Marine Corps Job: Aviation Ordnance Systems Technician

These Marines Handle Airborne Weapons Systems

U.S. Navy, Aviation Ordnancemen load ordnance into an F/A-18E Super Hornet
  U.S. Navy/Getty Images

Marine Corps aviation ordnance equipment repair technicians perform some of the most dangerous tasks in the military. They repair, stow, test, maintain, assemble and transport airborne armament equipment. This includes such weapons as air-launched missiles, aircraft guns, turrets and aerial targets. 

They also perform inspections, testing, adjustments and preventive maintenance on support equipment. 

This job is considered a primary military occupational specialty (PMOS) and is categorized as PMOS 6541.

Qualifying for PMOS 6541

To be eligible for this job, you must be a U.S. citizen, have normal color perception (no colorblindness) and be at least 64 inches but not more than 75 inches tall. In addition, you need a valid state drivers' license.

You'll need a score of at least 105 on the general technical (GT) segment of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery(ASVAB) tests. And this job requires a secret security clearance from the Department of Defense. This process involves background checks of your character and finances, and any history of drug or alcohol abuse may be disqualifying. 

There are specific medical requirements for explosives handlers and explosives vehicle operators, and a training and licensing course. You'll take these courses at the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training (CNATT)  at the Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point, North Carolina. 

Duties of PMOS 6541

The responsibilities for this job vary depending on the Marine's rank. 

From private through staff sergeant these Marines:

  • Assemble and perform maintenance on air-launched missiles, and conventional munitions, as authorized
  • Identify munitions by type, nomenclature, and explosive hazard, and identify appropriate emergency response procedures 
  • Transport explosives using appropriate safety procedures
  • Conduct ammunition inventories and maintain stock records of lots/serial numbers.

From staff sergeant to corporal, the duties expand to include: 

  • Maintaining records and distinguishing the different modifications on missiles and conventional munitions 
  • Inspecting the maintenance, storage, and shipment of explosives.
  • Preparing ammunition requisitions and takes requisition follow-up actions.
  • Making ammunition issues, preparing invoices and custody records.
  • Maintaining files, preparing naval messages, and submitting ammunition transactions

Sergeants and staff sergeants in this job are tasked with all of the above, as well as:

  • Establishing training programs
  • Preparing reports including ordnance deficiency reports, explosive mishap reports, quality reports, and missing and stolen ammunition reports
  • Determining the serviceability of ammunition and performing ammunition sentencing functions.
  • Establishing and supervising the operation of a Forward Arming and Refueling Points (FARP)
  • Supervising operations in an ammunition assembly area

Aviation ordnance systems technicians with the rank of staff sergeant conduct administrative and material inspections, prepare naval messages, orders, instructions and safety precautions, and manage the Ammunition Stock Recording System (ASRS).