While warfighters in the Army, Air Force, and Marines who serve as Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technicians wear the same insignia as their counterparts in the United States Navy, the Sailors can take a small bit of extra pride in the fact that it was their service that provided the training for all of them.

Regardless of the branch of the United States Armed Forces from which they hail, all EOD techs receive their basic training at the Department of Defense’s Joint Service EOD program held at the Naval School Explosive Ordnance Disposal at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. And for both officers and enlisted Sailors, the path that ends with the EOD pinning ceremony is one of the most physically, intellectually, and psychologically challenging they will ever undertake.

For enlisted personnel, their journey starts in earnest with a 3-week EOD preparatory course at Naval Station Great Lakes, home of the Navy’s Recruit Training Center. From there, they head to Panama City, Florida for nine weeks of dive training at the Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center, followed by nearly 11 months at the EOD School where they will take part in classroom education and hands-on training in Air, Underwater, and even Nuclear Ordnance, as well as Improvised Explosive Devices. Their training is rounded out with trips to Georgia for Basic Airborne School and to San Diego for a three-week training program in EOD Tactical operations—small arms, small-unit tactics, land navigation, helicopter insertion/extraction, and so on.

Things are just as difficult for EOD Officers, who until 2007 were designated as Special Operations. Bookending the 18-month long EOD Officer training pipeline are the Junior Officer Course (one week) and Platoon Leader Course (twelve days); in between are approximately fifteen months of training at the same locations employed for EOD Specialist training.

The EOD badge is issued in three degrees for enlisted EOD technicians: Basic, Senior, and Master. To earn the Senior badge, enlisted personnel must wait until two years have passed since they reported to their EOD command before they can begin work toward earning NEC 5535, Senior EOD Technician, at which point they earn their EOD Warfare qualification; Senior EOD Technicians Once completing that NEC, they must then wait another 36 months before they can begin work to earn the NEC for Master EOD Technician.

A gold version of the Master EOD Technician badge is awarded to officers.

Related Items
Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Rating Badge
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