Finalists Named For Top Rookie Military Veteran Truck Driver

August 26, 2019


DALLAS, Aug. 26, 2019 – 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.

The top four finalists in the “Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence” recognition program were named as America’s top rookie military drivers at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas. For the fourth consecutive year, Kenworth will provide The Driver’s Truck™ – a fully-loaded Kenworth T680 equipped 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.

Top 4 finalists with the Kenworth T680

The top four, with their branches of service and employers, are:

  • Christopher Bacon/U.S. Marines/TMC Transportation
  • Wade Bumgarner/U.S. Navy/Veriha Trucking
  • Joseph Campbell/U.S. Marines and U.S. Army/Roehl Transport
  • Steve Harris/U.S. Marines/Stevens Transport

“Congratulations to finalists Christopher Bacon, Wade Bumgarner, Joseph Campbell and Steve Harris, and to the other six successful drivers who achieved Top 10 status in this year’s “Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence” recognition program,” said Kurt Swihart, Kenworth marketing director. “We once again are providing a Kenworth T680 as the program’s top award in appreciation to our military veterans for their service. It is important for the trucking industry to continue its efforts to offer support and career opportunities to our veterans.”

“This year’s four finalists had significant accomplishments in their military careers, and now are making excellent achievements as professional truck drivers. We urge the trucking industry and organizations across the United States to especially reach out to our veterans and help them make a smooth transition back into civilian life,” said Brad Bentley FASTPORT president.

Other truck drivers, who achieved the Top 10 finalists list and were recognized at GATS, are:

  • Thomas Blitch/U.S. Navy and Naval Reserves/Werner Enterprises
  • Keso Going/U.S. Army/Epes 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.
  • Timothy 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 Publicly Funded Truck Driving Schools, or Commercial Vehicle Training Association-member school.

All the drivers were recognized at the President George W. Bush Library during a tour and reception. The winner will be announced Dec. 6 in Washington, D.C. during a ceremony at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation in Washington, D.C.

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

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