The lack of professional logistical capacity is argued to have resulted in poor decisions by humanitarian aid (HA) organisations following the Indian Ocean tsunami on 26 December 2004. Forty-two per cent of HA organisations responded to this event using assessments without expert logistics input, resulting in both a failure to anticipate bottlenecks in the supply chain and a poor evaluation of beneficiaries’ needs (Tatham and Pettit, 2010). Furthermore, the importance of having a professional logistic workforce should be set against the generally accepted cost of this function, which, including the procurement, transportation, warehousing, and distribution of materials, has been estimated to account for approximately 60–80 per cent of the total cost of HA (Van Wassenhove, 2006; Tatham and Pettit, 2010). In addition, as much as 30 per cent of aid delivered has been identified as wastage in some post-crisis situations (Pettit and Beresford, 2009). In parallel, and in light of the multiple challenges and issues that surfaced in the aftermath of the tsunami in 2004, a key aspect of the subsequent HA reform process has been to understand the core competencies needed by humanitarian organisations, and the associated development of appropriately skilled personnel (Overstreet et al., 2011; Kovács, Tatham, and Larson, 2012; Allen et al., 2013). This general aim of upskilling the workforce has been taken forward in the logistics domain, where the ability of managers to put in place and operate an agile supply chain in the complex and unstable post-disaster international context clearly requires a high level of professional skills, competence, and knowledge (Kovács and Spens, 2009; Tatham and Christopher, 2014). This, in turn, necessitates a range of cognitive and operational skills that will have to be identified, created, and supported (Eisenhardt, Furr, and Bingham, 2010). Work to pinpoint the resultant skills and competencies needed by the humanitarian logistician has addressed some of the emergent questions, such as by considering the differences between humanitarian logistics (HL) and commercial logistics in terms of required skills (Kovács and Tatham, 2010), recognising the logistic skillsets that are specific to the humanitarian context (Kovács, Tatham, and Larson, 2012), surveying humanitarian logisticians to understand their skill development needs (Allen et al., 2013), and comparing the skill requirements needed to address catastrophic incidents with those that are appropriate for ‘smaller’ disasters (Kovács, Tatham, and Larson, 2012). A further stream of the literature also translates identified skill needs into training and education requirements (Allen et al., 2013; Bölsche, Klumpp, and Abidi, 2013), but the link between the professional development of a humanitarian logistician and his or her career progression has yet to be considered in detail.