EOD career past, present, future

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Eglin’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight hosted the Air Force’s first-ever EOD Heritage Panel Nov. 10, 2023.

The panel brought together career field managers to discuss the history, current state, and future of the EOD program.  EOD has only had 10 total career field managers for the entire program, and this was the first opportunity to bring them all together, putting 270 years of EOD experience on one stage.

“To understand where we need to go in the future, it’s important we look at where we’ve been and see the history of it,” stated Chief Master Sgt. Vandiver Hood, EOD’s nineth and outgoing career field manager.

EOD has experienced a tremendous amount of change and growth in a relatively short time, and the men present recounted that history and their role in it.

Retired Chief Master Sgt. John Jay Glover, who joined the Air Force in 1966, was the first EOD career field manager in 1989. Because of Glover’s work, the career field moved from maintenance into the Civil Engineer Squadron, a field that was better suited to EOD’s mission of clearing airfields. It was during his tenure that the first robots were fielded, now an integral tool of EOD work.

“It’s pretty fascinating watching EOD grow and watching the level of excellence I’ve seen in the program grow,” Glover explained.  “It was rough-and-tumble times during the Vietnam war and just keeping yourself together and keeping yourself alive. But now it’s so much more professional.”

Each new career field manager built on the foundations of the last to develop that professionalism, with some projects often spanning multiple CFMs.

Chief Master Sgt. Frank Pulice, the incoming career field manager, said he understands he will continue working through a constant state of change just as his predecessors did.

“You’ve heard about change from everyone up here. I see a lot of change coming, but that’s not a new story,” he said.  “You hear a lot about the change, but you probably don’t see it. Good, meaningful change sometimes takes more time than we have.”

Hood hopes Airmen see the team effort that goes into making EOD successful through the change.

“We’re the same EOD technicians, whether it’s from 1970 or 2023. We are always there for the team, no matter where we are now and into the future,” he said.

Airman 1st Class Griffin Walraven, who just graduated EOD school less than a year ago, took away just that message.

“There’s a lot of history going into every decision that is made. And while we only see so much at the lowest level, especially me being an Airman, when you get up higher, bigger decisions are at play. There are a lot of people looking out for us that are EOD.”

Glover ended with a word of wisdom. “No man or woman stands alone. You need a team of people that you surround yourself with to help you be successful and you’ve got to support them. You’ve got to work together.”

The CFMs on the EOD Heritage Panel are (from left to right):

CMSgt(ret) JJ Glover #1

CMSgt(ret) Dave Brown #2

CMSgt(ret) JD Olive #4

CMSgt(ret) Rob Hodges #5

CMSgt(ret) Jim Brewster #6

CMSgt(ret) Marty Cortez #7

CMSgt(ret) Doug Moore #8

CMSgt Van Hood #9

CMSgt Frank Pulice #10