Military veteran earns award, wins new Kenworth
A 24-year veteran of the U.S. Marines and U.S. Army will be trucking in style.
Joseph Campbell Jr., a driver for the flatbed division of Roehl Transport in Marshfield, Wis., received a new Kenworth T680, the grand prize in the 2019 Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence competition. As winner, Campbell was deemed America’s top rookie military veteran who made the successful transition from active duty to driving for a commercial fleet.
“I chose trucking as a career path, because it made me feel like I am still a part of something larger than myself,” Campbell said in a news release.
The competition, in its fourth year, is sponsored by Kenworth Truck Co., Fastport Trucking Track Mentoring Program and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring our Heroes Program.
“I believe this truck is an incredible gift,” Campbell said. “It’s not a reward. It’s a gift. It’s an honor to be chosen to drive this truck from Kenworth.”
Campbell comes from a family of military veterans. He has been given multiple accolades for successes while serving stateside and abroad in combat zones. While driving for Roehl, he achieved a crash-free record in his first year of employment and completed the initial year of a two-year apprenticeship program. He is training to become a certified trainer and is a member of the company’s Driver Advisory Group.
As winner, he received a Kenworth T680 equipped with a comfortable 76-inch sleeper. The tractor has a PACCAR powertrain with a PACCAR MX-13 engine, PACCAR 12-speed automated transmission, and PACCAR 40K tandem axles.
Three others also were honored at a Dec. 9 Transition Trucking ceremony at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation in Washington, D.C.
Steve Harris, a U.S. Marines veteran and driver for Dallas-based Stevens Transport, was first runner-up and received $10,000.
Christopher Bacon, a U.S. Marines veteran and driver for Des Moines, Iowa-based TMC Transportation, and Wade Bumgarner, a U.S. Navy veteran and driver for Marinette, Wis.-based Veriha Trucking, each received $5,000.
The winner was chosen from among the four finalists during an online vote on the Transition Trucking website, where people could view a video of each driver and cast their vote for the top military rookie driver.
Drivers were nominated by trucking companies that made a hiring commitment and pledge to hire veterans on TruckingTrack.org or by members of the National Association of Publicly Funded Truck Driving Schools or Commercial Vehicle Training Association-member school.
“Truckers are proud and patriotic Americans who believe in enterprise, entrepreneurship, hard work and driving their own destiny,” said Tom Donohue, chief executive officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “It’s hard to think of better candidates to fill jobs in the trucking industry than veterans.”
Previous winners of the award were Quinton Ward (2018), Gregg Softy (2017) and Troy Davidson (2016). LL