army/U.S. Xpress
–Maliq Melton, U.S. Army, Melton Truck Lines.
–Monte Morrone/U.S. Army and U.S. Marines/Prime Inc.
–Tim Raub/ U.S. Navy/Averitt Express

Drivers were nominated by trucking companies that made a hiring commitment and pledge to hire veterans on or, by members of the National Association of Publically Funded Truck Driving Schools, or Commercial Vehicle Training Association-member school.

“This year’s competition in the “Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence” program features an outstanding group of 10 finalists, who are representing their fleet and branch of military service. On behalf of Kenworth, we appreciate their dedication to excel as truck drivers in their new profession, and we are grateful for their military service to the country,” said Kurt Swihart, Kenworth marketing director.

“It is important for organizations across the United States to especially reach out to our veterans to help them make a smooth transition back into civilian life. This is one way that the trucking industry is doing its part,” said Brad Bentley FASTPORT president.

During the Great American Trucking Show (GATS) Aug 22-24 in Dallas, three finalists in the recognition program will be announced as America’s top rookie military drivers. All 10 drivers will receive special recognition at the President George W. Bush Library during a tour and reception. The final winner will be announced in December.

For further information on the Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence award program, please visit

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