How To Become Aviation Ordnanceman

Aviation ordnance refers to the weapons, weaponry systems, and explosives that armed aircraft use. U.S. military branches, primarily the Navy, Marines, and Air Force, have specially trained aviation ordnanceman to handle, install, and maintain these systems. These positions are often someone who has enlisted in the armed forces, but some branches also hire civilians for this type of work. Civilians involved in this field may work for the military or a private company who is contracted with the armed forces to supply these kinds of weapons. Their job duties may include inspecting the weapons for problems and installing or repairing the systems as necessary. Aviation ordnance workers also ensure the safe transportation and storage of arms and the disposal of damaged or faulty weapons.

How to become an aviation ordnanceman
  1. Complete education requirements. Complete the education requirements for joining the military. …
  2. Meet with a recruiter. …
  3. Take the ASVAB test. …
  4. Meet the qualifications. …
  5. Attend boot camp. …
  6. Complete “A” School training. …
  7. Complete strand training.


What does an aviation ordnanceman do?

An aviation ordnanceman handles a variety of duties related to maintaining, inspecting and repairing the mechanical and electrical armament ordnance systems of Navy aircraft. They may perform duties at sea on flight decks or on land in hangars, shops or flight lines at air stations. They work in a variety of environmental conditions, and they often complete physical work with little to no supervision. However, aviation ordnancemen often work closely in teams with others.

Possible responsibilities of an aviation ordnanceman may include:

What is an aviation ordnanceman?

An aviation ordnanceman (AO) is a sailor in the Navy with a specific occupational rating. They are responsible for handling, maintaining and servicing weapons on all types of Navy aircraft. They work with weapons like machine guns, mines and torpedoes on Navy aircraft that may launch from ship or shore. Aviation ordnancemen have a variety of skills, such as:

The Navy Occupational Specialty Code, or NOS Code, for an aviation ordnanceman is A420. However, there are a variety of specific jobs for sailors with the AO occupational rating. These jobs include:

The AO occupational rating requires a five year or 60 month service obligation. Each Navy occupational rating requires a Sea/Shore rotation. Working as an aviation ordnanceman often has a stronger focus of sea duty assignments.

How to become an aviation ordnanceman

Here are some steps to follow to become an aviation ordnanceman:

1. Complete education requirements

Complete the education requirements for joining the military. Enlisting in the military generally requires you to have at least a high school diploma, but you may be able to enlist with a GED. Becoming an aviation ordnanceman does not require a college degree, but you may still pursue a degree.

2. Meet with a recruiter

Meet with a recruiter from the Navy to help you with the enlisting process. Your recruiter may serve as a valuable contact and resource for you. If you want to pursue a college degree before enlisting, they may help you choose the degree best suited for your desired career path as an aviation ordnanceman.

3. Take the ASVAB test

Complete the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test, or the ASVAB test, to assess your aptitude for various careers within the military. This military entrance exam includes ten short tests with multiple-choice questions, and you must complete the tests within three hours or less. You receive individual scores, called line scores, that factor into your overall composite score. Your scores determine your eligibility for each branch and the jobs you may have once you enlist.

There are two possible ASVAB test scores to receive to qualify to become an aviation ordnanceman. The first possible score requires you to earn a score of 185. This score factors these sections:

The other possible score is lower. However, fewer sections factor in this score. The second possible score requires you to each a score of 140 based on these sections:

4. Meet the qualifications

Enlisting in the Navy and becoming an aviation ordnanceman requires you to meet certain qualifications in addition to earning certain ASVAB scores. You must be at least 17 years old and a United States citizen or legal permanent resident. You must also have:

Becoming an aviation ordnanceman also requires you to qualify for classified security clearance. You will undergo a background check of you finances and criminal record to determine your eligibility for security clearance. Some drug or criminal offenses may disqualify you from receiving the necessary level of clearance.

5. Attend boot camp

After you enlist, you must attend and complete boot camp. Boot camp for the Navy lasts eight weeks and takes place at the Recruiting Training Command Great Lakes (RTC Great Lakes) in North Chicago, IL. Boot camp prepares recruits with the basic skills they need to become sailors.

6. Complete “A” School training

After finishing boot camp, you with complete “A” School training. This nine-week training program takes place at the Naval Air Technical Training Center on the Pensacola Naval Air Station in Pensacola, FL. “A” school combines group instruction, shop training and classroom training. Curriculum covers basic aviation theory, electronics troubleshooting and the basic skills for rating.

7. Complete strand training

Strand training follows “A” School training. Strand training is on-the-job training related to prepare you for the specific requirements of your assigned duty. There are two types of strand training:


How much does a Aviation Ordnanceman make?

Average US Navy Aviation Ordnanceman yearly pay in the United States is approximately $55,925, which is 49% above the national average.

Where do Aviation Ordnanceman get stationed?

Aviation Ordnancemen (AO) are weapons specialists charged with managing all types of ammunition carried on Navy aircraft. Your job responsibilities as an AO may include: Inspecting, maintaining and repairing mechanical and electrical weapons and ordnance systems on aircraft.

How long is Aviation Ordnance A School?

AOs perform their duties at sea on flight decks and ashore in hangars, on flight lines at air stations or in shops under various environmental conditions.

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