The ultimate bomb squad Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Technician

Clearing IEDs. Parachuting out of aircraft. Diving beneath ships. Navy Explosive Ordnance (EOD) Technicians control weapons and render safe explosives on land, in the water or wherever perceived threats may lurk. Protecting others by handling situations with steady hands and even steadier nerves.

Job Description

As an EOD Technician, you will be part of a highly skilled group on call to respond to any type of ordnance, with specialized training to handle chemical, biological and even nuclear weapons. You will take on exciting new challenges every day and work side-by-side with fellow EOD Techs and Sailors carrying out dangerous and difficult missions, saving lives and making the world a safer place.

Investigation and demolition of natural or man-made underwater obstructions. Preparing coastal regions for amphibious landings. Providing intelligence about potential threats – both  in the United States and abroad. With expertise in the most conventional and unconventional of explosives, you will ensure the secure disposal of explosive weaponry.

Whether getting the job done in a bomb suit or by utilizing state-of-the-art robotic technology, Navy EODs are exposed to the most advanced tools in the Navy, making their job vital to the safety of servicemen and civilians.

Specific Responsibilities

Some of the many duties you may have as a Navy EOD Technician include:

  • Carrying out the demolition of hazardous munitions, pyrotechnics and outdated explosives using detonation and burning techniques
  • Performing underwater location and identification of foreign and domestic ordnance
  • Working with cutting-edge technology to remotely disable unsafe ordnance
  • Performing parachute/helicopter insertion operations in support of missions
  • Supporting military and civilian law enforcement agencies
  • Executing underwater mine countermeasure operations to clear waterways 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 Tech, you may also:

  • Locate, identify, neutralize, recover and dispose of various ordnances, such as sea mines, torpedoes and depth charges
  • Work with other Special Operations units, such as Navy SEALs, Army Special Forces, and Marine Expeditionary Units
  • Work with the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Department of State, helping to protect the President, Vice President, and other officials and dignitaries
  • Provide support to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs Office, ATF and the FBI, as well as state and local police bomb squads
  • Assist in security at large international events, such as the Olympics or world summits

No college degree is required to become a Navy EOD technician, but a high degree of difficulty and satisfaction come standard with nearly everything you’ll do. Training is tough and ongoing, and for those with further leadership aspirations and a college degree, Officer roles are available – providing the opportunity to lead and train others.

Work Environment

Your missions will take you to every corner of the world. One assignment may require you to parachute from over 17,000 feet, while the next may require insertion via an 11-meter Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) or a 30-ton rapid response vehicle. How you get there will be based on which unit you are integrated with and the type of mission to be completed, as well as the required equipment weight of each team member, weather conditions and other mission-specific risks.

Training and Advancement

Becoming an Explosive Ordnance Disposal 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, Illinois, your Explosive Ordnance Disposal training will begin. The typical training schedule for new recruits is divided into five distinct phases:

PHASE 1: EOD PREP COURSE OF INSTRUCTION

The EOD training pipeline starts with three weeks of preparatory training in Great Lakes, Illinois. The candidate will work on swim stroke development, long range swims and physical conditioning.

PHASE 2: DIVER TRAINING

EOD candidates will attend nine weeks of dive school held at the Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center (NDSTC) in Panama City, Florida. Training will begin with basic concepts of scuba diving as well as dive physics, physiology and basic dive medicine. Candidates also learn about the various kinds of equipment, such as the MK16 underwater rebreather.

PHASE 3: BASIC EOD SCHOOL

At 42 weeks, Basic EOD School is the longest phase of the training process. After successful completion of dive school, candidates transfer to Naval Explosive Ordnance Disposal School at Eglin Air Force Base in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. This training is broken down into four sections, each teaching how to render-safe or defuse specific types of ordnance. These are:

  • Air Ordnance Division — Focuses on bombs and missiles
  • Improvised Explosive Devices — 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

PHASE 4: BASIC PARACHUTE TRAINING

Upon completion of basic EOD school, graduates will attend three weeks of Basic Airborne Training at Fort Benning, Georgia, where candidates qualify as a basic parachutist. At “jump” school, EOD technicians learn the concepts of basic static line parachuting.

PHASE 5: EOD TACTICAL TRAINING

The final phase of EOD training is three weeks of EOD Tactical Training in San Diego, California. This will consist of 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 completion of the EOD training, 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 are offered a number of advanced training options to hone and specialize their skills. These include:

  • 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)

Education Opportunities

As a member of the Naval Special Warfare/Naval Special Operations (NSW/NSO) community, you will have a number of unique opportunities to advance your knowledge. You may learn the fundamentals of explosive ordnance disposal through formal Navy schooling. Or you may receive education and training about chemical and biological warfare, military tactics, deep-sea diving or a number of other tactical military procedures. The courses in this field are demanding, but those who accept these challenges will be rewarded not only with extra pay, but extraordinary duty assignments anywhere in the world.

You can put your training and education to use outside your official duties. Through the American Council on Education (ACE), you may receive college credit for what you've learned in your training "pipeline." Check out the ACE Military Guide Online to find out what training qualifies for college credit. If you have any questions about converting your Navy education into college credit, you can call ACE at 866-205-6267 for answers.

Pay Range

In addition to normal military pay and allowances, the Navy offers a $8,000 enlistment bonus for EOD Technicians. You will also earn extra demolition pay and may qualify for additional special duty assignment pay, dive pay, parachute jump pay and/or foreign language pay.

For complete details on available special pay and enlistment bonuses, contact a recruiter.

Qualifications

Candidates may volunteer for EOD prior to basic training at Recruit Training Command or at any time during their enlistment prior to their 31st birthday.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

  • Males and females are eligible
  • 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.

NOTE: If you're pursuing an NSW/NSO position, much better PST scoring is expected.
Minimum PST
Physical Screening Test
SEAL SWCC EOD Diver AIRR
Swim 500 yards
(450 M) – breaststroke or sidestroke
[in minutes]
12:30 13:00 12:30 12:30 12:00*
REST: 10 MINUTES
Push-ups
[in 2 minutes]
50 50 50 50 42
REST: 2 MINUTES
Sit-ups
[in 2 minutes]
50 50 50 50 50
REST: 2 MINUTES
Pull-ups
[in 2 minutes]
10 6 6 6 4
REST: 10 MINUTES
Run 1.5 miles
[in minutes]
10:30 12:00 12:30 12:30 12:00

*AIRR may use sidestroke or breaststroke and utilize American crawl/freestyle or a combination of all.

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.

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 previous 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 two years
  • Be screened by an EOD Officer or E-6 or above Master EOD Technician
  • Be recommended by your current Commanding Officer

After the Navy

With highly specialized skills, trial-tested self-confidence and the proven ability to accomplish whatever you set your mind to, you will have the respect of employers in both the military and civilian worlds for your experience as an EOD Technician.

Your training as both a leader and a professional in one of the most challenging areas of the Navy shows you have what it takes to handle any job for any employer. And this opens doors. Jobs within Naval Special Warfare/Naval Special Operations (NSW/NSO) have comparable civilian counterparts that include civilian EOD and bomb disposal.