Cargo Specialist (88H) Job Description

A U.S. Army CH-47 Chinook helicopter carries cargo March 15, 2002 in the rugged Shah-e-Kot mountains, about 25 kilometers (15 miles) southeast of Gardez, Afghanistan. The Chinook is flying a mission in the mountains where hundreds of American soldiers from the Army10th Mountain Division and Canadian infantry soldiers are searching for caves and enemy in rugged mountainous terrain at high altitude.
Pool Photo / Getty Images

Basic Job Description

Cargo specialists help ensure Army forces receive supplies, weapons, equipment and mail - on a daily basis, all over the world. They are primarily responsible for transferring or supervising the transfer of passengers, cargo and equipment to and from air, land and water transport by manual and mechanical methods.

Duties performed by Soldiers in this MOS include:

  • Inspect, count and document cargo utilizing both manual and automated data processing systems
  • Load and unload supplies and equipment from ships, docks, beaches, railheads, boxcars, warehouses, motor vehicles and aircraft
  • Operate and maintain all types and sizes of winches, cranes and forklifts
  • Create load plans for air shipment and ocean liner vessels
  • Operate ocean liner vessel equipment

Training Information

Job training for a cargo specialist requires 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training and eight weeks of Advanced Individual Training with on-the-job instructions. Part of this time is spent in the classroom and part in the field.

Some of the skills you'll learn are:

  • Operation and care of forklifts, power winches, container handlers and cranes
  • Techniques for loading and storing cargo
  • Techniques for planning and scheduling cargo shipments
  • Safety procedures for handling potentially dangerous cargo

ASVAB Score Required: 88 in aptitude area GM

Security Clearance: None

Strength Requirement: very heavy

Physical Profile Requirement: 211222

Other Requirements

  • Color discrimination of red/green

Similar Civilian Occupations

  • The skills you learn will help prepare you for a career with trucking firms, air cargo companies and shipping lines. You'll be able to consider a future as an industrial truck operator, a stevedore, a longshoreman, a material handler or a cargo checker.