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Army

Weapons Technician – Land

Non-Commissioned Member | Full Time, Part Time


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Overview

Weapons Technicians maintain and repair weapons, weapons systems and ancillary equipment.  They are members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Corps of Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. They also are responsible for the maintenance and repair of miscellaneous equipment such as scales, hydraulic lifts, locks and security containers, personal flotation devices, rebreathers, and equipment for heating, cooking and lighting in the field.

Weapons Technicians are primarily responsible for the maintenance and repair of the following equipment:

  • Rifles, submachine- guns and handguns
  • Machine-guns and non-guided anti-tank weapons
  • Sub-calibre adapters
  • Training devices, including simulators
  • Grenade projectors, mortars and launcher systems
  • Light weapons and turret systems for armoured fighting vehicles

Work environment

Weapons Technicians are employed at bases and stations across Canada and on deployed operations around the world. They experience the unique adventures and challenges that come with working in different environments. While on a base, they may be working in small spaces, like a workshop. In the field or on deployment they may work outdoors most of the time or in temporary accommodations.

Career Overview

Transcript

Canadian Armed Forces Recruiting Videos


WEAPONS TECHNICIAN – LAND
 

Reviewed – 23 Mar 23 


 

CORPORAL MATT BERGERON: I'm Corporal Matt Bergeron from Ottawa, Ontario – a Weapons Technician posted to 2 Service Battalion at CFB Petawawa. 

 

NARRATOR: Maintaining today’s advanced weapons systems is a job that requires intensive training, total concentration, and zero tolerance for mistakes. From handguns to howitzers, Weapons Techs ensure that Canadian soldiers can rely on weapons that work, every time.

 

CORPORAL MATT BERGERON: The role of a Weapons Technician in the Canadian Armed Forces is to maintain the combat effectiveness of all the units in which they support, whether it be small arms, pistols, rifles, machine guns all the way up to your armaments or howitzers, tanks, light armoured vehicles. There's a huge range of equipment that we're responsible for and you can never get bored.

 

NARRATOR: Whether it’s in garrison working in a shop, or providing support on ranges or during combat operations, Weapons Technicians are essential to the effectiveness of the combat arms. 

 

CORPORAL MATT BERGERON: Once I deployed, I immediately realized that there's a much greater goal than just what I was accomplishing, but how important my part in that goal was. I got to sit down with the operators and build a rapport with them and become a part of their team and immediately see my impact on their day-to-day activities with the work that I did.

 

CORPORAL MATT BERGERON: In order to be a good Weapons Technician, you need to have the ability to picture machinery in your head. You need to be able to picture how a weapon works, because once it breaks down, you don't always have the books, you don't always have the manuals, especially out on ranges or on the frontlines. You need to be able to picture in your head what's not working and why and how the parts interact with each other in order to effectively repair them as fast as possible.




 

CORPORAL MATT BERGERON: The coolest part about being a Weapons Technician is attending all the different ranges and being able to see my direct contribution to my unit's readiness. You get to see all these different weapons platforms be put to use and be operated by the best of the best. When the user comes to me with a broken weapon and I'm able to repair it immediately on the spot, the gratitude you get from them is like none other. You will not get a job satisfaction like this anywhere else.


 


NARRATOR: Once they complete their training, Weapons Technicians are posted to one of the many Canadian Armed Forces bases across the country where they’ll be assigned to a combat arms unit or a service battalion. There are also opportunities for Weapons Techs in the Primary Reserve, serving part-time in their local community while going to school or working at a civilian job. 

 

Weapons Technicians are a critical part of the Corps of Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, and they work closely with Electronic-Optronic Technicians, Materials Technicians and Vehicle Technicians to keep the Army’s equipment in top shape.

 

CORPORAL MATT BERGERON: The most challenging part about being a Weapons Technician is that you're figuring out these puzzles and you're under immense pressure the entire time. But it's also the most rewarding once you get to return that equipment to the users.

 

Arte et Marte – “By Skill and by Fighting” – is the motto of the RCEME Corps. Weapons Technicians are soldiers first and foremost, and they receive the same basic combat training as all other Army soldiers. They need to be as mobile as the units they are supporting and often work out of a mobile repair shop or a temporary repair facility when they are out on exercise or on missions overseas.




 

CORPORAL MATT BERGERON: Being in the Canadian Armed Forces is unlike any job I've ever had before. It's more than just a 9 to 5. It's a lifestyle. You could be working in an office one day and then across the world the next. Things change and you get to meet all sorts of different people. And they're the best of the best every time. 

 

Related Civilian Occupations

  • Gun Assembler
  • Firearms Inspector
  • Small Arms Tester
  • Gunsmith
  • Locksmith

Training

The first stage of training is the Basic Military Qualification course, or Basic Training, held at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. This training provides the basic core skills and knowledge common to all trades. A goal of this course is to ensure that all recruits maintain the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) physical fitness standard; as a result, the training is physically demanding.

Learn more about Basic Training here.

Weapons Technicians attend the Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers School in Borden, Ontario for 35 weeks. Through a combination of instruction, demonstrations and practical work, they learn the following subjects:

  • Care and use of common and special tools and electrical test equipment
  • Operation and principles of weapon systems
  • Electricity and hydraulics
  • Use of firearms, pyrotechnics and grenades
  • Maintenance of small arms, mortars, recoilless rifles, towed field guns, and turret systems for armoured fighting vehicles
  • Basic identification and handling of ammunition
  • Alignment of sighting devices
  • Test-firing weapons
  • Knowledge of various ancillary equipment
  • Basic soldiering skills, including field craft, rescue techniques and first aid and
  • Operation of light armoured vehicles, armoured reconnaissance vehicles and armoured personnel carriers

On-the-job training

Weapons Technicians are posted to a unit on a CAF base for about 18 months of on-job training which resembles a civilian apprenticeship program.

Weapons Technicians may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training, including attending further technical training. There is also the possibility of taking training to reach supervisor and manager levels. The supervisor level course takes about 15 weeks, and the manager level course takes about nine weeks.

As they progress in their career, Weapons Technicians who demonstrate the required ability and potential will be offered advanced training. Available courses include:

  • High security containers and locking devices
  • Leopard tank
  • GIAT light towed Howitzer
  • M777 medium lightweight towed Howitzer

After Basic Training, Army recruits go to a Military Training centre for the Basic Military Qualification – Land Course for approximately one month, which covers the following topics:

  • Army physical fitness
  • Dismounted offensive and defensive operations
  • Reconnaissance patrolling
  • Individual field craft

Entry plans

No previous work experience or career related skills are required.  CAF recruiters can help you decide if your personal interests and attributes match the criteria for this occupation.

The minimum required education to apply for this occupation is the completion of the provincial requirements for Grade 10 or Secondary 4 in Quebec, including Grade 10 Applied Math or Math 416 / CST 4 in Quebec, and Grade 10 Science or equivalent.

Foreign education may be accepted.

Part time options

This position is available for part-time employment with the Primary Reserve at certain locations across Canada. Reserve Force members usually serve part time at a military unit in their community, and may serve while going to school or working at a civilian job. They are paid during their training. They are not posted or required to do a military move. However, they can volunteer to move to another base. They may also volunteer for deployment on a military mission within or outside Canada.

Weapons Technicians serve with the Canadian Army. They are employed maintaining and repairing weapons, weapons systems and related equipment for military training and operations. When employed on a part-time or casual full-time basis, they usually serve at a military location within Canada

Find a Recruiting Centre

Reserve Force members are trained to the same level as their Regular Force counterparts. They usually begin training with their home unit to ensure that they meet the required basic professional military standards. Following basic military training and Soldier qualification, the home unit will arrange for additional training for specialized skills. Weapons Technicians attend the Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers School in Borden, Ontario for 35 weeks.

Reserve Force members usually serve part-time with their home unit for scheduled evenings and weekends, although they may also serve in full-time positions at some units for fixed terms, depending on the type of work that they do. They are paid 92.8% of Regular Force rates of pay, receive a reasonable benefits package and may qualify to contribute to a pension plan.