Last Updated on August 31, 2023
This guide provides useful information that will help you with your decision to become a Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Officer during Fiscal Year 2023.
If you made it to this article, it is safe to assume that you are a highly motivated individual.
Becoming a Navy EOD Technician is hard enough, but you are researching how to become a Navy EOD Officer…
That makes your journey ahead more challenging and exciting.
A Navy EOD Officer is an Unrestricted Line Officer in the Navy who is in charge of the Navy’s elite bomb squad. The designator code for Navy EOD officers is 1140.
But how exactly do you get started with your path to become a Navy EOD Officer?
Keep reading to learn more about becoming a Navy EOD Officer.
What Do Navy EOD Officers Do?
Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Technicians and Officers do everything possible to avoid explosions. The Navy EOD community is the Navy’s bomb squad, who are also expert divers.
Navy EOD officers design methods and processes for identifying and securing all sorts of explosive ordnance. They lead teams of highly skilled Sailors who deactivate conventional, nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, as well as improvised explosive devices.
This elite force executes tasks that demand extreme daring, such as leaping off of planes and blowing up undersea mines, using advanced instruments such as cutting-edge robotic technology and explosives chemistry.
This is no easy job; you must be clever, tough, quick-thinking, and calm under pressure—all while wearing a 70-pound bomb suit.
The Navy EOD Officer designator is 1140 or 114X. Candidates selected for commission as a EOD Navy Officer have an assigned designator of 1190 or 119X.
The Navy is the most powerful EOD force. No other military component or country comes close to matching the skill sets that our officers are taught.
EOD Navy personnel are the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Maritime EOD Component and the only DoD EOD Force trained in Underwater Mine Countermeasure (UMCM) Operations that encompass underwater explosive risks.
The Navy EOD core competencies are:
- Expeditionary Mine Countermeasures (ExMCM)
- Diving & Salvage Operations
- Conventional EOD Navy Operations
- Demolition Operations/Range Clearance/Render Safe Procedures (RSPs)
- Flight Deck Response (NATOPS)
- Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) Disposal
- Military Ordnance Test & Evaluation (NAVAIR & NAVSEA)
- Counter-IED (CIED) Operations
- Overseas & CONUS Regional Response
- Support to NAVSOF & ARSOF (Impedance to Assault & Tier II Capabilities)
- Counter WMD/Counter Proliferation (CP) (Operational & Staff Planning)
- Theater Security Cooperation (TSC) Engagements
- Explosive & Foreign Ordnance Exploitation/Weapons Technical Intelligence (WTI)
- Mobility (personnel can get to the problem):
- Jump (Static & MFF), Dive, & Small Boats Operational Expertise
- EOD Unit Leadership
Navy EOD Officer Pipeline
The Navy EOD Officer training starts with indoctrination all the way through qualification. Below is the initial training pipeline for Navy EOD Officer:
- Officer Candidate School – (12 weeks – Newport, RI)
- Junior Officer Course – (7 days)
- Joint Diving Officer – (27 weeks)
- Navy Diving and Salvage Training Center – (24 months – Panama City, FL)
- Naval School Explosive Ordnance Disposal – (Eglin Air Force Base, FL)
- Expeditionary Combat Skills School – (3 weeks – Gulfport, MS)
- Basic Airborne School – (3 weeks – Fort Benning GA)
- Explosive Ordnance Disposal Training and Evaluation Unit One – (San Diego, CA)
Navy EOD Officer Career Path
Every individual’s career is unique, but below is the typical career path of Navy EOD Officers:
- Initial training pipeline – 20+ months
- First tour (MOB/MCM Platoon Commander) – 24 months
- Promotion – LTJG (O-2)
- Second tour (ExMCM Company Commander/ MDS Company Commander/ NAVSOF/SOF Platoon Commander) – 24 months
- Promotion – LT (O-3)
- Shore tour (Shore Det OIC/ NPS/JPME I/ EXU Platoon/ NSWDG/ Shore Staff) – 24-30 months
- Department Head (EODMU/ MDSU/ Ops/ NSWDG/ CTF/ Joint Command) – 24 months
- Staff tour (EODMU/MDSU Ops/ SMWDC/ EODGRU/ CEODD/ Junior War College/ JSOC) – 24 months
- Promotion – LCDR (O-4)
- Executive Officer tour (EODMU/ESU/ MDSU/ NDSTC/ NAVSCOLEOD/ NSWDG/ NEDU/ EXU-1) – 24 months
- Post XO tour (OPNAV/ JCS/ COCOM/ Fleet Staff/ OCM / Detailer/ JSOC/TSOC/ War College) – 30 months
- Promotion – CDR (O-5)
- Commanding Officer tour (EODMU/ MDSU/ NDSTC/ EOD TEU/ NSWDG/ EXU-1) – 24 months
- Post CO tour (Navy Staff / Joint Staff/ EOD MAJCOM CSO/ COCOM Staff/ NDU/ICAF/Sr War College/JPME II) – 36 months
- Major Command tour (EODGRU/ CTF 56/68/75/ MCMRON/ CEODD/ NSWC IHEODTECHDIV) – 24 months
- Promotion – CAPT (O-6)
- Post Major Command tour (Navy Staff / Joint Staff / OSD/ COCOM/ NECC/NECC PAC/ COS/MOC-D/CAG) – 36 months
How To Become A Navy EOD Officer
If you are interested in becoming a Navy EOD Officer, you must first be aware that earning a commission in the United States Navy is very competitive, especially in Navy Special Operations.
You must determine if you meet the initial requirements to obtain a commission in the United States Navy. So, apply early – approximately 12 months before you graduate from college – as openings are limited and fill up quickly.
Note that this is slightly different from applying for a civilian aviation position because Navy EOD Officers directly affect national security.
Know that you will be held to a higher standard of performance and behavior compared to civilian counterparts.
If that did not deflate you, you may have the right sense of pride and integrity for this job.
Navy EOD Officer candidates need to be:
- Able to lead small units of action
- Critical Thinkers
- Selfless, Mission Oriented Professionals
- Physically Fit
- Well Rounded
- Engrained with Mental Toughness
- Competitive Swimmers
These critical leadership positions must be filled with honorable and visionary men who can represent the nation well overseas.
Applicants should be committed to the Navy Special Operations Community, its mission and its people.
To succeed as a leader in the Navy EOD community, one must possess the following qualities: leadership, integrity, courage, teamwork, drive, and an unwavering commitment to excellence despite all obstacles.
Below are some basic information you will need to know before applying. There will be more requirements during the application process, but these will get you in the door.
Contact your local Naval Officer recruiter for a more personalized assessment and support.
Navy EOD Officer Requirements
The Navy EOD basic eligibility requirements listed below are current as of April 2019, per the Navy Personnel Command. No updates have been issued so far.
Navy EOD Officer Basic Eligibility Requirements
|Citizenship||Navy EOD Officer applicants must be citizens of the United States.|
|Age||EOD Navy Officer applicants must be at least 19 years old and not have passed their 42nd birthday at the time of commissioning. (Current Navy EOD Officer Age Limit as of FY 2023)|
|Education||Navy EOD Officer applicants must have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution.|
Candidates must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 scale.
|Physical/Medical||The Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery will determine whether the individual is medically eligible. If eligible, a letter will be generated stating that the applicant is physically qualified for “special operations and diving” duty.|
|Physical Screening Test||Navy EOD Officer applicants must be able to pass a physical screening test (PST) in accordance with SEAL/ EOD/ SWCC/ DIVER/ AIRR Physical Screening Testing Standards and Procedures, MILPERSMAN 1220-410. Additionally, in accordance with MILPERSMAN 1210-230, Navy EOD Officer applicants must be screened by a qualified screening unit whose primary mission is to conduct EOD or diving training.|
Navy EOD Officer PST Scores
The Navy EOD Officer PST minimum requirements are as follows:
But remember, these are merely minimum standards. The EOD community has high physical standards.
This is a very competitive program, so Navy EOD Officer applicants should strive to score significantly higher than the minimum PST standard in order to have a chance to get selected.
Navy EOD Officer Selection
Each fiscal year, the Navy EOD Officer selection board selects a limited number of civilian Navy Officer Candidate School (OCS) applicants for commissioning.
The EOD Navy Officer program is particularly competitive because of the high quantity and quality of applicants considered for each selection board.
Once a year, in September, a board of active duty EOD Warfare Officers meets to select candidates for Navy OCS and subsequent EOD Warfare training.
To ensure your Navy EOD Officer package is comprehensive, consult with your local Navy Officer Recruiter, the Navy Recruiting Command EOD Warfare Program Manager, and the EOD Navy Officer Community Manager (OCM).
Note: Interviews with an EOD Navy Officer and an EOD Executive Officer are needed for all Navy EOD Officer applicants.
You may review the Navy EOD Officer checklist that is typically posted in the EOD OCM page.
Also Read: Navy OCS Guide for Officer Applicants
Navy EOD Officer Contract
Navy EOD Officer applicants will incur a 4-year service obligation from the date of appointment.
Newly commissioned EOD Officers have two options for the subsequent four years:
- Complete NAVSCOLEOD and incur an additional 4-year obligation, or
- Serve 4 years in the ready reserve status (back to civilian life)
This completes the total 8-year service commitment for commissioning.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Do Navy EOD Officers Make?
Navy EOD Officers earn the same basic pay and benefits as any other Naval Officers.
The difference is that because of the nature of their jobs, they tend to also qualify for bonuses that are related to being away from, being in hazardous environments, or being overseas for an extended period, among many other reasons.
Navy EOD Officers can also earn retention bonuses typically worth from mid to high 5 digits, only for committing to a specific service contract length beyond their initial service commitment.
How Many Navy EOD Officers Are There?
The Navy EOD Officer community is the smallest Unrestricted Line Officer community in the Navy.
There are approximately 490 Navy EOD Officers in the Navy, which is equivalent to roughly 2% of the entire Unrestricted Line Officer community.
On the other hand, there are approximately 1,300 enlisted Navy EOD Technicians in the Navy.
As an officer, you will command the best and most motivated enlisted personnel in the fleet.
Is the Navy EOD Special Forces?
Navy EOD is technically not Special Forces.
In the military, the term “Special Forces” typically refer to the U.S. Army “Green Berets”.
Navy EOD Officers are considered Special Operations or SPECOPS, while the Navy SEALs Officers are considered Special Warfare or SPECWAR.
However, in popular culture, it is common for any elite military warfare unit to be called Special Operations Forces or Special Forces.
Does the Navy EOD Work With SEALs?
As mentioned, Navy EOD personnel are considered a subset of the Naval Special Operations community.
The Navy EOD community is not under the direction of the United States Special Operations Command, unlike Navy SWCC and SEALs.
However, Navy EOD technicians are entrusted with collaborating closely with U.S. Special Operations Command units, federal law enforcement, the Department of Homeland Security, the Secret Service, and international military and law enforcement partners.
EOD units in the Navy are also adept in post-blast analysis, leveraging intelligence to construct bomb making files for IEDs in locations where U.S. and allied troops engage in battle.
Get More Information
If you want more information about becoming a Navy EOD Officer, the next logical step is to contact a Naval Officer Recruiter.
Let us start figuring out how you can benefit from becoming a Navy EOD Officer – or if it is even the right career move for you.
You may also find more information about other closely related Navy Officer jobs in our Quick Guide for Unrestricted Line Officer programs, such as the Navy Pilot and Navy SEAL Officer jobs. Check them out.