EOD leader, triple amputee earns DOD master rating badge

| June 27, 2014 | 0 Comments
A triple amputee soldier flanked by two generals.

Courtesy photo
BETHESDA, Md. — Staff Sgt. Chris Walker, a former team leader with the 706th EOD Co., poses with Maj. Gen. Edward Dorman III (left), deputy G4 for the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, and Brig. Gen. John Haley, Chief of Ordnance and Ordnance School commandant, after being presented the Master EOD Badge at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, June 11.

Staff Sgt. Gaelen Lowers
8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs

 

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — In April 2012, Staff Sgt. Chris Walker, a former team leader with the 706th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, 303rd EOD Battalion, here, was hit with an improvised explosive device during a post blast investigation while deployed to Afghanistan.

He was thrown 30 feet by a blast intended to take out armored vehicles.

He lost both arms and his left leg. His facial bones were shattered, his eye muscles had to be reattached and his eardrums were ruptured.

Despite the near-death experience, Walker continued to set the example as a noncommissioned officer.

Now, two years later, top leaders in the EOD community have recognized Walker’s continuous dedication as they presented him with the Master EOD Badge during a ceremony, June 11, at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda. Md.

It is the only occupational badge awarded across the Department of Defense and reflects the highest rating an EOD service member can receive.

Maj. Gen. Edward F. Dorman III, deputy G4 for the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, and Brig. Gen. John F. Haley, chief of Ordnance and Ordnance School commandant, presented the badge to Walker.

“It was a tremendous privilege to be able to present Walker his master rating,” said Dorman. “He has always been an inspiration to those he taught at the EOD school and his fellow team members during his deployments. He has such a phenomenal attitude and outlook on life. He truly is an amazing, impressive and resilient Soldier.”

As an EOD team leader, it was Walker’s job to lead in the identification and safe disposal of conventional ordnance and IEDs; assist in the protection of coalition forces and civilians from the effects of explosive hazards; act as the subject matter expert for all explosive hazards and counter-IED tools; and, most importantly, protect the lives of his fellow team members.

Through months of frustration and hardship during recovery, Walker still exhibited those leader traits impacting the troops surrounding him at Walter Reed with his positive attitude and energy. Approaching his 11th year of service, Walker intends to continue his life in the Army.

“Being injured is not the end of your life,” Walker explained. “You just have to keep trying. If you don’t try, it’s not going to get better.”

Dorman expressed his confidence in Walker, his abilities and the goals he has set for himself.

“He has plans and I have no doubt he will accomplish anything he sets his mind to,” said Dorman.

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Category: Leadership, News, Wounded Warriors

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