Meet Your Army: Fort Gregg-Adams Soldier motivated by military heritage
Staff Sgt. Jamal Ferguson is an 88M motor transport operator assigned to Fort Gregg-Adams. He is a native of Walterboro, S.C. (Photo Credit: Terrance Bell) VIEW ORIGINAL

Name: Staff Sgt. Jamal Ferguson

Age: 27

Hometown: Walterboro, S.C.

Marital status: single

Unit: Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Army Combined Arms Support Command

Place of duty: The HHC, CASCOM orderly room working as an admin assistant and supply clerk

Time in service: Nine years

Military Occupational Specialty: 88M – motor transport operator. According to, motor transport operators play an important part on the Army’s transportation logistics team. They supervise and operate wheeled vehicles over all types of terrain to safely transport cargo, troops, and provide advanced mobility on all missions. They also manage loading and unloading among other responsibilities.

Background: Ferguson is one of five siblings – he has one sister and three brothers – who grew up in Walterboro. His father is a retired Soldier. Ferguson’s grandfather also served, as did his three uncles, including one who is a retired Army sergeant major and another who is a retired Air Force colonel. He also has a younger brother who sees him as “a hero” because he is following in his father’s footsteps. Ferguson said Walterboro did not excite him. “In my opinion, it wasn’t worth staying. You can find good jobs there, but you cannot become a better you.”

Did your military heritage influence your decision to join? “It influenced me a great deal because, growing up, that’s all I knew. I was even eating MREs with my dad at times because I was curious about how they tasted. The military showed me the strength my family has, and it empowered me to be like them. I wanted to be strong, do things on my own and stand on something with meaning.”

The exact reason for joining the Army: “I wanted to be just like my father, if not better, and did not want to be stuck in Walterboro without having something to do. Whenever I go home, I see people doing the same (unproductive) things, and I know that’s not me.”

Why you chose to be a motor transport operator: “I chose this MOS because I love to drive.”

What types of vehicles are 88Ms qualified to drive? “An 88M has the expertise to drive multiple types of vehicles – Humvees, FMTVs, LMTVs, HETs, JLTVs, etc.”

Your toughest driver challenge: “Helping to move all the vehicles in one motor pool at Camp Casey to Camp Hovey (South Korea). It was about a five-hour drive we made multiple times.”

Your current duties do not involve driving. Is this good or bad? “I see this assignment as something that gives me additional skills. Not working within your MOS is not going to hurt your career. You must look at it in a positive way – you become multi-functional in many different areas.”

How does the Army help to develop you as a Soldier and person? “It’s taught me a lot of resiliencies, etiquette, ways to be positive, adaptability and how to approach tough situations.”

The biggest changes you’ve seen during your time in the Army: “There are two – the first is its acceptance of transgender Soldiers and the wear and appearance policies. The first is an inclusivity measure – no matter your gender, you can join the military and serve your country. (In regard to wear and appearance, Ferguson, pointing to his afro-centric hairstyle, said), “Five years ago, I would’ve never been able to wear this. I still get (noncompliant) looks, but it’s allowable under the regulation.”

Best thing about the Army: “The flexibility. You can have something big or small at home and you are allowed to handle it. I like the care aspect of the Army. They take care of their people.”

Worst thing about the Army: “Toxic leadership – that can ruin people who want to be careerists.”

What is good leadership? “Good leadership is knowing your Soldiers, putting their needs before your own … and giving them constructive criticism.”

Long-term goals: “I’m two classes away from getting a bachelor’s degree in health sciences. I’m also going to start a graphic t-shirt business, get my barber’s license and earn a culinary arts degree.”