VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Explosive Ordnance Disposal Expeditionary Support Unit 2 sponsored Navy boot camp recruits, at Recruit Training Command Great Lakes, Ill., Oct 5.
As part of the sponsorship EODESU 2 senior leaders gave guidance and mentorship to more than 60 special operation recruits assigned to Division 821. The sponsorship marks the first time a special operation command participated in sponsoring a special operations division, future Navy Divers, Seals, and Special warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen.
“Our sponsorship is a tremendously rewarding experience,” said Capt. (Select) Jeffery Rathbun, commanding officer of EODESU 2. “I was very happy to take part in the program. It was great to see the sailors excitement and dedication to reaching their goals.”
Rathbun said that having sponsorship encourages and motivates new recruits, giving them the opportunity to have questions answered face-to-face from experienced sailors, while showing them that support will be provided throughout their naval career.
“Sponsorship is an important first step into the special operation community or any other community,” said Rathbun. “It lets those sailors know that they are entering a tight-knit community and that there is an entire organization interested and supportive of them succeeding.”
EODESU 2 began sponsorship of Division 821 in the first week of the recruits, arrival at RTC. During the eight weeks of boot camp, leader from EODESU 2 attended several milestone events to include a commissioning ceremony signifying the official start of recruit training, and the final pass and review.
“I am honored to be part of the boot camp process,” said EODESU 2 Command Master Chief William Rubow. “I say that because as a 27-year master chief, having been there myself, mentoring our recruits is very humbling and satisfying at the same time.”
Rubow recalled his boot camp days when the sponsorship program was non-existent.
“I went to boot camp in 1986,” said Rubow. “We didn’t have anyone speak to us, visit or be involved. I think if I would have had mentorship and been provided more options up front, I’m sure I would have became a diver much earlier in my career. I think our sailors are so much ahead of us because they have so many opportunities afforded to them.”
During the sponsored visits, recruits had the chance to ask many questions.
“The recruits had a lot of questions that were very good,” said Rubow. “I think we were able to provide them with great answers and oversight inside their career fields and the Navy.”
EODESU 2, part of Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, provides administrative and logistical support for all East Coast EOD and diving salvage units. NECC is an enduring force providing capability across the full range of military operations in the maritime strategy to include forward presence, maritime security and power projection, now and in the future.