Army plans EOD technician ‘hiring day’ at Fort Drum
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. – The U.S. Army will host a series of in-service hiring days for enlisted explosive ordnance disposal technicians at installations across the nation. The Fort Drum event will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 16 at the Exchange.
Soldiers from the 20th CBRNE Command’s 71st Ordnance Group (EOD) at Fort Carson, Colorado, and 52nd Ordnance Group (EOD) at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, are spearheading the effort to recruit their new teammates. The events will give eligible Soldiers an opportunity to learn more about the benefits of becoming an EOD technician.
Army EOD Soldiers receive hazardous duty pay and can earn up to $72,200 in selective reenlistment bonuses.
According to Capt. Mark E. Wiseman, an EOD officer from the Ordnance proponent, Office of the EOD commandant, on Fort Lee, Virginia, there are also many intangible benefits that come from serving in such a high-stakes profession.
“EOD is a challenging and rewarding career field,” Wiseman said. “EOD technicians are highly trained and equipped for combat operations – experts at rendering safe anything from a hand grenade to a nuclear weapon.”
Wiseman said EOD team leaders are given an extraordinary level of responsibility at the lowest level of leadership in the EOD community. He also said it takes more than a year to mold an Army EOD technician. Soldiers are trained at a seven-week preparatory course on Fort Lee, Virginia, and a 34-week course at the Naval EOD School at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.
“The EOD training pipeline is one of the most difficult and lengthy in the DoD with a total of 182 days of training and 45 written and hands-on tests,” said Wiseman, a 20-year Army veteran who has multiple deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq and Honduras.
The Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.-based 20th CBRNE Command will support the events at posts around the nation. Home to 75 percent of the Army’s CBRN and EOD forces, the one-of-a-kind command is the Department of Defense’s only multifunctional all hazards headquarters. Based on 19 installations in 16 states, 20th CRBN Command provides trained and ready CBRN and EOD forces for allied, joint and Army operations around the world.
Brig. Gen. Antonio V. Munera, commanding general of 20th CBRNE Command, said EOD technicians save lives and enable operations at home and abroad.
“U.S. Army EOD technicians render safe explosive devices outside the wire during combat operations and inside the cordon in support of domestic law enforcement agencies,” Munera said. “They confront and defeat the full range of explosive threats and enable our maneuver forces to close with and destroy the enemy.”
In addition to defeating explosives in deployed environments, EOD Soldiers conduct emergency response missions stateside and abroad for explosive devices found, both on and off post, with an average of 130 responses per month. They also protect the president and vice president and their families as well as foreign heads of state, and they train allied forces around the globe in demolition operations, explosive safety and minefield clearance.
“EOD Soldiers are absolutely critical to our Army, and we need more of them,” Munera said.
(20th CRBNE Command)