The Navy’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) community is looking for its future leaders.
More specifically, the Navy EOD community is looking for either civilian candidates or Sailors already serving in the fleet who are looking into commissioning through the Enlisted to Officer Commissioning Program (OPNAVINST 1420.1B). Both categories of candidates will have to complete the Navy’s Officer Candidate School (OCS) before they begin the long and arduous EOD pipeline.
Although not a Special Operations career field per se, Navy EOD operators are an elite cadre who often find themselves alongside the nation’s most elite units.
Last year, a female officer became the first to pass the grueling pre-selection process for Navy SEAL officers. However, instead of signing a Trident contract and heading to Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training, she chose the EOD community.
Commander Nicholas Quihuis, the community manager for EOD officers, said that “as one of the five unrestricted line warfare communities, we are looking for an officer candidate with an agile mind who can excel in any critical role they are placed in.”
For a competitive application, candidates must surpass the OCS entry standards, score high in the EOD Warfare physical screening test, and successfully pass an officer board.
“Right now, we are developing the future of the EOD force to face threats associated with great power competition,” added Commander Quihuis. “We need servant leaders and quite professionals who can conceptualize the tactical and strategic impacts that the EOD community makes every day in defense of our nation.”
The Navy EOD pipeline lasts for almost a year (51 weeks). It has five phases:
EOD Prep Course of Instruction (3 weeks): This is where EOD candidates get familiar with the physical demands on the pipeline. The Prep course takes places in in Great Lakes, Ill – SEAL and Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewmen (SWCC) go through a prep course in Great Lakes but one separate from the EOD candidates.
Diver Training (9 weeks): During this phase, EOD candidates become divers. They are taught a wide range of concepts to include basic concepts of scuba diving, dive physics, physiology, and basic dive medicine. This phase takes place at the Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center (NDSTC) in Panama City, Florida.
EOD School (42 weeks): This is the core of the pipeline. And it is comprised of four sub-phases, each dedicated to a different aspect of the EOD craft. All branches send their EOD candidates here for their initial training.
- Air Ordnance Division — Airdropped munitions and missiles
- Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) — One of the more important curricula in the pipeline considering the pervasiveness of IEDs in current and potential operational environments.
- Nuclear Ordnance Division — This portion covers basic nuclear physics and radiation monitoring and decontamination procedures – particularly important for EOD technicians assigned to SEAL Team 6.
- Underwater Ordnance Division — Focused on underwater munitions
This phase is held at the Naval Explosive Ordnance Disposal School at Eglin Air Force Base in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.
Basic Parachute Training (3 weeks): Candidates become static-line parachutists. The school is located at Fort Benning, Georgia.
EOD Tactical Training (3 weeks): The final phase teaches candidates the essential tactical skills that will allow them to operate alongside other Special Operations units without any issues. Candidates are taught small arms, small unit tactics, tactical comms, and helicopter insertion methods, among other skills.