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Ordnance Schools Move Into a New Era

This past year has been a wonderfully rewarding journey for the Army Ordnance Center and Schools. On 8 May, after 92 years at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, the Ordnance Center and Schools cased its colors and began transitioning to its new home at Fort Lee, Virginia. The colors casing ceremony was a bittersweet experience for us and for the Aberdeen Proving Ground community as a whole.

While Aberdeen will always have a special place in the hearts of all Ordnance Soldiers and civilians, it is imperative that we provide the very best training for our troops. Therefore, we are looking forward to moving our headquarters to Fort Lee, where modern, state-of-the-art facilities and technologically advanced equipment are readily available to meet the skills-based training that our Soldiers need. The facilities and equipment at Fort Lee will also afford us opportunities to not only meet but also exceed the high standards we have always maintained.

Today, the Ordnance branch is the second largest branch in the Army and the Ordnance warrant officer branch ranks as the largest warrant officer technical branch. Ordnance Soldiers continue to provide support across the Army, with approximately 76 percent of Ordnance Soldiers working in units that are not designated Ordnance units.

We oversee three career management fields (CMFs) for 34 enlisted military occupational specialties (MOSs). The three CMFs are CMF 63, mechanical maintenance; CMF 89, ammunition; and CMF 94, electronic maintenance. In fiscal year 2010, CMF 63 will convert to CMF 91. This change was deemed necessary to align the mechanical maintenance field with the numeric designation of the officer area of concentration (AOC).

Warrant officers in 9 Ordnance warrant officer MOSs receive training at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland; Redstone Arsenal, Alabama; Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; Fort Gordon, Georgia; and Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Our warrant officers are leaders, trainers, advisers, and technical experts in their professions. Their diverse backgrounds, experience, and training enable them to support a wide range of Army missions and units throughout their careers.

The Ordnance Center and Schools also offer two officer AOCs: 89E for ammunition and 91A for maintenance. Upon completion of the Combined Logistics Captains Career Course at Fort Lee, these officers are assigned AOC 90A, which designates them as multifunctional logisticians. Fourteen additional skill identifiers are also available to officers. Training for Reserve component personnel is offered at 19 Regional Training Sites-Maintenance.

Though Ordnance Soldiers currently receive training in 9 locations, our transition to Fort Lee will reduce our training footprint. This change will be transparent to incoming personnel. Staffed with highly skilled instructors and featuring the best facilities and equipment, Fort Lee will provide a quality of training that will surpass most expectations. The benefit for all is that gaining units will receive the highest quality and best trained Ordnance Soldiers among their ranks. Go Ordnance!

Brigadier General Lynn A. Collyar is the Chief of Ordnance and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Ordnance Center and Schools.

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