Stuck in 88m?

I have heard that if you go into an understrength mos it is hard to impossible to relcass when you reenlist to an overstrength, or balanced, mos. Is this true? If I were to join and go 88m does that mean I am stuck with this mos forever?
Original Post
I'm a 14J (Air Defense) but I went to AIT at the same base some of the 99M's get sent for school. Are there any other jobs you are qualified for? Or do you have a specific reason for wanting that MOS? Usually MOS's that are undermanned are that way for a reason. There are some 88M's on this forum though. They can give you the specifics.
Ok. I'll be honest. It is mainly for the bonus. Also, I like to drive. Asvab wise, there is no job in the army I don't qualify for, however, I have some credit issues (kinda why i need the bonus) that prevent me from getting a security clearance. So that throws out many cool mos's. I also like it because I want a job that is technically not combat arms, but that might give me a chance to get outside the wire and contribute that way. My wife would rather me not go combat arms, but also I am 36 years old, so a bit old for combat mos too. So the job seems cool to me, but I am wondering why they are so shorthanded to the point of offering such a big bonus. I know some of you are going to say don't pick a mos for the bonus. It isn't just that. So 88mikes, please advise. What do you think?
I was a 92F and we worked hand in hand with the 88M's all the time. Most that I knew seemed to enjoy their job. They liked it because when I was in it was mostly before Iraq and all that. They sat in a truck and drove folks around, worked on their vehicles (minor stuff), and thought it was a piece of cake. Now on the other hand, in Iraq, they do a lot more than that. Since anyone with a military license can basically be considered an 88M in the general scheme of things while deployed, many of them find that they are doing work outside of their MOS. Pulling guard, fueling trucks, and other tasks that require more than sitting in a vehicle all the time.

That's just what I know about the MOS from what I've seen and heard from friends within the field. Hopefully an 88M will swing by though and expand (or even correct if need be) and help you with your decision....

Good luck!
Well almost any job you pick you have a good possibility to outside the wire except for a few office clerk type jobs. But I've even heard of them going outside the wire. Remember on the enlistment bonus you won't get it all in one lump sum. They USUALLY spread it out over the length of your first enlistment. So if you get a 20k on a 4 year enlistment you will likely get 5k each year.

I would say pick a job you like. Your chances of going outside the wire completely depends on the type of unit you get into(it is more likely than not you will go outside the wire), which you really have no way of knowing until you graduate AIT.

I'll have to agree with WHISKY on this one. Most of the people I knew LOVED being an 88M in the states. Said it was one of the easiest jobs in the Army (not that any of them are particularly hard). But once they got in country I didn't hear to many positive things.
I've been an 88M for five years. AIT is 6wks long. They basically cram in all the basics of driving different types of vehicle and making sure you know the jist of driving. When you get to whatever unit you are in they usually have specific types of trucks. For example, my first unit was a PLS (Palletized Loading System). I didn't know crap about driving them, but we had to basically go to a class and get tested on driving them (so don't worry if you have the experience they'll make sure thats taken care of). As far as missions go, we were immediately deployed and we used our vehicles to move ammo, containers, barriers, etc from one place to another. We were obviously responsible for our own assigned vehicles and make sure that they stayed in good condition. I think the biggest deal when being deployed as an 88M are watching out for IEDs because they're the biggest cause for soldier fatalities. Right now, I currently working for NATO as an international driver. I'm responsible for picking up and dropping off different VIPs for conferences, meetings, etc in driving cars (so a little break from the big trucks). FYI, I love to drive its one of my hobbies but really after 5yrs I realized that I should've left it as that because now I'm focusing on my degree and would like to change to another MOS for experience and now things look a little grim for me. So make sure that you know what you want. I can't still change my MOS don't get me wrong, but the one I that I really would like is not available, at this time, for me. One more thing, all 88M careers don't go the same way. I've been deployed once in 5yrs. I know a few of my buddies that have been deployed at least 2 more times since my last(and first) deployment. I hope this helps!!
Originally posted by 14JSPC42007:
So if you get a 20k on a 4 year enlistment you will likely get 5k each year.

Nope. You would get $10,000 when you get to your first duty station (and the paperwork gets processed)...then the rest is divided so that you get part of it (minus tax) on every anniversary of your enlistment.
Nope. You would get $10,000 when you get to your first duty station (and the paperwork gets processed)...then the rest is divided so that you get part of it (minus tax) on every anniversary of your enlistment.

This is not how mine was broken down. I received a 20k bonus for a 3 year enlistment. It was split up into 3 installments. 1st one was given to me while I was towards the end of my AIT (7,000), 2nd was a year later (7,000), and the third was given to me the following year (6,000). A couple of the guys I went to AIT with were slightly different based off of their enlistment length. I think one of them actually received it the way you are mentioning because I heard him complaining he didn't get as much the 2nd go around.
I feel that 88M is a good career choice if its something that you don't mind doing 24/7 til retirement. Me, on the other hand, I see it as a hobby. I like to drive when I want where I want. I'm beginning to get tired of doing my regular runs and then feel burned out when I wanna go somewhere on my time off. Anyways, I feel when you get higher in rank then you have less and less options to choose. I'm being told now that I can only reclass into other critical shortage MOS that I qualify for. As far as the deployment question, I feel that I've been truly blessed. I went to Arifjan, Kuwait. I never experienced a lot of things that my comrades in the heart of it all experienced. I think where I was was like a resort compared to where they are. We were never attacked. We might of heard a few knuckleheads fire off there weapons in the distance, but never any close encounters, Thank the Lord. I feel like deployments are hard to determine where exactly you'll wind up. 88M are needed absolutely everywhere and in constant rotation. When I did recruiting, my station commander told me that there was this guy who joined the Army to be an 88M and got out with only 2yrs of service and with a letter of recommendation from him, he got a job working as a US Marshall. Just take your time and review all your options. Don't rush!
Chiming in a little late here but I am an 88M. I LOVE my job, wouldnt trade it for anything. I also drive a HET. We were at Camp AJ in Kuwait but ran missions up into Iraq as far north as Q west near Mosul. Just meant we spent more time on the road than at AJ. You are pretty close with those in your CLP so it makes it easier. My GT is 128. I chose 88M because I love to drive.

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