By Billy Martin
Naval School Explosive Ordnance Disposal Public Affairs
In honor of the 48th Annual Explosive Ordnance Disposal Memorial Ceremony, hosted by Naval School Explosive Ordnance Disposal, here are nine things to know about the significance of this annual ceremony to honor our military’s fallen EOD technicians.
1) This year, the EOD community from each of the services will gather May 6 to honor the memory of 320 EOD heroes and add six additional EOD technicians to the EOD Memorial:
- Gunner’s Mate Seaman Robert Paul Burr who was killed in action July 16, 1944, while serving in World War II
- Army Tech. Sgt. James H. Eberle, who was killed in action Aug. 23, 1944, while serving in World War II
- Ensign Charles Williams Grice, Sr., who was killed in action May 14, 1945, while serving in World War II
- Army Sgt. 1st Class Biddle Carrol Izard, Jr., who was killed in action June 19, 1968, while serving in Vietnam
- Chief Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician Jason Christopher Finan, who was killed in action Oct. 20, 2016, while serving in support of Combined Joint Task Force, Operation Inherent Resolve
- Senior Chief Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician Scott Cooper Dayton, who was killed in action Nov. 24, 2016, while serving in support of Combined Joint Task Force, Operation Inherent Resolve.
2) The ceremony is held at the EOD Memorial next to the Kauffman EOD Training Complex on Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. The Kauffman Training Complex is named after Rear Adm. Draper L. Kauffman (1911-1979) aka the “Father of U.S. Bomb Disposal”.
3) During the ceremony, a wreath is placed in front of each service’s list of names before they are read aloud. After each list is completed, the names are saluted by an enlisted and officer EOD member. The families of EOD technicians added to the wall each year receive a folded flag that was flown over the memorial.
4) The EOD Memorial stands as an amazing monument to the honor, courage and commitment exemplified by EOD technicians from the services as they performed the EOD mission.
5) “We Remember” signifies the very essence and ethos of EOD technicians to never forget the extraordinary efforts and sacrifices of our EOD brothers and sisters who made the ultimate sacrifice.
6) The first Saturday in May is remembered as “EOD Day” in honor of the memorial ceremony.
7) The first Saturday of every May represents a sacred time for the EOD community to reflect and remember the heroic actions of our fallen EOD warriors.
8) The EOD badge and its three levels (Basic, Senior and Master) became the standard for all services in the 1950s.
9) The badge remains the only badge in the military that is identical in each service. This unique distinction reflects the Naval School Explosive Ordnance Disposal’s vital role as the schoolhouse for our military’s EOD warriors.