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Reality vs. Sensitivity: Navy EOD school told to get rid of unofficial motto

Because, you see, it might be seen as insensitive to those who have died in the line of duty:

The school where bomb technicians from all branches of the U.S. military learn their craft has been ordered to remove the unofficial motto "Initial Success or Total Failure" from its classroom walls.

Rear Adm. Michael Tillotson told school leaders this month that the motto could be viewed as disrespectful to the hundreds of Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians who have died in the line of duty.

"The motto itself holds potential insensitivities and implies that our fallen and wounded EOD Warriors have somehow failed," Tillotson, who is based in Norfolk, Va., said in a memo to the Florida school.

There are very few jobs in the world where success or failure are so stark. 

Such stark reality shouldn’t be downplayed.  It shouldn’t be shuffled off to the side in the name of “sensitivity”.  Every EOD person who has paid the ultimate price would most likely agree vociferously with the motto and defend its use.

This isn’t some game.  In the world of EOD, the team either succeeds or fails to disarm the device.  It is either safe or not safe.  Whether or not it actually explodes during the attempt isn’t the point.  It is the job of EOD to succeed in disarming explosive devices.  There is only one alternative to that – failure.  It’s as black and white as anything can get.

And what the motto stresses is that’s an unacceptable outcome in the starkest of terms.  That’s the sort of hard reality EOD trainees need to understand from the moment they report to their school.

This misguided attempt to throw reality out of the door in the name of sensitivity is absurd.   Every man and woman in that school or serving on an EOD team knows the undeniable truth of the motto and accept it as fact.

Some admiral who gets his sensitivity panties in a wad not withstanding, they will continue to recognize its truth regardless of whether the words are on the wall or not.


Twitter: @McQandO