As an Ordnance Soldier of the United States Army, I will utilize every available talent and means to ensure that superior mobility, firepower, and communications are advantages enjoyed by the United States Army over its enemies. As an Ordnance Soldier, I fully understand my duty to perform under adverse conditions and I will continually strive to perfect my craft. I will remain flexible so that I can meet any emergency. In my conduct, I will abide by the Soldier’s code. In my support mission in the field, I will use every available skill to maintain superiority; I will always be tactically and technically proficient As an Ordnance soldier, I have no greater task.
~ U.S. Army Ordnance Soldier’s Creed
The Ordnance Corps, one of the oldest branches of the U.S. Army (14 May 1812), has a proud tradition dating back to colonial America when Samuel Sharpe was appointed as Master Gunner of Ordnance in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1629. For the next four hundred years, the Ordnance Corps served a pivotal role in the American Army: it built the weapons for the Union Army in the Civil War, it established forward maintenance as a key tenet during WWI, and organized the first Bomb Disposal Units in WWII.
In 1985, the Ordnance Corps became the first of the Army’s support elements to re-establish itself under the branch regimental concept. The Chief of Ordnance regained responsibility for decisions concerning personnel, force structure, doctrine, and training. This change gave the opportunity for Ordnance officers, soldiers, and civilians to identify with their historical predecessors in their mission of Ordnance support to the U.S. Army.
In the past 22 years, Ordnance personnel have engaged in three sustained operations in the Middle East which tested their ability to adapt. In Operation Desert Storm, Ordnance personnel supported the largest armored assault in American history. Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom called the Ordnance officers and soldiers to overcome a long-term insurgency campaign.
After nearly a century of operations at Aberdeen Proving Ground, the Chief of Ordnance and the Ordnance Corps moved to Fort Lee, Virginia in 2008 as part of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) decision. The new campus is dedicated to train approximately 70% of all Ordnance personnel. The remaining personnel are trained at one of six other locations across the United States. In 2011, the Ordnance Corps consists of approximately 2,700 officers, 3,000 warrant officers, and 100,000 soldiers serving on active duty or with the National Guard or Army Reserve.
Through Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, up to its current operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the men and women of the Ordnance Branch maintain its dedication to the spirit of “Support To The Line, On The Line, On Time!”