Transition Trucking field down to 12

September 2, 2022

SJ Munoz


Fastport has announced the 12 finalists for the Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence award, given annually to America’s top rookie military veteran driver.

“It is always a challenge to select the most deserving drivers from the list of our talented nominees,” said Brad Bentley, president of Lowell, Mass.-based Fastport. “This year’s finalists represent a variety of military branches and are outstanding examples of the over-the-road service that veterans can offer the trucking industry.”

To qualify, drivers:

  • Must have been active military or member of the National Guard or Reserve, graduated from Professional Truck Driver Institute-certified, National Association of Publicly Funded Truck Driving Schools- or Commercial Vehicle Training Association-member driver training school.
  • Have a valid CDL.
  • Have been first hired in a trucking position between Jan. 1, 2021, and July 31, 2022.

The 2022 Transition Trucking top 12:

  • Sean Adams, U.S. Navy, McElroy Truck Lines.
  • Jason Van Boxtel, U.S. Marines, Veriha Trucking.
  • Alexander Brandt, U.S. Army, Hirschbach Motor Lines.
  • Cale Jensen, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army, G. Dubbels Trucking.
  • Ashley Leiva, U.S. Army, Draco Energy, Draco Energy-Noemi Trucking.
  • Paul Gouker, U.S. Army and National Guard, Stevens Transport.
  • Dave Marihugh, U.S. Navy, Roehl Transport.
  • Chris McDowell, U.S. Army and National Guard, EPES Transport.
  • Joe Nyenatee, U.S. Army, Melton Truck Lines.
  • Talon Rogers, U.S. Army, CRST.
  • Justin Silk, U.S. Army, Paschall Truck Lines.
  • Michael D. Thomas, U.S. Marines, Prime Inc.

The top three are planned to be announced on Sept. 23, and the 2022 Transition Trucking winner is scheduled to be named Dec. 16 at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation in Washington, D.C. The winner will be selected by an expert panel of judges, according to the news release.

“This year’s competition produced an outstanding group of finalists,” said Genevieve Bekkerus, Kenworth director of marketing. “We appreciate their dedication on the road to excel as truck drivers in their new profession, and we are grateful for their military service to the country.”

This year for the first time the winner will receive a Kenworth T680 Next Gen, said in the news release.

Last year, Jimmy Reddell, a 22-year veteran of the U.S. Army and Army Reserves, won the award along with a Kenworth T680. LL

SJ Munoz joined the Land Line Media team in 2020. He brings a variety of skills to the job as he has experience as a reporter, photographer and in radio. He’s also written for Omaha Magazine, the Lawrence Journal-World, and