BOONTON — Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group One (EODGRU1) held a change of command ceremony Thursday, January 10 on Naval Amphibious Base Coronado. During the ceremony, Capt. Oscar Rojas relieved Capt. Dean Muriano as the commodore of EODGRU1.
During his speech, Muriano thanked the many people who had assisted him over the course of his tour. “All of the accomplishments that were listed in my award were not about me. It has always been about the men and women we’re sending down range.” said Muriano. “I’m thankful for the privilege to have served as Commodore of EODGRU1.”
Muriano, a native of Boonton, graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics. Muriano’s next assignment will be at the Naval School Explosive Ordnance Disposal at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, where he will serve as the commanding officer of the school house and oversee the education of students from United States military services, partner nations, and other government agencies in high-risk environments to qualify as Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technicians.
Rojas, a native of Dumas, Texas, enlisted in the Navy as a Hospital Corpsman in June 1990. After graduating from Wayland Baptist University in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science degree, he attended Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Florida, and commissioned in November 1997. Prior to assuming command, he served as the Director, Joint Special Operations Command, Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Coordination Cell.
During his speech Rojas thanked his wife and children, the military families that support the EOD community, commodores of EOD groups past and present, the many senior enlisted mentors who have guided him over the years, and the Sailors of EODGRU1.
“You, the “warfighter” are our nation’s greatest weapon system. In my world, nothing is more important than you. It is my job to work for you in order for you to win every time you go into harm’s way.” said Rojas. “I am very proud of my enlisted roots. I have not forgotten that it is Sailors that make the world’s greatest nuclear power Navy successful. By us working together we will create the most lethal, resilient, and mission ready Navy EOD and diving force in the world!”
Rear Adm. Brian Brakke, commander, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, provided the keynote speech for the change of command ceremony. He said, “Today, we have the opportunity to reflect on the leadership that enabled this command to thrive and operate at the highest levels of performance. Commanding EODGRU1 is a big job and for more than two years, Capt. Muriano has provided direction, mentorship and guidance to the more than 1,200 men and women who serve as part of this team.”
Muriano received command of EODGRU1 in October 2016 and manned, trained, and equipped a 1,200-person force. His Sailors trained and operated in support of Navy, Joint, and multi-national missions within the Northern, Indo-Pacific, Africa, Southern, and Central Commands areas of responsibility.
During his tenure, the Navy EOD and Navy Diver communities operated in support of Navy Special Warfare and Joint Special Operations forces, salvaging damaged aircraft, dewatering and damage repair of U.S. Navy ships following collisions, working with the Defense Prisoners of War/Missing in Action Accounting Agency, and supplying recompression chamber teams in support of carrier deployments to mitigate the risks of physiological episodes, including hypoxia and decompression sickness in aviators.
U.S. Navy EOD is the world’s premier combat force for countering explosive hazards and conducting expeditionary diving and salvage. EODGRU1 is responsible for manning, training, and equipping seven subordinate units.
Story by Lt. Kara Yingling, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group ONE