FORT BRAGG, N.C. —By Walter Ham—A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy is leading an elite group of airborne Explosive Ordnance Disposal Soldiers who are able to deploy on short notice in support of the 82nd Airborne Division.
As the 1st Platoon leader for the 722nd Ordnance Company (EOD), 1st Lt. Delanie A. Weliver leads ten Army EOD technicians who deploy with the storied airborne division as part of the Immediate Response Force.
When assigned to the rotational IRF mission, the 1st Platoon has to stay ready to deploy within 18 hours.
The Fort Lauderdale, Florida, native said she welcomed the opportunity to lead the airborne EOD Soldiers who defeat explosive hazards during overseas combat operations and domestic explosive mitigation missions.
“I come from a family where military service runs deep,” said Weliver, a 2019 West Point graduate who earned her degree in Engineering Management with Biomechanics. “All of my siblings and both of my parents have or are currently serving in the military. Giving back to my country was something I was taught at a very young age. Whether it was community service or joining the Army, it was a priority of mine to serve in some fashion.”
Weliver also comes from a family of West Point graduates. Her father, retired Lt. Col. Scott Weliver, graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1985 and served as a combat engineer. Her mother, Devrie Lafreniere Weliver, is a 1988 graduate who served as an ordnance officer. Her sister, Casey Weliver Kilpatrick, graduated in 2012 and serves as an engineer in the Army Reserve. A 2014 graduate, her sister Caleigh Weliver is part of the Medical Services Corps and serves at Walter Reed Medical Facility in Washington, D.C. Her brother Andrew Weliver graduated in 2019 and serves in a field artillery unit on Fort Carson, Colorado.
Her fiancé Sean Devine graduated from West Point in 2019 and serves in the infantry.
During her time at West Point, Weliver was required to take a personality test that would assess which Army occupation would be best for her. The test pointed her toward the Explosive Ordnance Disposal community.
“The feedback I was given told me that I would be a must select for EOD, and at the time, I had no idea what EOD even was,” said Weliver. “I began to reach out to EOD officers stationed at West Point and conducted my own research. I learned that I wanted to lead a small group of technically and tactically superior Soldiers. I enjoy that I am constantly challenged and will always strive to learn more, whether it is tactics or techniques from my Soldiers.”
As the U.S. Army’s technical and tactical explosives experts, EOD Soldiers confront and defeat everything from hand grenades to nuclear weapons.
The Fort Bragg, North Carolina-based 722nd EOD Company is part of the 192nd EOD Battalion, 52nd EOD Group and 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives (CBRNE) Command, the U.S. Department of Defense’s premier all hazards formation.
Soldiers and civilians from 20th CBRNE Command deploy from 19 bases in 16 states to take on the world’s most dangerous hazards in support of joint, interagency and allied operations.
Headquartered on Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, the 20th CBRNE Command is home to 75 percent of the Active Army’s EOD technicians and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear specialists, as well as the 1st Area Medical Laboratory, CBRNE Analytical and Remediation Activity, five Weapons of Mass Destruction Teams and three Nuclear Disablement Teams.
According to Weliver, the 722nd EOD Company has to be technically and tactically proficient at not only EOD missions but also airborne operations.
“In this company, we are a family. We train hard, have high expectations for one another, and most importantly, we are there for each other,” said Weliver. “We are always expected to be ready to go to war at any moment. Any moment, any day, 52 weeks out of the year, and all within 18 hours of notification.
“The highlight of my EOD career so far has been building my platoon into a strong, cohesive, lethal family,” said Weliver who hopes to command an EOD company in the future.
Weliver challenges anyone who wants to become an Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician to step up and join this elite community.
“The best advice I have for anyone thinking about joining the EOD community is to just do it,” said Weliver. “There is no other job in the Army, Air Force, Marines or Navy that is better than this. You will be challenged in ways you didn’t think were possible but the EOD community that you will forever be a part of is worth it.”
Published with permission of DOD