To be eligible to enlist in the U.S. Navy, candidates must be between the ages of 18-34
Americans live for fireworks on the Fourth of July. The other 364 days of the year, Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Technicians and Officers are doing all they can to prevent them. Using advanced tools like cutting-edge robotic technology and explosives chemistry, this elite group performs missions that require immense bravery — from jumping out of airplanes to blowing up underwater mines. This job is no cake walk — you must be smart, tough, quick-thinking, and cool under pressure.
As an EOD Tech, you’ll receive extensive training to perform missions neutralizing explosive weapons in almost every environment. Your duties may require you to:
• Detonate and demolish hazardous munitions, pyrotechnics, and outdated explosives.
• Neutralize various ordnance, including sea mines, torpedoes or depth charges.
• Work with cutting-edge technology to remotely disable unsafe ordnance.
• Perform parachute or helicopter insertion operations.
• Support law enforcement agencies.
• Clear waterways of mines in support of our ships and submarines.
• Lend your skills and support to other military units or offices, such as the U.S. Secret Service or the U.S. Department of State.
Your missions will take you to every corner of the world. One assignment may have you parachuting from 17,000 feet into enemy territory, while the next may deliver you stealthily to a foreign nation via an 11-foot RHIB boat. It all depends on which unit you’re supporting and the type of mission to be completed. Though there will be administrative work, the majority of your time will be spent out from behind a desk and in the field.
TRAINING AND ADVANCEMENT
Upon completion of the initial 10-week training at Recruit Training Command Great Lakes (known as Boot Camp), you’ll begin a specialized training program to prepare you for your career as an EOD Tech.
EOD Preparatory Course (4 weeks) – The EOD training pipeline starts with training in Great Lakes, IL, where candidates work on swim strokes development, long-range swims and physical conditioning. Candidates receive daily human performance coaching on mental resiliency, strength training form, running, swimming, calisthenics as well as proper rest, recovery and nutrition. Classroom instruction includes introductions to small boat operations, professional military education, and risk management.
EOD Assessment and Selection (4 weeks) – After Prep, candidates will be challenged in a grueling training environment.
EOD Assessment and Selection Course (4 weeks) – After Prep, candidates will be challenged in a grueling training environment in which they are constantly assessed on their comfort in the water, physical fitness, academic ability, professionalism, and peer rankings. Classroom instruction includes topics such as risk management, dive physics, diving medicine, small boat navigation, and navy maintenance. Daily physical training and assessments are centered around five advanced aquatic adaptability skills, ruck runs, distance swims, and the human performance test. At the end of the course, candidates will participate in a formal selection board where instructors will select the best qualified and most likely to successfully complete advanced training to graduate and proceed to diver training.
Diver Training (9 weeks) – Next comes dive school at the Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center (NDSTC) in Panama City, FL. Training covers basic concepts of scuba diving as well as dive physics, physiology and basic dive medicine. Candidates also learn about equipment such as the MK16 and MK25 underwater rebreather.
EOD School (56 weeks) – After successfully completing dive school, candidates transfer to Naval Explosive Ordnance Disposal School at Eglin Air Force Base in Fort Walton Beach, FL. This training comes in several sections, each section building upon the skills learned from previous areas of training. Candidates will train in demolition operations, rendering safe bombs, missiles, landmines, defusing Improvise Explosive Devices (IEDs), protecting and detecting against Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN) weapons and mastering skills needed to defeat underwater ordnance such as sea mines and torpedoes.
Basic Parachute Training (3 weeks) – After completing basic EOD school, graduates attend Basic Airborne Training (“jump school”) at Fort Benning, GA, where they qualify as basic parachutists.
EOD Tactical Training (3 weeks) – The final phase of training is in San Diego, CA. It teaches 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 successful completion of the EOD training pipeline, graduates are assigned to EOD Mobile Units where they gain advanced on-the-job training and experience as members of EOD Platoons..
Advanced Training – EOD technicians may pursue advanced training options to hone and specialize their skills:
• Parachute water insertion training
• Military Freefall
• Advanced Improvised Explosive Device Disposal (AIEDD)
• WMD training
• Jumpmaster training
• Small unit tactics
• Small arms instructor
• Language school (Defense Language Institute)
• EOD communications (tactical radio communications)
Promotion opportunities are regularly available but competitive and based on performance.
For those with further leadership aspirations and a college degree, EOD Officer roles are available, providing the opportunity to lead and train others.
It’s also important to note that the specialized training received and work experience gained in the course of
service can lead to valuable credentialing and occupational opportunities in related fields.
Members of the Navy Special Operations community have any number of unique opportunities to advance their education. Navy training provides skills and knowledge in everything from the fundamentals of explosive ordnance disposal to chemical and biological warfare, military tactics, deep-sea diving or a number of other tactical military procedures.
Beyond offering access to professional credentials and certifications, Navy training in the NSW/NSO field can translate to credit hours toward a bachelor’s or associate degree through the American Council on Education.
You may also continue your education through undergraduate degree opportunities like the Navy College Program and Tuition Assistance and the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
QUALIFICATIONS AND REQUIREMENTS
No college degree is required to apply for a position as an EOD Technician. However, a high degree of difficulty should be expected. Training is tough and ongoing. You can apply for the Navy Warrior Challenge contract for EOD Technicians at any time during your first enlistment.
• Eyesight 20/200 bilateral correctable to 20/25 with no colorblindness
• 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
EOD PST Minimum Standards
Swim: Swim + Run Push-ups 50
Curl-ups – 50
Pull-ups – 6
Run: Swim + Run NOTE: Swim and run combined must be equal to or less than 21 minutes. Individually, the run or swim time cannot be more than 12:30
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 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
You should be in excellent physical condition and possess good swimming skills. The ability to perform detailed tasks in stressful conditions is also essential.
NOTE: You should consult your physician or other healthcare professional before starting any exercise regimen 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 healthcare provider advises against it.
General qualifications may vary depending upon whether you’re currently serving, whether you’ve served before or whether you’ve never served before.
There are no part-time jobs as a Navy Reserve Sailor in this role. Go back to Careers to find other jobs that have a Reserve component. You can also find out more about what life is like as a Reserve Sailor in the Navy.