The original RCEME trade structure consisted of over 25 trades, a large number of which were directly responsible for electrical, instrument of precision mechanical repairs. In fact, when the structure of the Instrument Trade was simplified around 1958, the Instrument Artificer Group 4 was created from four older Instrument Artificer trades: Field, Harbour Defence, Anti-Aircraft, and Harbour Defence and Anti-Aircraft (HD&AA). Similarly, the Instrument Technician replaced three Instrument Mechanics trades: Electrical, Optical, and HD&AA. At that time, Watchmaker, Typewriter Mechanic, Electrical Mechanic, Electrical Artificer, Fire Control Systems Technician (Anti-Aircraft), and Fire Control Systems Artificer (Anti-Aircraft) were still in existence.
With the integration and unification of the Armed Forces in the 1960s, all of these trades were either eliminated or combined into the new Electro-Mechanical Technician trade. Given the dissimilarity of the work performed by the old instrument and electrical trades, the forced marriage frequently resulted in frustration for the Craftsman.
From 1968 to 1978, there was a tremendous increase in the scope of repair and the level of technology assigned to this trade, particularly with the unification of many electronic systems. It became extremely difficult to conduct adequate training in the time available, and still maintain the level of expertise required for modern Electro-Optical Systems equipment. Accordingly, in 1978, the trade was re-structured in to Electro-Mechanical Technician, Fire Control Technician (Electronic), Fire Control Technician (Optronic) and Fire Control Systems Technician.
Since 1978, modern electronic and electro-optical systems like the Air Defence Anti-Tank System (a very sophisticated dual-purpose missile system), night observation devices, the Gun Alignment and Control System, the MILIPAC artillery computer, and electronic trainers and simulators have given the electro-optical group of technicians quite a challenge.
If technology advances as much in the next 50 years as it has since RCEME was formed, the Craftsmen working on electro-optronic systems will have a very demanding future.
The current Occupational Advisor is Maj Karen Poirier, while the Assistant Occupational Advisor is CWO Andrew Rose.