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Freedom, Security, Support
Landstar Supports an Active Duty Owner-Operator
But being a Landstar Million Mile Safe Driver isn’t the only accomplishment Lemasters can be proud of. For two weeks of every year and one weekend of every month he protects the safety of our country, as U.S. Army Reserve Drill Sergeant Lemasters.
“My journey in the military began in 1984 when I enlisted in the Army as an 11-Bravo infantryman,” explains Lemasters. “I left active duty and a few years after that, in 1999, I leased to Landstar. Then, in 2004, I re-enlisted in the Army Reserves.” Lemasters says Landstar has always fully supported his commitment to the military. This support was evident when he received mobilization orders to report to Fort Benning in Georgia. This time, instead of his normal two-week commitment, the orders required Lemasters to complete two years of service at Fort Benning.
“I was living in Rockford, Illinois, at the time,” says Lemasters. “When I called Landstar with my orders, Mark Harris and Scott Ray just went into action. They started planning to help me keep my lease active and keep my truck safe.”
First, Landstar Transportation Logistics Vice President of Capacity Development Scott Ray assured Lemasters that regardless of the length of his orders, his lease with Landstar would continue with no disruption or questions.
“We are proud to support the members of the Landstar network who are active duty military,” says Scott Ray. “The Landstar business model allows these entrepreneurs the freedom to serve their country and continue to run their independent business.”
Landstar Transportation Logistics Supervisor of Heavy/Specialized Operations Mark Harris then arranged for Lemasters to keep his truck parked in Landstar’s Rockford service center yard for the duration of his orders.
“What we did for Michael is what we would do for any BCO needing that type of support,” says Harris, who is a 30 year Landstar employee. “His service is to our country. Whatever we can do to help our BCOs, like Michael, we go the extra mile.”
When his duty was complete, Lemasters returned to his truck and his successful business as an independent owner operator.
“Their support meant I didn’t have to requalify as a Landstar BCO and I kept all of my miles when I returned to my truck,” says Lemasters. “They gave me peace of mind, so that while I was away, I didn’t have to worry.”
In 2017, Lemasters reached one million miles leased to Landstar, a career achievement he says was only possible because of everything Landstar does to assist him as an independent owner-operator and as a drill sergeant.
“The support Landstar gave me during my two years of service at Fort Benning allowed me to reach that million mile goal and keep going,” says Lemasters. “Even more so, the support they continuously give allows me to serve my country.”
The Patriot Award
In an effort to show his appreciation to Landstar for the years of support, Drill Sergeant Michael Lemasters nominated Landstar Transportation Logistics employees Scott Ray and Mark Harris for the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Patriot Award.
Awarded to supervisors for support provided directly to a nominating service member, the Patriot Award reflects the efforts made to support citizen warriors through a wide-range of measures. Those measures include, but are not limited to, flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families and granting leaves of absence.
In a small ceremony at the Rockford service center this summer, the Department of Defense Chairman of ESGR in Northeast Illinois Douglas A. Wallace presented Ray and Harris with the Patriot Award. During the ceremony Wallace commended Landstar and both employees for their actions to assist Lemasters during his two-year mobilization at Fort Benning.