Kenworth News

U.S. Marines Veteran James C. Rose: “Transition Trucking – Driving for Excellence” Top 3 Finalist

Note: This is the first in a series of three feature news releases on the Three Finalists for the "Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence" award.

U.S. Marines veteran James C. Rose embodies what it means to be a leader by example. Rose’s commitment to working hard, staying disciplined, and maintaining a positive attitude throughout his 30-plus year career in the Marines helped him rise through the military ranks. Following more than 10 years of enlistment, Rose served as an officer for 20 years and retired as a lieutenant colonel.

“I had the opportunity to see and do a lot of incredible things during my career in the Marines, but nothing compares to the years I spent at Parris Island (South Carolina) as a drill instructor,” said Rose. “To be a leader of young men and women and watch their growth from entering as recruits to becoming Marines was so rewarding. It was an honor to teach and develop the next generation of Marines. I have three sons, Xavier, Kyri, and Jalen, who currently serve in the Navy and I’m so proud of them for their service.”

Throughout Rose’s career, he has prided himself on being a positive influence and leader. Today, he brings that same enthusiastic attitude with him to work every day as a professional truck driver for Prime Inc. Rose is one of three finalists in the “Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence” program, which is dedicated to finding America’s top rookie military driver. The annual program recognizes top drivers who have made the successful transition from active duty to driving for a commercial fleet.

For the sixth consecutive year, Kenworth has 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: Driving for Excellence.” Kenworth will provide The Driver’s Truck™ – 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 PACCAR MX-13 engine, PACCAR TX-12 automated transmission and PACCAR DX-40 tandem rear axles.

Prior to training Marines recruits, Rose spent several years as a Marines aviation ordnance technician and aviation ordnance officer where he spent time on board aircraft carriers during deployments to the Gulf War and throughout Operation Iraqi Freedom Campaigns. It was in those years Rose grew an interest in the supply chain and logistics, which led him to join the transportation industry upon retiring honorably from the Marines.

“As an aviation ordnance officer, part of my role was managing the logistics of aviation munitions, associated equipment, and parts both stateside and overseas,” said Rose. “I learned a lot and grew a deep appreciation for all the processes involved in keeping the supply chain moving. Each day truck drivers work hard to deliver their loads safely and on time. There is a need for drivers and, by becoming one, I’m able to continue to serve my country by transporting essentials goods.”

Shortly after Rose’s retirement from the Marines, he earned his CDL through Prime’s CDL training program and signed on with the company. In December, Rose will celebrate his one-year anniversary driving for Prime.

“This past year truly has been a blessing,” said Rose. “I wake up every day with a positive attitude, excited to hit the road. I enjoy talking to other drivers and learning about the industry. I’m committed to being the best driver I can be.”

According to Rose, he’s working towards his goal of becoming a small fleet owner, which he hopes to accomplish within the next five years.

“Prime is such a great company to work for and for them to believe in me and my ability and nominate me for the Transition Trucking (Driving for Excellence) award, means a lot,” said Rose. “To have the opportunity to win a (Kenworth) T680 and share this experience with fellow veterans is incredible. If I do win the truck, I’ll have a head start in obtaining my goals.”

As a veteran who has made a successful transition into the trucking industry, Rose is a firm believer that the industry is a good option for other veterans transitioning to civilian life.

“I think many of the skills you learn in the military apply as a driver, plus you get to see parts of the country you would never get to see otherwise,” said Rose. “One day I hope to create jobs through ownership of my own trucks. I would love to have the ability to hire former service members and provide them with a good place to work. I’ll continue to be an advocate for veterans entering in this industry.”

The “Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence” award winner will be announced on December 17 at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit the websites of “Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence” (, FASTPORT ( and Hiring Our Heroes (

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