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When did the US Army begin wearing the EOD insignia?


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VolunteerArmoury

Has anyone seen much use of the later (1980s-2000s) brassard with the WW2 insignia on it? There was an EOD unit on Ft. Gillem when I was there in the late 90s but I never saw anyone wearing that brassard until ACUs came out.

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I was stationed at Fort Gillem in 1999 till 2003. I was in the 723rd ORD CO (EOD), next door we had the 184th ORD BN (EOD), and across the street, we had the 52nd ORD GRP (EOD). They all relocated in the early 2000's to align with combat brigades. They all went to Fort Campbell, and are still there to this day.

 

We uses the WW2 brassard insignia on our flack vest. The logic behind it was, if we were wearing our flack vest, we were on a call. When we went to ACU's. The EOD velcro officially replaced the old brassard and we would simply put it on when on a call. EOD typically didn't wear it all the time because its original intent was signify who was on duty/performing EOD Duties. The velcro made it easier to ID us on and off call/duty. So our higher ups put policy in place limiting the velcro for on duty only. While in Atlanta, my EOD unit was responsible for UXO and IED support to all local and Federal law enforcement in North Georgia. The EOD unit at Fort Benning took care of everything south. Our units were geographically place to provide coverage of the entire U.S. My next assignment after Gillem was Cape Canaveral AFS. That was good duty. Lots of flares would wash up from Navy maneuvers off the coast. LOL!!! Here is a pic of the three previously authorized EOD Brassards. The black one with the snaps from WW2 till the ACUs were issued. The plastic looking one is for deployment. It is IR reflective, the sewn one is for non-combat ops/training.

 

Smitty

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VolunteerArmoury

First time I was on Gilem was about that time. Not EOD though. Last time I was assigned there was 2009 as a Reservist. Id wondered why there was an EOD unit there. I understood theres still some sized EOD folks there but not sure if active or Guard or if thats even correct that theyre there.

 

Did you ever see any wearing the 40s style brassard around their arm?

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VolunteerArmoury

Were EOD folks always in the Ordnance Corps? Id thought Ive read of some 1940s Bomb Disposal folks in the Engineers.

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We only wore the WWII wrap around brassard in BDUs. And it was attached to our flack vest. So yes, we would wear it on every call on and off base while I was stationed at fort Gillem. I want to say it was in 2003 when the ACU's came out and the BDU's were phased out.

 

We had a Bomb Disposal Branch early on, but it combined with Ammo/Ordnance. BD numbers couldn't sustain their own branch. There are currently less than 1400 slots in the active duty force, which is more than we had prior to the 2000s and the war on terror. As for NG EOD, they are based out of another location. I want to say they are at Dobbins. The last time I looked at MTOE/TDA documents for the reserve, there are only 20ish bonafide EOD positions. They were tied to the MI detachments for weapons intelligence purposes. I been retired for a year and don't have access to the system anymore. (FMSweb has TOE/MTOE/TDA info and you can search MOS/AOC authorizations across Compo one and two units. I passed this info to my Soldiers so they can see where billets are. Also used it to keep branch managers honest! LOL!!!)

 

There is talk of EOD getting a branch, but I doubt the Ordnance corp will give them up. EOD is the money makers for them.

 

Engineers tried a hostel take over. Their claim was "IED's are obstacles, Engineers eliminate obstacles". The concession given was the R2C2 Sapper program, which morphed into the EOCA (Explosive Ordnance Clearance Agent)program. EOD guys taught Engineers some basic demo and ordnance id and gave them a picture book. They could eliminate items they encountered from the book with out calling EOD. Problem was/still is, when its blown up, I swear it was in the book. This bad idea has resulted in countless losses of IED and IED materials that EOD can use to develop target packages. EOD collects bio-metric data, tool marks, and other samples from IED's to link to the people who built, placed, and resources components for the IEDs. The Engineers just want to keep moving and not wait on EOD. So you get the "I swear it was in the book" answer. As of a year ago when I retired, they haven't provided one intel report on IED's they have destroyed on route clearance, so its hard to catch the bad guys when the evidence is destroyed! LOL!!!!

 

Smitty

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