I never would have expected that I would join the military, but at 18 I shipped off to Air Force BMT. Then I spent around a year going through prelim and EOD school. Since then I've been loving life and playing with explosives. I have not been to war, but I have done some pretty neat things in my opinion. This is a throwaway account because duh and I will likely be vague with questions that could be unfavorable for myself or my EOD family. If you are a tech and you find out who I am, tell me this username in person and I'll owe you a beer. :)

My Proof: http://imgur.com/a/fTiLB

Some frag, a piece of a rocket motor igniter, my EOD badge, and a couple coins I've received.

Comments: 140 • Responses: 56  • Date: 

dlstove21 karma

You make out with a dude yet?

BumTechnician26 karma

Yes. Multiple times. Wanna fight about it?

ZacAttackks1 karma

What's up man! Congrats on making it. I failed out back in Jan 2015. Good luck and stay safe!

You're not one of those unicorns are you?

BumTechnician1 karma

Nope, but I was close. Only failed the GM test.

Jutter7017 karma

Do you have any words of wisdom for people who buy today's illegal overpowered fireworks?

BumTechnician50 karma

Don't drunkenly try to pack three into a mortar tube, two usually works, three will likely cause problems.

milo194814 karma

If you had a bomb set to explode in front of you in less than 30sec. You can't get far enough away in time, and you don't have enough time to do your bomby disarm thing the right way. You only have 2 wires showing, with 1 that will disarm it if cut. The other blows the bomb up. Do you cut the blue wire or the red wire?

BumTechnician95 karma

I mean, red, duh... But first I would pull my dick out, so if I did die, people would think I tried to disarm it with my dick, and if I lived, I could tell people I disarmed it with my dick.

artTho5 karma

A useful tip that can be applied to other professions. Thanks for the tip..

BumTechnician27 karma

You're welcome for the tip, just the tip, not the entire thing.

Lt_Fawkes14 karma

how often do you end up going out to Diffuse an explosive?

what is your personal scary experience?

BumTechnician17 karma

Not too often, old ordnance is found occasionally, maybe a couple times a year in my area. IED's are even less frequent. Other areas are far more frequent in both categories. We do regularly safe and dispose of aircraft explosives like flares and starter cartridges for the engines, a few times a month.

Personal "scary" experience would probably an instance where a piece of fragmentation came whizzing up-range and almost beheaded a person.

MB312114 karma

Does "Keep talking and nobody explodes" remind you too much of your job? Or is it so different that it acts as an escape?

Also, at this point, does it feel like a job or a chore?

BumTechnician14 karma

Haven't played it (if you are talking about the game that popped up when I googled that.) Looks like it probably is EXACTLY like being a bomb tech.

Definitely not a chore, and barely a job. It's sort of developed into my way of life, as cheesy as that sounds.

about372people12 karma

Could you, hypothothetically, climb on top of an EOD bot and drive it around like your own teeny tank?

BumTechnician31 karma

Could you, yes. Should you, no. Have I, maybe...

Cyphvr10 karma

What's Air Force BMT like? What's an average day?

BumTechnician18 karma

In my slightly humble opinion, ridiculously easy. Average day was wake up early, piss, shave, put on uniform, go to some classes, eat chow, more classes, fold clothes, clean, shower, sleep. Occasionally get yelled at. They didn't really make us do pushups or anything like that often. My MTI was actually a pretty cool dude.

chummed9 karma

Thank you for your service... What was the closest you have come to death? And what was your most exciting moment?

BumTechnician23 karma

Thank you for your support. Probably pneumonia when I was 14... Work wise, I haven't really had any near death experiences. We do our best to work safely at all times, but if I had to answer, I suppose I would say walking around Alaska on a live range. Could be sensitive ordnance on the ground covered up by earth. Most exciting moment would probably be either my first big demo in EOD school (around a 2,000 lb shot) or getting a private tour of the White House.

chummed3 karma

What made you want to go into the military?

BumTechnician16 karma

Didn't want to go to college, hated school and didn't want to waste my money to just end up working some shitty job. My father was in the Army and he tried to get me to join up every now and again. I was totally against it until all of my friends had already been accepted into college and I was just working at McDonald's.

TheProfessor_Reddit9 karma

Is cut the red wire thing of any real truth? Sorry for the stupid question but I thought I may as well ask

BumTechnician27 karma

Cut wires, yes. The vast majority of the time we do it remotely, with explosive tools or a rope, but sometimes you have to do what we call "hand-jamming." Or what some call "finger fucking the bomb." If the wire happens to be red then someone just gets to be a sarcastic asshole.

Bagellord7 karma

How complicated are actual bombs compared to how they're portrayed in movies and tv?

BumTechnician9 karma

Ordnance is far more complicated than I ever expected or knew. IED's I suppose kind of similar to how they are portrayed in media. Explosions on the other hand, almost completely different.

Bagellord3 karma

Ordnance as in bombs and warheads? I figured those would be somewhat complicated.

BumTechnician8 karma

Ordnance typically refers to military made munitions. Something mass produced or made in a factory.

Bagellord3 karma

Ah okay. How stable is that stuff, if you're allowed to answer?

BumTechnician5 karma

Depends on the ordnance. Some are extremely sensitive, some need like 5 different things to happen before it can even go off.

ClimbingChris7 karma

If, hypothetically, one we're to have an opportunity (invitation) to observe an explosives and explosive effects course, what kind of demonstrations might take place? Would it be worth taking a weekend off and traveling across the country to see? What kind of demonstrations for colleagues have you participated in?

Thank you for being part of a team with such a fantastic mission: destroying things that would destroy our soldiers'/sailors'/airmen's/marines' lives. Or innocent civilians' lives. Thank you.

BumTechnician9 karma

Sounds worthwhile to me, especially if you like explosions and haven't seen many. We do various demonstrations, from your standard large explosion, to what we call "Hollywood shots" where we use gasoline to make a big fire ball. Explosive effects sounds like you'd probably see demonstrations of the destructive power of explosives.

That's what it's all about. Thank you for your support!

canadian19877 karma


BumTechnician18 karma

I feel like it was pretty dope. I bet they laughed at the dude when he first brought it up and then they were like "Actually..."

YouGiveDovesABadName7 karma

Probably a very basic question but how difficult was EOD school, and what was an average day like? I heard that the students can't bring their study material home because of OPSEC, and other different stories about what EOD students have to go through. I'm an Air Force brat and used to live on Sheppard, where the EOD pre-lim school is

BumTechnician7 karma

In my very slightly humble opinion, it was actually pretty easy. As long as you could follow instructions and were able to work with your hands, you were good to go. But, a 70%(or something like that) attrition rate says it's one of the most difficult DOD schools there are. We could not study outside of the classroom, which made some things pretty difficult, but if you were committed to passing the school, it was very doable. Also, unlike most military schools, we had to receive an 85% to pass the test. If you failed, you got one retest, then if you failed that, you would go to an Academic Review Board with a bunch of scary high ranking individuals from each service and they would grill you on why they should give you another chance. Avoiding that also helped me do well in school.

silvergun_superman6 karma

How would you diffuse a bomb shuuved up someone's shtinka?

BumTechnician8 karma

Lube and a Gerber. I guess I would probably light a candle too, to set the mood.

It_Is_Blue5 karma

Have you ever had any false alarms? What was the funniest thing that was accidentally identified as a bomb?

BumTechnician14 karma

Most suspicious package calls turn out to be false alarms. Occasionally we have ordnance calls that are false alarms as well. Auger bits can easily be confused for projo fuzes. I was not on this call, but I did hear of someone responding to a suspect device that turned out to be a homeless person's home(less?)made vibrator.

babe-a-tron4 karma

Why did you join and do you feel the same about that/those reason(s)? Also, whats your favorite and least favorite things about your job?

BumTechnician3 karma

As I answered just a second ago, I joined because I didn't want to waste my money and I hated school. I still feel exactly the same (most of my friends are in large debt and are graduating soon with no job lined up). Favorite part about my job... very difficult question. I really do have a passion for what I do. I guess the brotherhood and traditions would have to be my favorite. Least favorite is when I'm just sitting at my desk hitting reload on my inbox because I have nothing else to do.

DropletFox2 karma

What kind of brotherhood and traditions?

BumTechnician3 karma

Brotherhood, but not like the blood relative. Although I do know two techs who are real brothers. Quite a few traditions, most of which I cannot tell because they are held within the community. But one would be owing beer for being published in a newspaper, or being on the news itself.

LightChaos4 karma

What is the strangest looking bomb you have found (and did you think that the person who made it had a sense of humour)?

BumTechnician2 karma

I don't think bomb-makers typically are making bombs for a laugh. I can't think of any truly strange looking bombs. I'll be sure to keep my eye out for an interesting looking one though.

[deleted]3 karma


BumTechnician6 karma

The job, not very accurate other than the fact that we are all handsome and smart. Explosions, also not very accurate. The military, close but there are a lot more PowerPoint briefings in real life.

[deleted]1 karma


BumTechnician1 karma

I've heard of places making the new guys watch The Hurtlocker and have them write down everything they did wrong in the movie as like a test. So in a way, yes.

[deleted]1 karma


BumTechnician3 karma

Well there are many different scenarios, so it's hard to give you a typical situation. Video game skills can help with robot driving, knot tying skills can help with remote moving, mechanical knowledge is important, electrical knowledge is important, knowledge of physics is important, critical thinking is important, observations skills are necessary, the list could go on for quite a while.

[deleted]1 karma


BumTechnician3 karma

Kind of confused on what you are asking. We usually send a robot in first, and then go down and do what we need to do to disarm it, usually remotely. If we can render it safe with the robot and not have to send a person in, then that is what we will do.

artTho3 karma

Have they started using drones for bombs disposal yet?

BumTechnician2 karma

Sort of.

mikeasaurus_3 karma

I'm a tech.

A tech sergeant in a different career field.. will you buy me a beer, too?

BumTechnician5 karma


C4WHORE2 karma

What would be your preferred method of disposal to that piece of shit robot known as the AFMSR? And how many hours have you spent finger fucking it to no avail and cursing its existence?

BumTechnician2 karma

We don't use it often, although we have one collecting dust in the back. The F6A is our go-to. Shit, if we could just put that camera on a mast, I would actually like it.

AncientBlonde2 karma

Sorry if this is dumb, but will a bomb actually go off if you cut the wrong wire?

BumTechnician7 karma

Get your dumb ass question out of here!

Jk, yes a bomb could actually go off of you cut the wrong wire. Some bombers are actually pretty darn smart and target the bomb tech, so they make it go off if you cut a certain wire.

mishag242 karma

What is the biggest boom you have ever seen?

BumTechnician6 karma

Biggest boom would be a shot I did in EOD school. I think it was 2,000 lbs? I don't really remember, but we were like a mile or so away and it rocked the building.

wh1te_h4wk_EE4 karma

I'd pay to experience that.

BumTechnician15 karma

I get paid to experience that. ;)

wh1te_h4wk_EE3 karma

Where does one start? Im extremely lazy (but trying to work on changing that), and currently in college for an associates in science.

BumTechnician3 karma

Talk to a recruiter. Get a good score on your ASVAB. Right now, you don't have to pass a physical fitness test to become EOD, but you do need to be fit to make it through prelim.

wh1te_h4wk_EE3 karma

Cool, thanks. Hey, have you ever traveled abroad, to a place outside the US? (if you dont mind me asking)

BumTechnician2 karma

Mexico on vacation, that's it. Sometimes EOD guys get to go TDY(temporary duty) overseas for Secret Service support. I have not been fortunate enough to get an overseas mission.

music_lover411 karma

How much does one make doing this type of work ? Not exact but a range

BumTechnician1 karma

I get my basic military pay, plus an incentive pay, plus demo pay. $40,000ish a year. Plus when I go TDY(temporary duty) I get per diem, so that's extra money too. I also got an $18,000 signing bonus when I graduated school, and when I reenlist I'll get a much larger bonus.

Gilimallow2 karma

What made you decide to become an EOD? (as opposed to another job). And what made you decide to do it for the Air Force?

BumTechnician7 karma

I initially just wanted to join and go, so I took the first contract that came to me which was open mechanical. Luckily recruiters get bonus points for recruiting what is considered to be "Battlefield Airmen". So my recruiter mentioned EOD, I looked it up and it just called to me. I am an adrenaline junkie and was a bit of a pyro as a kid, so it makes sense. I joined the AF because my dad was Army and always said if I join it should be the AF because they get treated much better than any other branch. Which is very true.

DyldoTheGreat2 karma

Squirtle, Charmander, or Bulbasaur?

BumTechnician2 karma

Charmander. Kind of a pyro.

laststance2 karma

Is it common practice just freeze the explosive devices now-a-days? It it like law school where students watch My Cousin Vinne and write down the correct/incorrect actions? But for bomb techs, you guys probably watch The Hurtlocker. Are angry at The Hurtlocker for the lack of males making out with eachother?

BumTechnician3 karma

Nope. Some places do make the new guys do that. I mean, they did get drunk and wrestle around shirtless, so that made up for the lack of kissing.

JD7622 karma

how do you like the Leatherman EOD?

BumTechnician2 karma

Haven't used it. I have a Gerber.

_StarFox69_2 karma

What was the most difficult bomb to disarm in your job?

banjaxe1 karma

Just curious as I've read more detailed writeups about that one in the past. I know they use a replica for training, but... Was there actually a way they could have disarmed it?

BumTechnician2 karma

Yes, ways have been developed now.

TheTallestOfTopHats1 karma

How hard was EOD school?

How much math was involved?

If you had failed out what would your MOS have become?

I'm thinking of trying for EOD, and I have a bachelors in english lit from a state school, you think I'm prepared academically for EOD school?

BumTechnician1 karma

I thought it was fairly easy, as long as you could read and follow directions. But I suppose the 70% attrition rate says otherwise. Not too much math really, just some basic algebra. When you fail they have a list of jobs for you to pick from and then you get one of those. One of my buddies failed and is SecFo, another failed and went PMEL. My class had like 12 officers in it, so they all had college degrees. Only like half of them actually made it. They all agreed that EOD school is nothing like college. If you wanna do it, just commit to it and you will have a better chance of making it.

westerndivide1 karma

What was your scariest experience where you had no idea what to do and how to diffuse it? Did you ever have to deal with a suicide bomber?

BumTechnician3 karma

Never been in either one of those scenarios. The vast majority of the time though, we know how to render it safe. If the tech running the show doesn't know what to do, he has a slew of other techs to get an opinion from.

RivendaleSandwiches1 karma

I myself am currently going through the recruitment process for the Air Force and already took my ASVAB. I'm a bit torn on whether I want EOD or Security Forces. Any advice if I happen to pick it?

Also, thank you for your service.

BumTechnician2 karma

If you happen to pick it, just keep your nose down and study. You'd probably regret picking Security Forces if you are actually capable of becoming an EOD tech. Quality of life for us is vastly superior compared to the cops. I know a few cops who cross-trained into EOD after they found out how much it sucks to be a "defender".

CurbYourEnthusiasmYo1 karma

Do you think that we should use robots instead of people to fight?

BumTechnician3 karma

Sure, why not. I'd sign on to fight beside the Terminator.

tommydvi1 karma

Long term plans in the military? Plan on doing full 20 or going officer? I feel like eod would be hard to do long term for rank progression any other jobs you may switch to?

BumTechnician2 karma

Probably stay in and do 20. Thought about officer, but you can't be an EOD officer for very long. I mean, it's not really more difficult to rank up than most jobs. Nah, I don't think I'd want to do anything else.

rowjack19931 karma

did you ever see the episode of the IT Crowd with the bomb disposal robot? is it anything like that with PC crashing because of the OS?

BumTechnician1 karma

Never seent it.

theclockworkcorvid1 karma

Have you ever had to defuse a live bomb outside of training?

BumTechnician1 karma

Not in the way you are thinking. I have rendered a few ordnance items safe. Not too many IED's stateside, so I haven't had the pleasure of attacking a real one.

GodofWar12341 karma

What do you think of JROTC?

What do you think of Marines and the Marine Corps?

If you don't mind me asking, who did you vote for during the election?

What are your own individual thoughts pertaining to Trump and Clinton?

Did you think Obama did a good job running our country?

What do you think of Mattis? Is he well known in the Air Force or is he just that one general that everyone's heard about but don't fully know?

What advice can you give to a Marine Corps JROTC cadet who wishes to join the Marines after high school to serve his country? :) ;)

Has there been any Trump/Mattis memes used in place of official pictures for the Chain of Command picture board?

Would you consider yourself patriotic?

Do you have any paranormal/cryptid animal story?

What's the scariest/funniest/strangest thing to have happened to you in the Air Force?

What's your rank?

If you could, which service branch/MOS would you choose in place of the Air Force/EOD?

Is it safe to say that the Marines have the best looking uniforms out there? ;)

On a scale of 1-20, how would you rate Air Force BMT?

Would you consider yourself patriotic?

BumTechnician0 karma


philthehuskerfan1 karma

Do you ever get cool ideas from Battlebots?

BumTechnician1 karma


theclockworkcorvid1 karma

Have you ever been in a geneuniely terrifying defusal scenario?

BumTechnician2 karma

I've had an instructor yelling at me to hurry up while I'm trying to place a metal wrench on a metal fuze without making a sound. :)

Marylandman1011 karma

Are you concerned to be in the military at a time where the commander and chief talks about taking other countries oil and how in the good ol days to the victor went the spoils?

BumTechnician4 karma

Nope. I gotta do what I gotta do. I'd rather be out there doing my best to save lives anyway. Not saying I'm necessarily an advocate for war, just saying I know what I signed up for.

dj3hac1 karma

How do I get this vest off?

BumTechnician2 karma

You can either press the button or wait for EOD.

wisdom_possibly1 karma

initial success

or total failure

This is great. Got any more Bomb humor?

BumTechnician3 karma

Eh, not really humor. That's actually our motto.

But, we like to say "avoid the pink mist."

AlexNuiQ1 karma

Am AF CE myself thinking about cross-training. Do you guys require a TS clearance?

BumTechnician2 karma

Yup. Go talk to your EOD shop and do your two weeks with them.