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Watercraft Engineer (88L)

Mechanics Army MOS Information
  • Enlisted
  • Active Duty
  • Army Reserve

Army operations aren’t strictly limited to land. Ocean going and harbor craft are often used to support operations throughout the continental United States and overseas. It’s up to members of the Army watercraft operation team to navigate, pilot, and maintain these watercraft. Army watercraft soldiers have unique opportunities to embark upon specialized landing craft, small and large tugs, and high speed craft, and gain valuable skills in all aspects of maintaining each of these craft. Watercraft engineers are part of a maintenance team aboard these vessels.

Watercraft Engineers are primarily responsible for supervising or performing maintenance on Army watercraft and auxiliary equipment on marine vessels. Some of your duties as a Watercraft Engineer may include:

  • Standing watch in the engine room while craft is underway
  • Performing daily systems checks and posting all instrument and gage readings to the engineer logbook
  • Positioning fuel control racks and adjusting throttle controls to maximize engine efficiency
  • Repairing and maintaining gasoline and diesel engines
  • Locating and repairing machinery parts, including valves and piping systems
  • Repairing watercraft propulsion machinery
  • Repairing and servicing hoisting machinery and watercraft elevators
  • Repairing refrigeration and air conditioning equipment on watercraft
  • Repairing engine-related electrical systems


Job training for a Watercraft Engineer consists of nine weeks of Basic Training, where you’ll learn basic Soldiering skills, and eight weeks of Advanced Individual Training, including practice in marine engine maintenance and repair. Part of this time is spent in the classroom and part in the field. You’ll learn:

  • Internal combustion engine theory
  • Repair of electronic and electrical machinery systems
  • Service and repair of fuel injection systems

Helpful Skills:

Helpful attributes include:

  • An interest in shop mechanics
  • An interest in fixing engines and machinery
  • An ability to use hand and power tools
  • A preference for doing physical work

Advanced Responsibilities:

Advanced level Watercraft Engineers supervise and train the other Soldiers within the same discipline. As an advanced level Watercraft Engineer, you may also be involved in:

  • Preparing vessel equipment for operation
  • Starting, operating, troubleshooting and securing vessel engines
  • Computing fuel requirements and documenting fuel usage
  • Compiling and maintaining the engine room records

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