Watercraft operator (88K)

Watercraft operators are primarily responsible for navigation, cargo operations and supervising other Soldiers on Army watercraft. They are part of a piloting team using electronic positioning systems, handheld navigation tools and traditional watch standing procedures aboard many of the Army’s watercraft.

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The Army mission spans the globe, and includes land, air, and water operations. To accomplish these operations the Army employs a variety of watercraft and it is the responsibility of the Soldiers of Military Occupational Specialty Watercraft Operator are a crucial element to the success of the mission.

After successfully completing 10 weeks of Army Basic Combat Training, you will attend Advanced Individual Training at Fort Eustis, Virginia where the Army trains Watercraft Operators in the basics of seamanship and vessel operations including of shipboard customs and courtesies as well as Marlinspike seamanship.

Because safety is such an important part of this job, Watercraft Operators are taught emergency procedures such as water survival, shipboard firefighting, and damage inspection and control. Watercraft Operators train to secure all types of cargo aboard these watercraft and to operate various types of deck machinery. Watercraft Operators train to identify, interpret, and send single letter international code signals as well as the proper preservation of vessel surfaces and mechanical equipment.

After Initial Entry Training and Advanced Individual Training, Watercraft Operators work supporting Army operations where their duties may include a variety of tasks like docking and undocking watercraft, helping and anchoring, or securing cargo and equipment to the deck. Other duties may include general watercraft security as well as the inspection and maintenance of shipboard equipment, maintaining the watercraft surfaces and compartments and its emergency safety equipment

Serving as a Watercraft Operator can help you transition from the military to the civilian employment sector because your skills in leadership, teamwork, and problem-solving are skills and values in demand by civilian employers.

The Army’s fleet of marine vessels and the people who keep them going are a crucial part of the transportation logistics team as a Military Occupational Specialty Watercraft Operator.