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Cargo Specialists

Transportation, Distribution & Logistics

Service Branches

  • Army logo
  • navy logo
  • Air Force logo

Work Environment

Cargo specialists work outdoors on loading docks and indoors in warehouses.

  • Military Status


  • Average Military Salary



Cargo specialists ensure service members all over the world receive needed supplies and are themselves transferred safely and efficiently to their destinations. They are responsible for transferring or supervising the transfer of cargo to and from air, land, and water transport by manual and mechanical methods. They also plan and organize loading schedules.

Military Training

All enlisted service members complete basic military training, which includes time spent in a classroom and in the field, and covers tactical and survival skills, physical training, military life and customs, and weapons training. Job training for cargo specialists consists of classroom and on-the-job instruction, including practice in cargo operations. Training content may include:

  • Techniques for loading and storing cargo
  • Techniques for planning and scheduling cargo shipments
  • Methods for identifying, packing, storing, and transporting hazardous material
  • Receipt, identification, classification, and inventory of stock
  • Packaging methods and procedures
  • Operation and care of forklifts, power winches, and cranes

Helpful Attributes

  • Interest in working with forklifts and cranes
  • Preference for physical work

Related Civilian Careers

  • Packers and Packagers, Hand
  • Tank Car, Truck and Ship Loaders
  • Laborers and Freight, Stock and Material Movers, Hand
  • Transportation Security Screeners
  • Flight Attendants
  • Shipping, Receiving and Inventory Clerks
  • Maintenance Workers, Machinery
  • Cargo and Freight Agents