Service Member Loading a High Caliber Machine Gun

Explore Careers

Ordnance Specialists

Intelligence, Combat and Readiness

Service Branches

  • Army logo
  • Marines logo
  • navy logo
  • Air Force logo
  • Coast Guard logo

Work Environment

Ordnance specialists work indoors and outdoors. They work in repair shops while assembling explosives and repairing weapons. They work outdoors while repairing equipment in the field and loading weapons on tanks, ships, or aircraft.

  • Military Status


  • Average Military Salary



Ordnance specialists are responsible for the safety, security, and accountability of the Military’s weapons and ammunition. They perform a wide variety of duties including the safe receipt, storage, and transport of ordnance. They also inspect, prepare, and dispose of weapons and ammunition. Some of these specialists deal solely with the destruction and demilitarization of explosive items.

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. Ordnance specialists in the Military will gain skills through classroom study and on-the-job experience. Job-specific training content may include:

  • Maintenance of nuclear weapons
  • Handling, testing, and maintenance of missiles and rockets
  • Ammunition identification and ammunition-related publications
  • Ammunition/maintenance operations
  • Explosives demolition operations
  • Operation of automated and manual ammunition management systems
  • Basic electronics/electricity fundamentals
  • Hazards and identification of United States and foreign munitions
  • Demolition materials, procedures, and operations
  • Chemical and biological ordnance and operations
  • Chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive incident defense (CBRNE)

Helpful Attributes

  • Ability to remain calm under stress
  • Interest in working with guns and explosives

Related Civilian Careers

  • Packers and Packagers, Hand
  • Helpers--Installation, Maintenance and Repair Workers
  • Elevator and Escalator Installers and Repairers
  • Supervisors of Production and Operating Workers
  • Hazardous Materials Removal Workers
  • Industrial Machinery Mechanics
  • Mobile Heavy Equipment Mechanics, Except Engines
  • Bookkeeping, Accounting and Auditing Clerks
  • Business Continuity Planners