Alex Burtness and a fellow officer working on a explosive device.
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Lieutenant Junior Grade

Alex Burtness

Explosive Ordnance Disposal

Alex became a part of the military community straight out of high school. As a cadet of the Naval Academy, he learned the values of leadership at a young age. He took those values to the fleet where he commands a platoon of explosive ordinance disposal technicians.

"“The Navy taught me to dive, jump, shoot, fastrope and disarm all types of ordnance. I’ve loved every bit of that training, but the most important thing that the Navy has taught me is how to lead.”"

Alex Burtness

Lieutenant Junior Grade | Navy

Alex Burtness: Leading a Platoon by Example

Hear about Alex Burtness’ role as an Explosives Ordnance Disposal technician, and how he and his team use their training to ensure the safety of both service members and civilians.

Length 1:44 View Transcript


To be a good EOD officer definitely takes a belief and the value of our job and what we do, and a commitment to those you work for and those you work with. It's important to have integrity and dedication, and a sense of strong personal motivation to be successful, and -- as an EOD technician, and also as a naval officer.

Because of the nature of our work, the stress levels will always be increasing. And the officers need to be the ones especially to keep their heads on a swivel, and to keep calm, to be able to make the decisions that need to be made.

Trust in an important part of our job as EOD technicians, because we have to be able to trust the people that we work with to do our job, and to do their job as well.

A good reason to become an EOD officer, I believe, is first and foremost the men and women that you work with. You get the cream of the crop, really, within this community. And to be able to lead those type of people, I don't know if anybody would want to do anything else, really.

I think Lieutenant Burtness is a great EOD officer. He certainly looks out for those he works with. He has a high standard that he demands of all of us, but he sets that standard, and he leads from the front.

I feel that the whole team learns from Lieutenant Burtness, just in his example of leadership, and his work ethic. We get a real good sense that he is always taking care of us.

ALEX BURTNESS Obviously, the work that we do as explosive ordinance disposal technicians is extremely important, and that's the draw that gets people into the community. But I think the most rewarding part is just the people that you get to work with on a day-to-day basis, and the caliber of people that you get to engage with. I think that's really unique. It's unique in the Military, and it's unique in general, just working with the level of people that you work with every day.