These US Marines Defuse Bombs: That’s What It’s Like To Have One Of The Most Dangerous Jobs In The Army

Anyone who works in the US military in the explosive ordnance disposal service must be more than a little stress-resistant. EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) specialists prey on deadly threats that others prefer to avoid. Think of explosives that have been put together such as roadside bombs. The members of the EOD know that even a small misstep can be fatal. “There have been times when I’ve stood by something that could cost me my life, and I tried to imagine all the choices I’d made that got me there,” EOD Marine explosives specialist Carlos Villarreal told Insider . He has been in the Marines for over 18 years.

One of the most intense things Villareal experienced was during his first combat deployment as a specialist of the explosive ordnance disposal service in Afghanistan ten years ago. His team leader was then fatally injured while removing a so-called ‘improvised explosive device’. That shocking experience made Villareal realize how risky his job was. “He was one of the guys we looked up to,” said Villarreal. He remembers thinking, “If he doesn’t survive this, what are my chances of getting out of here alive?”

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However, he pushed that thought aside and did his job. Villareal says the training he received from his team leader and others helped him return home alive. “If you think it’s going to explode, don’t go there”

However he pushed that thought aside and did

EOD technicians are highly trained. They receive training programs that last almost a year. But even with an excellent education, the job remains a challenge.

Sometimes explosives are complex and every now and then a bomb is in a place that is difficult to control. Take, for example, a place where many people are together such as a hospital or a school. And in some cases, it’s not clear if there is a threat until someone stumbles upon it.

Michael Gaydeski spent most of his 23 years in the Marines as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician. He was also deployed to Iraq. “It happened to me that I was one footstep away from an explosive device before I realized it. That is certainly alarming,” he told Insider.

Both Gaydeski and Villarreal made it through their respective broadcasts, but not everyone has. They say the death of colleagues is the most difficult aspect to deal with. Villarreal says he’s lost friends and fellow technicians, and has also suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

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Each EOD technician handles stress differently.But he adds that his faith also helps him meet the challenges. “I believe in God, and I believe he has everything under control. I believe I will die when He says I will die,” he says. “I trust in God and I don’t feel any stress dismantling bombs.”

Each EOD technician handles stress differently

“But don’t get me wrong. I am a cautious individual and I pass that on to my boys,” Gaydeski says. He points out that “there are always things you can do to reduce the dangers of a situation.”

According to Gaydeski, the specialists of the EOD should guard against complacency. That’s a risk where “guys in my line of work can go wrong.”

He also tries to make it clear that in this field you should always try to minimize risks: “If you think it’s going to explode, don’t go there.”

The members of the Ordnance Disposal Service wear heavy protective armor, called bomb suits, to protect them from smaller blasts. But that protection is not unlimited. With larger explosives, “all the armor in the world isn’t enough to save you if you’re on top of it,” Gaydeski says.

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The large bomb suit can also be a hindrance in some situations, as it limits dexterity and affects vision. So in some dangerous situations EOD technicians work with limited protective equipment.

Gaydeski says if he doesn’t feel good about something, he doesn’t go there. “I then use robotics or some other remote means to mitigate the danger,” he says. This indicates that there are usually, though not always, other options available.

“You have to make a decision”

The Marines’ EOD unit consists of volunteers from other military units. Gaydeski was an infantry marine for four years before joining the EOD and Villarreal was a communications engineer.

The Marines EOD unit consists of volunteers from other military units

The Explosive Ordnance Disposal Service appeals to marines for various reasons. Villarreal decided he wanted to join the EOD when he saw a team from this division in action during a mission in Iraq.

“When I saw the professionalism and courage of those guys, I decided I wanted to go to that unit,” he says.

When Marines volunteer for the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Service, they are first screened for eligibility.You might have to pretend you’re at a hospital or outside a school or something like that,” he says. “The idea behind that is that you can’t just go for the easy solution and push the button to blow up the explosive.”

Whether or not it’s a simulation, EOD specialists must keep in mind that their actions have consequences. They should not be overwhelmed by this. “You have to make a decision,” Villarreal said. “You have to have faith in your choice.”

Cleaning up old ammunition

Gaydeski and Villarreal are currently stationed in the US state of North Carolina. On their foreign missions, they mainly dealt with improvised explosive devices. In the US, they train colleagues and sometimes assist local law enforcement. Gaydeski says they’ll be turned on, for example, if unexploded ordnance is discovered. For example, it is not uncommon for explosives to wash up on the beach after a hurricane: “There is actually a lot of war material in the ocean.”

Gaydeski and Villarreal are currently stationed in the US state of

American World War II veterans also took a lot of stuff home, Gaydeski said. “A common call we get here in North Carolina is, ‘Hey, I was cleaning out my grandfather’s garage and I found this grenade,’” he says. “That’s something the military always does. We don’t leave ammunition lying around, even if it sometimes gets lost for a while.”

Author: Jobly