DVIDS – News – Extremely embellished EOD technician retires from elite unit after recovering from paralysis

FORT BRAGG, North Carolina – Probably the most extremely embellished Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician within the historical past of an elite U.S. Army airborne EOD firm just lately retired after recovering from a combat-related gunshot wound that paralyzed him from the chest down.

Sgt. 1st Class Jeffery M. Dawson accomplished his legendary profession with the twenty eighth Ordnance Firm (EOD), the Army’s solely Particular Operations-focused EOD firm with handpicked and extremely educated EOD Troopers who help direct motion missions all over the world.

The Fort Bragg, North Carolina-based twenty eighth EOD Firm (Airborne) is a part of the 192nd EOD Battalion, 52nd EOD Group and twentieth Chemical, Organic, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives (CBRNE) Command, the U.S. army’s premier all hazards formation.

In an Army EOD neighborhood first, seventy fifth Ranger Regiment Commander Col. Jim “JD” Kiersey and Command Sgt. Maj. Curt D. Donaldson attended his ceremony and upgraded Dawson’s standing from an “honorary member” to a “distinguished member” of the Ranger Regiment.

A part of U.S. Army Particular Operations Command, the seventy fifth Ranger Regiment is the U.S. Army’s premier direct motion mild infantry pressure. The regiment can deploy one Ranger Battalion to hotspots all over the world inside 18 hours of notification.

A seasoned fight veteran who’s initially from Coalville, Utah, Dawson deployed to Iraq with the 722nd EOD Firm earlier than being chosen for the twenty eighth EOD Firm. Throughout his six years with the twenty eighth EOD Firm, Dawson deployed to Afghanistan seven instances.

Dawson stated EOD technicians safeguarded forces and enabled operations in the course of the World Conflict on Terror by confronting and defeating the enemy’s most well-liked weapon – the Improvised Explosive Machine. EOD forces have rendered secure greater than 100,000 improvised explosive gadgets in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2006 and have educated hundreds of host nation forces.

“Throughout the World Conflict on Terror, IEDs and different complicated explosive gadgets have been at an all-time excessive. Many maneuver components relied closely on the talent and competency of EOD technicians. Not simply from the Army however all companies. Typically instances, the weather would embed EOD as an natural asset,” stated Dawson. “I typically overheard many members of the weather we’ve supported say that they’d by no means go exterior of the wire with out EOD on the manifest. That’s what makes EOD techs so essential to the army.”

Throughout his profession, Dawson defeated lots of of explosive gadgets and earned the Purple Coronary heart for fight accidents twice.

“As an EOD tech, essentially the most memorable missions stand out as a result of they have been both actually good or actually dangerous,” stated Dawson. “Working with particular operations forces, you typically end up in conditions the place the end result can sway in both path in a second’s discover.”

The missions that stand out essentially the most for Dawson are the one the place he earned the nation’s second highest army medal, the Distinguished Service Cross, and the mission that almost ended his life and left him paralyzed from the chest down.

In Afghanistan on Oct. 5, 2013, Dawson participated in a mission to seize or kill a excessive worth Taliban chief who was planning terror assaults.

“The IED menace was low and it was speculated to be a fast straightforward goal,” Dawson stated. “Upon infiltration every little thing modified in minutes.”

A fleeing rebel donated an explosive and killed a group member and the group’s multi-purpose canine, Jani.

Dawson quickly realized that his group was surrounded by strain plate IEDs. He halted the mission, situated the improvised explosive gadgets and aided within the evacuation of lifeless and wounded Troopers. 4 U.S. Troopers have been killed by explosive gadgets in the course of the mission.

Though severely injured throughout two totally different explosions, Dawson labored in restricted visibility to find three confirmed strain plate IEDs and 6 further suspected gadgets. He then cleared a path to evacuate the fallen and wounded Troopers.

On Feb, 17, 2015, then Army Vice Chief of Workers Gen. Daniel B. Allyn introduced the Distinguished Service Cross to Dawson throughout a ceremony on Fort Benning, Georgia. Sgt. Bryan C. Anderson, the Ranger Platoon medic on the identical mission, additionally obtained the Distinguished Service Cross in the course of the ceremony. The seventy fifth Ranger Regiment submitted them for the award.

On one other mission in Afghanistan in July 2019, Dawson was shot and severely wounded.

“Once I was shot, it got here in my proper arm and got here to relaxation upon impacting and fracturing my left shoulder blade, collapsing each lungs and exposing my spinal twine within the course of,” stated Dawson. “I’m grateful for the experience of the medic that carried out life-saving therapy which allowed me the chance to stay regardless of all odds.”

The medic saved Dawson through the use of a chest tube to inflate his collapsing lungs.

Dawson was medically evacuated to Germany for surgical procedure after which to Walter Reed Nationwide Army Medical Heart in Bethesda, Maryland. He moved subsequent to James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa, Florida, a facility that focuses on spinal accidents.

Working with bodily therapists and utilizing the robust and tenacious “by no means give up” method that made him profitable on the battlefield, Dawson stood once more after which he walked once more.

Lower than a 12 months after being severely wounded, Dawson took on 5K and walked 3.1 miles unassisted. Since then, he has accomplished a 6.2-mile stroll and a triathlon with a quarter-mile swim, 11-mile bike trip and three.1 mile stroll with out assistive gadgets.

“The important thing to my restoration was largely psychological,” stated Dawson. “I misplaced management of every little thing from the chest down, with that I misplaced any bodily conditioning previous to my harm. I primarily needed to begin over as a new child in a 33-year-old man’s physique.

“Since I’m nonetheless attempting to relearn every little thing, I’ve to maintain a constructive psychological perspective so I can proceed to progress,” stated Dawson.

After returning dwelling to North Carolina, Dawson has taken time to concentrate on therapeutic the seen and invisible scars from a number of fight missions. “I nonetheless stay energetic as a lot as I can,” stated Dawson. “I take pleasure in looking, fishing, mountain climbing and different out of doors actions that get my coronary heart pumping. Sooner or later, I wish to full a mud run.”

He has enrolled in school and he’s searching for alternatives to assist different veterans.

Dawson stated the spotlight of his profession was being acknowledged by the seventy fifth Ranger Regiment for actions on the battlefield.

“I used to be surrounded by individuals who wished to be there,” stated Dawson. “It has been an honor working with the seventy fifth Ranger Regiment. Their experience and professionalism set the usual for others to look as much as.

“What makes the twenty eighth a fantastic firm is that it’s crammed with specifically chosen and effectively educated Troopers who won’t ever settle for defeat and by no means fail to finish the mission. Troopers who’ve the willingness to shoulder greater than their share of the duty, no matter it might be, 100% after which some,” stated Dawson. “To achieve success within the twenty eighth, you want to be in form, snug working autonomously, clever, and most significantly, you have to be trainable.”

Maj. Stephen M. Knudsen, the commanding officer of the twenty eighth EOD Firm, stated his firm has at all times relied on the experience, grit and dedication of noncommissioned officers like Dawson to help Special Forces models on the tip of the spear all over the world.

“The twenty eighth is a one-of-a-kind formation with ahead components constantly deployed all through the whole thing of its 13-year historical past,” stated Knudsen. “It offers a painfully mild and disproportionally deadly airborne EOD functionality to the seventy fifth Ranger Regiment and Particular Operations Command throughout disaster response, raid and joint forcible entry operations.”

Knudsen, a 14-year veteran from Sutter Creek, California, has deployed to Iraq as soon as and Afghanistan thrice. The twenty eighth EOD Firm commander stated Dawson had by no means let his heroic deeds and storied service within the Explosive Ordnance Disposal neighborhood go to his head.

“The factor that stands out about Sgt. 1st Class Dawson is how approachable and all the way down to earth he’s,” stated Knudsen. “He’s a legend within the profession area, but he’s such a lightweight hearted, humorous and real particular person. If there was anybody who has earned the fitting to be tremendous boastful or macho, it’s him, however as a substitute you’re greeted by a humble man with a heat grin carrying a cat shirt.”

Date Taken: 06.06.2022
Date Posted: 06.06.2022 10:12
Story ID: 422250
Location: FORT BRAGG, NC, US 

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