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88K Watercraft Operator








About 88K

The U.S. Army Transportation Corps' 88K Watercraft Operators are disciplined, technical experts that provide the Army with maritime capabilities. They operate and maintain lifeboats and vessel firefighting equipment, stand lookout and perform helm watches, and operate Class B vessels. 88K Watercraft Operators are responsible for navigation, cargo operations, and supervising other Soldiers on Army watercraft. As part of the piloting team, you’ll train in the basics of seamanship and vessel operations, using electronic positioning systems, handheld navigation devices, and traditional watch standing procedures.

88K Watercraft Operators are trained in:

  • Boat handling techniques
  • Docking/Undocking vessels
  • Drop and weigh anchor
  • Interpret code signal flags
  • Send and receive messages via radio, beacon, and signal flag.
  • Emergency water survival
  • Lifeboats and fast-boat operation
  • Shipboard firefighting and other emergency procedures

Soldiers training in shipboard firefighting

88K Cargo Specialist

Soldiers learning docking  procedures

88K Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) (Sergeant – Sergeant First Class)

88K Watercraft Operators working on their vessels.

At the NCO level, 88K Watercraft Operators maintain vessel charts, publications, orders, and log books, stand lookout and perform helm watches, and send and receive messages with radios, beacons, and signals. They are skilled in navigating a boat or watercraft and able to beach and retract landing crafts. They are the primary trainer of Soldiers and coach, counsel, and care for subordinates.

88K NCO Knowledge, Skills, Behaviors

88K KSB Storyboard

SGT E-5 Knowledge, Skills, Behaviors Storyboard SSG E-6 Knowledge, Skills, Behaviors Storyboard SFC E-7 Knowledge, Skills, Behaviors Storyboard

88K Enlisted Career Paths

As an 88K Watercraft Operator, opportunities are available to secure civilian credentials which can be applied towards points for promotion within the Army as well as expand opportunities for application outside the Army.