Senior Ammunition Technician
With 17 years’ experience working in Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) around the world, Senior Ammunition Technician WO1 Clinton – one of the most senior warrant officers in the British Army - is now shaping the next generation of specialists.
WO1 Clinton is the Ammunition Technician Head of Trade, responsible for the delivery of explosive engineering lessons at the Defence Weapons, Ordnance, Munitions and Explosives (WOME) Engineering School, at the Defence Academy.
He joined the Army in 2005 at the age of 17, having left school “with just GCSEs and knowing very little about the ammunition technician trade”.
In 2021, following two decades of military service distinguished by significant global operational experience, he was appointed ammunition technician conductor - one of the most senior and prestigious appointments that can be held by a warrant officer in the British Army. “We want our Head of Trade to be the first person to teach and develop our next batch of ammunition technicians.
“Without question the operational element is a clear delineator here at the engineering school. We’ve got a good blend of academic and military staff, and some of our military personnel are academic heavy-hitters themselves. But that operational experience – the ability to apply, not just understand, the rules – is critical. I’ve carried out hundreds of EOD tasks; I’ve handled explosives in complex domains both in the UK and overseas. This role brings a wealth of hands-on experience, so I understand the snags and key elements of WOME principles, and how best to support the development journey for our students.”
The Ammunition Technician Class 2 course is challenging and comprehensive, taking students from across the Army through the fundamentals of ammunition theory, from beginner to intermediary level.
Most soldiers across defence usually enrol on a trade specific Diploma at Level 2, but the Defence Academy, in affiliation with Pearson TQ, offers the Level 4 Diploma in OME – the highest accreditation on which a private soldier in the British Army can enrol.
Before enlisting, candidates must pass a civilian aptitude test to qualify for the Ammunition Selection Board headed by WO1 Clinton, to demonstrate the necessary skillset across theory, reference, maths, mechanical reasoning and planning exercises, as well as attending an interview.
“I look at the 17 to 25-year-olds coming through today and think about where I started and all of the massive benefits and opportunities the Army has given me, which I’ve grabbed with both hands. Helping these young soldiers begin their journey in the right way and making sure they stay on the right path is the most rewarding element of my job."