KATHLEEN, Ga. – Marine veteran James C. Rose is no stranger to leadership.
After a 30-plus year career in the military, commitments to working hard, staying disciplined and maintaining a positive attitude have always been at the forefront of his life.
Now, the veteran-turned-trucker is one of three finalists in the “Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence” program, which honors America’s top rookie military driver and recognizes veterans who have made a successful transition from active duty to driving for a commercial fleet.
Following more than 10 years of enlistment, Rose served as an officer for 20 years and retired as a lieutenant colonel.
Shortly after, 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,” Rose said. “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.”
Rose said his goal is to become a fleet owner within the next five years, adding that the trucking 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,” Rose said.
“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.”
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.
“To have the opportunity to win a (Kenworth) T680 and share this experience with fellow veterans is incredible,” Rose said. “If I do win the truck, I’ll have a head start in obtaining my goals.”
Prior to training Marine recruits, Rose spent several years as a Marine 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 that 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,” Rose said.
“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.”
Looking back on his military career, Rose said: “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.”
The Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence award winner will be announced on Dec. 17 at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C. More information is available by visiting www.transitiontrucking.org www.fastport.com and www.hiringourheroes.org
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.