Army 88H MOS Cargo Specialist: What You Should Know

Today, I want to educate you about the Army 88H MOS, which is known as a Cargo Handling Specialist.  Basically, Soldiers in this MOS are the “experts” for everything the Army moves by land, air or sea. This MOS is part of the Transportation Corps.

I had the opportunity to supervise several Soldiers in this MOS throughout my officer career, and I personally believe it is a great MOS.  The Soldiers had a fun and challenging job and played a crucial role in moving equipment overseas and throughout the United States.

Here are a few of the 88H job duties:

  • Responsible for cargo documentation
  • Secure cargo
  • Load and unload containers and supplies
  • Operate Material Handling Equipment
  • Prepare railroad shipments
  • Operate cranes, winches and forklifts
  • Rigs gear on ships
  • Control aircraft loading and unloading
  • Plan warehouse storage
  • Operate ocean liner and vessel equipment

As an 88H, you could be assigned to:

  • An S4 Shop
  • A Transportation Company
  • A port
  • A MOB Station
  • An airport
  • A rail yard
  • A warehouse
  • Or just about anywhere else!

You might get assigned to a deployable unit.  You might not.  It just depends upon the needs of the Army.  You could get deployed overseas, depending upon which type of unit you are assigned to, and the needs of the Army.

Other posts you may enjoy:

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  3. Air National Guard Loadmaster: Duties, Responsibilities and Job Description
  4. The Unit Movement Officer Deployment Planning Course: An Overview

From what I found online, here are the qualifications to serve in the 88H MOS:

(1) A physical demands rating of very heavy.
(2) A physical profile of 211222.
(3) Color discrimination of red/green.
(4) A minimum score of 90 in aptitude area GM.
(5) MOS qualification may be attained by meeting the civilian acquired skills criteria listed in AR 601-210.

Please note that you do not need to be a U.S. citizen or have a Security Clearance to do this job.

AIT for 88H MOS

From what I found online, the 88H attends AIT at Fort Eustis, Virginia, which is home of the USA Transportation School and Center.  Fort Eustis is located in Newport News, Virginia.  AIT lasts just seven weeks.  Students receive classroom style instruction to learn how to do their job.

Life After the Army

I see this as a great MOS for life after the Army.  You could have any of the following civilian careers:

  • Forklift Operator
  • Crane Operator
  • Rail Yard Foreman
  • Warehouse Manager
  • Cargo Handler or Supervisor at Airport

Most of these are in demand jobs with a good starting wage.

Final Thoughts

The bottom line is that the 88H MOS is a great MOS for anyone looking to join the Army.  It might not have all the thrill and excitement that the infantry offers, but it’s a very important job in the Army that will give you real world skills that you can use after you leave the Army.

What are your thoughts about this MOS?  If you have ever served as an 88H Cargo Specialist, I would love to hear from you.  Please leave a comment below to share your experience.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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6 thoughts on “Army 88H MOS Cargo Specialist: What You Should Know”

  1. My son graduated boot camp TODAY at Ft Jackson and this is his MOS.

    He is excited to head out this Friday to Ft. Eustis and begin his training!

    His older brother shipped out to Basic last week and is at Ft Leonard Wood. His MOS is 68 Whiskey. So right now both of my sons are at basic.

    Very proud of my sons right now and I sure do miss them.

    (Family Day and Graduation ceremonies were cancelled for Ft. Jackson due to the damage left by hurricane Joaquin. TODAY we would have been with our youngest son)

    1. Hello, I loved coming across this & reading all the comments.
      My son graduated BCT at Fort Jackson March 17th & is now at Fort Eustis for his AIT for 88H. He’s loving it! However, suffered a fall on wet pavement during PT this past Friday morning & dislocated his shoulder. He has a profile & is currently waiting to schedule an MRI, but they did place his shoulder back in place and currently has it on a sling. My son is 19 yrs old & a hard worker, he earned Soldier Leader of the Cycle for his Company back at Fort Jackson and this has really taken a toll on him. He wants to continue with his training & graduate successfully. He’s continuing classroom & is trying his best to do everything he can do with one arm because it is also in his best interest to fully heal. I was wondering if you or anyone on here would know if it’s possible that he could finish & graduate successfully for this MOS while trying to recover. His MRI is taking long & I’m a bit disappointed at that. I’d appreciate any advice or guidance! Thank you!

  2. For any soldier who is not planning on making the Army his life-time career, this would be a great MOS to get into. As you stated Chuck, the job opportunities are numerous with the experience you receive from being a Cargo Specialist. Crane operators make very good wages in the civilian atmosphere, and there is a need for them. Jobs with the railroad are numerous, along with warehouse jobs. The other fact is: employers like these like to hire veterans in most cases.

      1. You are so right with that statement. I have seen people with Masters degrees having a difficult time finding work because they are over qualified??? I was always taught to learn everything I could so work will never be an issue. I learned to weld, concrete work, construction, and I also write. With so many experiences under my belt, it makes it easier to at least find something.

        There are warehouse jobs everywhere, so this would be a great MOS.

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