The Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) rating is of course unique among Naval ratings in several regards, but one of the most notable is the fact that it is the only one in which mine warfare is a competency required by both Enlisted personnel and the Officer corps. A look at the training that EOD Officers undergo, in fact, reveals that the training is just as rigorous and challenging for EOD brass as it is for Enlisted men and women.

A seven-day Junior Officer Course is the first step for Ensigns in their EOD journey. Here, they are taught the organizational relations between EOD Groups, the mobile units assigned to the groups, support units, and other EOD hierarchical components that are essential to efficient action when deployed.

Next, two months is spent in EOD Diver Training, where officers acquire the proficiencies necessary to perform as either a diver or a member of a dive team. The EOD School is a 320-day course that covers all the subjects that enlisted Sailors are taught: EOD basics, tools and equipment, IEDs, land-based ordnance, CBRNE threats, air-delivered ordnance, demolition techniques and principles, and underwater detection and disposal.

All EOD Officers undergo Basic Airborne Training at Fort Moore in Georgia (renamed Fort Moore in late October 2023) where they learn how to carry out static-line parachuting operations. After three weeks learning parachuting skills, they next attend the Expeditionary Combat Skills Pilot course in Gulfport, Mississippi. Developed and taught by the Center for Security Forces, this three-week program teaches officers how to operate and survive in harsh combat environments, with instruction in caring for combat casualties, the use of combat equipment and CBRNE protective gear, land navigation, hygiene and sanitation procedures, and risk management in an operational environment.

It’s an appropriate prelude to the three-week EOD Tactical Training period that follows it, where they acquire the same types of skills and knowledge that enlisted EOD Sailors were taught. The last leg of EOD Officer training is the self-explanatory 12-day EOD Platoon Leader Course—the culmination of over 15 months of training that will serve as the foundation for leading some of the world’s most accomplished Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technicians in the world.

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