Ordnance Specialist ... (Military - Enlisted)  What They Do

Just the Facts


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.

This career is part of the Government and Public Administration cluster National Security pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Identifies munitions and equipment requirements; operates and maintains automated data processing equipment (ADPE) to perform inspection, testing, and stockpile management activities
  • Stores, maintains, tests, assembles, issues, and delivers assembled munitions; prepares munitions for loading; checks safety and arm mechanisms
  • Installs warheads, guidance units, fuses, arming wires, squibs, strakes, wings, fins, control surfaces, and tracking flares
  • Analyzes stockpile requirements to determine type and quantity of munitions facilities needed to safely store, inspect, maintain, and secure munitions assets
  • Supervises the maintenance, repair, and inspection of all small arms weapons and towed artillery howitzers and directs the activities of assigned enlisted personnel in a small arms or towed artillery repair shop or facility
  • Operates and performs operator maintenance on armament weapons support equipment and aircraft armament equipment
  • Inspects ammunition, components, and containers for defects; prepares documentation indicating identification and quantity of assets
  • Conducts functional tests of racks, launchers, adapters and electrical components, and aircraft armament circuits
  • Locates, identifies, renders safe, and disposes of foreign and domestic conventional, chemical, or nuclear ordnance and improvised explosive devices (IED)
  • Utilizes and maintains advanced equipment, such as, robotics, x-ray, landmine, and chemical, biological, radiation, and nuclear detection equipment

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Exposed to conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Exposed to hazardous situations involving possible injury such as cuts, bites, stings, and minor burns more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of special protective items such as a breathing apparatus, safety harness, full protection suit, or radiation protection

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Moving the arms, legs and torso together when the whole body is in motion
  • Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying objects

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel