Driving A Lucky Veteran’s Career Forward

Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence Award Will Be Presented to This Year’s Top Rookie Military Veteran Driver
Driving A Lucky Veteran’s Career Forward
Ashley Leiva of Noemi Trucking

As we celebrate the contributions of professional truck drivers this week, Kenworth and FASTPORT, in partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes initiative, continue to narrow the search for an outstanding military veteran who has successfully transitioned from active duty to driving for a commercial fleet.  

Under the “Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence” recognition program, Kenworth will provide the top award for the eighth consecutive year – a T680 Signature Edition truck presented in recognition of the company’s 100th anniversary.

“Every year we see a life changed because of this contest and I don’t think it can get any better but each year it does,” said Brad Bentley, FASTPORT president. “Kenworth outdid themselves by providing this incredible special edition truck and we are excited to award it to a deserving military veteran driver.”

Last year, Ashley Leiva of Noemi Trucking was recognized as the top military veteran rookie driver and received the Kenworth T680 Next Generation.

Leiva, a distinguished veteran with nearly 16 years in the U.S. Army, retired and returned to her hometown in Corpus Christi, Texas. After graduating from the transportation training program at Del Mar College, Ashley and her brother Johnny continued the trucking business started by their late mother. Renamed Noemi Trucking in her honor, the company hauls crude oil for Draco Energy in South Texas. Leiva is the first winner to be nominated by a National Association of Publicly Funded Truck Driving School.

“We were proud to present Ashley with the keys to the T680 Next Generation in recognition of her remarkable military career,” said Kyle Kimball, Kenworth director of marketing. “On behalf of Kenworth and all our employees, we are honored to have such an esteemed and accomplished professional driving one of our trucks.”

Award finalists will be determined by an expert panel of judges. To qualify, drivers must meet eligibility requirements as specified in the official “Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence Award” rules, including:

  • Be a legal resident of the continental United States and military veteran or current/former member of the National Guard or Reserves.
  • Graduated from PTDI-certified, NAPFTDS or CVTA member driver training school, with a valid CDL.
  • Have been employed by any for-hire carrier or private fleet that has pledged to hire veterans and hired as a CDL driver after January 1, 2022.

This year’s winner will drive away in the Kenworth T680 Signature Edition equipped with a 76-inch sleeper and the PACCAR Powertrain featuring the PACCAR MX-13 engine rated at 455 horsepower, PACCAR TX-12 automated transmission and PACCAR DX-40 tandem rear axles.

“Transportation is an industry focused on serving community and giving back so is a natural fit for military veterans looking to continue their careers on a service-oriented mission,” said Eric Eversole, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Vice President and Hiring Our Heroes president. “Hiring Our Heroes is proud to partner with FASTPORT and Kenworth to promote the hiring of more service members into the trucking industry.”

For more information about the “Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence Award” and to meet award semi-finalists, visit www.transitiontrucking.org.


About Kenworth Truck Company

Kenworth Truck Company is a North American truck manufacturer founded 100 years ago to solve the world’s toughest transportation challenges. Today, Kenworth specializes in the design and production of heavy- and medium-duty commercial vehicles – providing its customers with The World’s Best® trucks. Founded in 1923, Kenworth is driving the next 100 years of transportation innovations for our customers. Kenworth is a PACCAR company.


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