71st EOD Officer Speaks to USAFA Cadets
By Pfc. Matthew MarsiliaNovember 1, 2019
FORT CARSON, Colo. - Maj. Robert Heywood, an explosive ordinance disposal (EOD) officer assigned to 71st Ordnance Group at Fort Carson, Colorado, recently shared his experiences and knowledge based on his EOD background with 11 cadets at the United States Air Force Academy, Oct. 25.Heywood, a 13-year EOD veteran, had much to say on the subject given his long career, and since the cadets were enrolled in a chemistry of weapons course, the subject matter resonated with them."It is really good to get an outside perspective on something like EOD," said Capt. John Hudgins, structural engineer and chemistry teacher at the United States Air Force Academy.Heywood spoke in depth about his passion for the EOD field."This is my obligatory EOD pitch," said Heywood. "EOD is an outstanding career."
Heywood, however, wasn't hesitant to express the dangers that come with the career field. He recalled deploying to Iraq with the 38th EOD out of Fort Stewart, Georgia, which completed over 700 missions and disposed of over 15,000 pounds of explosives. He became acceptant of the fact that any mission he would set out on could be his very last."Every time I would deploy and go out on mission, I would make peace with myself," Heywood said.His visit was seen as a real benefit to the students in attendance."I think anytime that you get a chance to meet somebody with experience on the ground, with troops on the ground, they get a better picture of what they're supporting," Hudgins said.Heywood explained in order to be successful in the EOD field, one needs to be adaptive in their thought process."People who typically do better at EOD school are those who are able to take in knowledge and translate it into action," Heywood said.He would then go on to explain the dangers of explosives, different types of homemade explosives, oxidizers and role of EOD both overseas and at home.At the very end of his presentation, Heywood left the class with some positive words."I found something I really enjoy and that I'm really good at," Heywood said. "I've had many opportunities to change my career field, but I'd rather be a part of the EOD community."