Monday, March 9, 2009

FREE 19!

I want to send a "Hooya!" to Midn 2/c Gulliksen, Midn 3/c McCrary, and the Plebes of FREE 19! Thank you all for the Naval Academy clock. As suggested, it is now displayed prominently in my bar. I will remember a fun Saturday morning training lecture with you guys....especially the 70% who chose to stay on for the second hour. The rest of you...bring around a Form Two!

Monday, March 2, 2009

FAQ #2: How can I learn more about an EOD career?

I'm often contacted by those who are interested in a career as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician. This community was practically unknown before the war on terrorism, and is still not well understood today. Still, the Military Channel did a great program on the Navy's EOD community. It is available on You Tube starting with this link:

After seeing this program, if you are still interested, I recommend "hitting the books." On this page I've posted some of my favorites. If you search "EOD" or "Bomb Squad" on you will note I've reviewed many of them there. I recommend first reading America's First Frogman: The Draper Kauffman Story by Elizabeth Kauffman Bush. Next, pick up Eight Lives Down by Chris Hunter. The Kauffman book will provide an important historical understanding of the roots of this community. Chris Hunter describes counter-IED operations while serving in Basra, Iraq which provide a sense of EOD work in the war on terrorism.

For the best insight into a Navy EOD career I recommend visiting the Navy EOD recruiting website at: I'm certain that the other services have similar websites.

FAQ #3 You mention in the opening of "Proximity" that EOD procedures are often classified. How then were you able to publish?

The exact quote in the front of Proximity is:

"The methods, tactics, and procedures used by military Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technicians are often classified. This is to prevent the architects of military ordnance or improvised explosive devices from incorporating countermeasures into their design. This book only reveals procedures that are intuitively obvious or so widely publicized that mentioning them here could not be considered irresponsible. Where required, the methods described are fictitious while maintaining the flavor of explosive ordnance disposal work."

To ensure that I did not unwittingly publish classified information I submitted this manuscript to the U.S. Navy's Office of Information and Personnel Security. They authorized it for release after a nine month review. Since that time, I've submitted a collection of historical accounts. One of which has been published as an article in the Small Wars Journal entitled The Birth of the Combined Explosives Exploitation Cell.