FTCC graduate Brandon Meredith has been named the 2023 Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence Award Winner.
The award, presented by Fastport Transport, recognizes the trucking industry’s best veterans-turned-drivers in the first year of their careers.
Meredith was announced as this year’s winner Friday, Dec. 15, at the Veteran Ready Summit in Washington, D.C. He’ll receive the competition’s top prize — a fully-loaded Kenworth T680 Next Generation truck — next week. Meredith was also awarded a full scholarship for a business degree.
When he learned of his selection as one of five finalists for the award, Meredith said the truck would go a long way to helping him achieve his eventual goal of becoming a self-employed driver.
“This contest could help me become an independent contractor,” Meredith said. “That’s where I see myself going — becoming an owner-operator, and then reluctantly maybe, eventually settling into a desk job.”
It’s the cap on a successful year for the rookie driver. Meredith officially separated from the U.S. Army on March 31 but had a job the very next day as he spent the final month of his active duty service training for his CDL through FTCC’s Transition Tech program.
It was a major shift in careers for Meredith, who spent the bulk of his 20-year military service with Special Operations Forces, working as a Civil Affairs Soldier, a combat medic and a candidate assessor.
He spent the year driving a tanker truck — a rarity for drivers so early in their career — and he garnered Driver of the Month awards in his second and third months with Slay Transportation.
“FTCC is extremely proud of Brandon’s accomplishment and the opportunity this brings to help him realize his dream of being an owner operator and owning his own business,” FTCC President Dr. Mark Sorrells said. “His achievement is a testament to the quality of training FTCC provides to our active duty, veterans and dependents.”