Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Technicians have expertise in the most conventional and unconventional explosives to ensure the secure disposal of explosive weaponry. They are on call to respond to any type of ordnance, and they receive specialized training to handle chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. They investigate and demolish natural and man-made underwater obstructions, prepare coastal regions for amphibious landings, and warn about potential threats at home and abroad.
Whether getting the job done in a bomb suit or by utilizing state-of-the-art robotic technology, Navy EODs are trained to use the most advanced tools of their kind in a role that’s vital to the safety of servicemembers and civilians.
As a Navy EOD Technician, you will have many far-ranging duties that can cast you on missions across the world. Your duties may require you to:
- Detonate and demolish hazardous munitions, pyrotechnics and outdated explosives
- Work with cutting-edge technology to remotely disable unsafe ordnance
- Perform parachute or helicopter insertion operations
- Support law enforcement agencies
- Clear waterways of mines in support of the Fleet
Your unique skills and knowledge will add to the strengths of other Special Operations units, as well as your own. As an EOD Technician, you may also:
- Locate, identify, neutralize, recover and dispose of various ordnances, such as sea mines, torpedoes and depth charges
- Support other Special Operations/Special Warfare units, such as Navy SEALs, Army Special Forces and Marine Expeditionary Units
- Help the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Department of State to protect the President, Vice President and other officials and dignitaries
- Assist with security at large international events, such as sporting events or world summits
Your missions will take you to every corner of the world. One assignment may have you parachuting from 17,000 feet, while the next may deliver you via an 11-meter Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB). It all depends on which unit you’re supporting and the type of mission to be completed, as well as the required equipment weight of each team member, weather conditions and other parameters.
Training & Advancement
Becoming an EOD Technician is no easy process. While the rigorous 51 weeks of training are both physically and mentally grueling, you will be rewarded with unrivaled leadership opportunities, first-rate compensation and respect.
After two months of recruit training in Great Lakes, Ill., your EOD training will begin.
EOD Prep Course of Instruction (3 weeks) –
The EOD training pipeline starts with preparatory training in Great Lakes, Ill. Candidates work on swim stroke development, long-range swims and physical conditioning.
Diver Training (9 weeks) –
Next comes dive school at the Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center (NDSTC) in Panama City, Florida. Training covers basic concepts of scuba diving as well as dive physics, physiology and basic dive medicine. Candidates also learn about equipment such as the MK16 underwater rebreather.
EOD School (42 weeks) –
After successfully completing dive school, candidates transfer to Naval Explosive Ordnance Disposal School at Eglin Air Force Base in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. This training is comes in four sections, each teaching how to render safe or defuse specific types of ordnance.
Air Ordnance Division –
Focuses on bombs and missiles
Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) –
Includes “homemade bombs”
Nuclear Ordnance Division –
Covers basic nuclear physics and radiation monitoring and decontamination procedures
Underwater Ordnance Division –
Emphasizes torpedoes and other underwater explosives as well as underwater search techniques
Basic Parachute Training (3 weeks) –
After completing basic EOD school, graduates attend Basic Airborne Training (“jump school”) at Fort Benning, Ga., where they qualify as a basic parachutist.
EOD Tactical Training (3 weeks) –
The final phase of training is in San Diego, Calif. It teaches helicopter insertion (fast-rope, rappel, cast and special patrol insertion, and extraction rigging), small arms/weapons training, small unit tactics (weapons, self-defense, land navigation and patrolling) and tactical communications (satellite and high frequency).
Upon successful completion the EOD training pipeline, graduates are assigned to EOD Mobile Units where they gain advanced on-the-job training and experience as members of Mobile Teams, Carrier Strike Group/Expeditionary Strike Group Companies, Naval Special Warfare Companies and Marine Mammal Companies.
- Advanced Training – EOD technicians may pursue a number of advanced training options to hone and specialize their skills
- Helicopter insertion training
- Basic parachute training and parachute water insertion training
- Advanced Improvised Explosive Device Disposal (AIEDD)
- Jumpmaster training
- Small unit tactics
- Small Arms Instructor
- Language school (Defense Language Institute)
- EOD Communications (tactical radio communications)
For those with further leadership aspirations and a college degree, Officer roles are available – providing the opportunity to lead and train others.
Promotion opportunities are regularly available but competitive and based on performance. It’s also important to note that specialized training received and work experience gained in the course of service can lead to valuable credentialing and occupational opportunities in related fields.
Members of the Naval Special Warfare/Naval Special Operations (NSW/NSO) community have any number of unique opportunities to advance their education. Navy training provides skills and knowledge in everything from the fundamentals of explosive ordnance disposal to chemical and biological warfare, military tactics, deep-sea diving or a number of other tactical military procedures.
Beyond offering access to professional credentials and certifications, Navy training in the EOD community can translate to credit hours toward a bachelor’s or associate degree through the American Council on Education. You may also continue your education through opportunities like:
- Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Degree Network System (SOC DNS)
- Navy College Program and Tuition Assistance
- Post-9/11 GI Bill
Qualifications & Requirements
Males and females are eligible to apply to become enlisted Navy EOD Technicians. No college degree is required, but a high degree of difficulty and satisfaction is standard. Training is tough and ongoing. You can apply for the Navy Challenge contract for EOD Technicians at any time during your first enlistment.
- Eyesight 20/200 bilateral correctable to 20/25 with no color blindness
- Minimum Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) score AR+VE=109, MC=51 or GS+MC+EI=169
- Be 30 years of age or younger
- Pass a physical and separate medical examination required for divers (approved by Diving Medical Officer)
- Must be a U.S. citizen and eligible for security clearance
The chart below highlights the current minimum Navy Physical Screening Test (PST) requirements for Navy Challenge Programs.
Additional requirements specific to Active Duty EOD Technician candidates include:
- 36 months of obligated service upon completion of training
- No non-judicial punishments or court martial convictions during the 12 months prior to application
- Meet medical standards as specified in the NAVMED P-117
- Meet minimum performance standards
- Pass a hyperbaric pressure tolerance test
- Be on board present command for 2 years
- Be screened by an EOD Officer or E-6 or above Master EOD Technician
- Be recommended by your current Commanding Officer
NOTE: You should consult your physician or other health-care professional before starting any exercise regime or other fitness program to determine if it is right for your needs. This is particularly true if you (or your family) have a history of medical illnesses or ailments that could be made worse by a change in physical activity. Do not start a fitness program if your physician or health-care provider advises against it.
General qualifications may vary depending upon whether you’re currently serving, whether you’ve served before or whether you’ve never served before.
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