EOD: A Serious Position That Needs Improvement
One of the hardest and most dangerous jobs in the military is EOD. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Army, Navy, or Air Force, they’re each, by far, both mentally and physically challenging. I’ve spent 16 great years in the military and all 16 of those have been on an EOD team. And I wouldn’t change it for a moment.
The Need for EOD
I began my military career in the Navy and I graduated from their EOD school in 1990. Since then, I’ve been deployed 6 times. And each time I’ve worked in whole or in part of an EOD team. I must say it’s changed.
When the war on terrorism started back in 2001, the need for EOD personnel has increased and so have the dangers of the job. The IED alone has accounted for more killed/wounded in action. Due to that increase, much like many other MOS, the military has relaxed the physical and mental challenges involved and they’ve focused more on just graduating EOD techs.
The Navy’s EOD Training
I’ve spent many years in the Army and six years in the Navy, and it’s easy for me to say that Navy EOD is much harder to graduate from than the Army or the Air Force. In the Navy, EOD is part of the special operations teams. While the Army and Air Force isn’t.
Upon my completion at Eglin EOD school, I was off to 10 weeks of pure hell in Navy special operations school. If you look at EOD and its challenges, it should be required to be part of special operations. Why the Army and Air Force doesn’t? I have no idea.
Time to Change
With the constant threat of terrorism and with the weapon of choice being some type of explosive device, it’s time to make some changes within the EOD community.
This is why I feel that EOD should be part of the Army. Why? Well, the Army has many more opportunities to train personnel in special operations and all EOD personnel should be trained in infantry tactics. Therefore, they should attend Ranger school.
They should also be trained in counter terrorism activities. To me it just makes more sense to have all EOD in one branch since they all attend the same school. Most importantly, EOD is special operations and it should be trained as such.
The enemy is constantly changing the way they build and detonate explosives and we’ve seen this since 2001. If we want to win the war on terrorism, we have to win the war against the IED, and EOD training is the first step.