Dennis E. Wolfe, a retired U.S. Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal sergeant major and Special Forces operator, played a key role in creating the 21st Ordnance Company (EOD WMD) and 28th Ordnance Company (EOD Airborne) to combat Weapons of Mass Destruction and support special operations missions. As the civilian deputy special plans officer at the U.S. Special Operations Command, Wolfe championed the establishment of the two EOD companies. The 21st EOD Company (WMD) responds to improvised nuclear devices and radiological dispersal devices, while the 28th EOD Company (Airborne) supports special mission units, including the 75th Ranger Regiment. Both units have rigorous selection processes.
The 21st EOD Company (WMD) is part of the 71st EOD Group and 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives (CBRNE) Command, the U.S. military’s premier all hazards command. The 28th EOD Company (Airborne) is assigned to the 192nd EOD Battalion, 52nd EOD Group, and 20th CBRNE Command. From 19 bases in 16 states, Soldiers and Army civilians from the 20th CBRNE Command take on the world’s most dangerous hazards in support of joint, interagency, and allied operations.
Wolfe, also known as the “father of EOD in Special Mission Units,” knows the importance of having trained, equipped, and ready EOD technicians to support Special Operations missions from his firsthand experience. He is one of the founding members of the U.S. Army’s elite Special Mission Unit and one of the first two EOD techs to pass Operator Training Course I. Wolfe spent the next 16 years in the U.S. Army’s premier counterterrorism unit, serving as a Special Forces operator and EOD sergeant major. He later served as the director of EOD capabilities for the unit.
Wolfe was instrumental in the creation of the 21st Ordnance Company (EOD WMD) “Blackjack,” the first U.S. Department of Defense Weapons of Mass Destruction-capable EOD unit, and the 28th EOD Company (Airborne) to support special operations missions. Wolfe said that today’s Army EOD technicians are upholding and building on the legacy of the EOD technicians who served before them. He believes that flexibility, tenacity, and determination are the key to continued success as Army EOD technicians shift their focus from supporting counterinsurgency operations to preparing for large-scale combat operations.
For his service, Wolfe was awarded the Col. Arthur “Bull” Simons Award, the highest award given by the U.S. Special Operations Command in 2018. Wolfe was also awarded the U.S. Army Chemical Corps Order of the Dragon in 2009 and Ancient Order of the Dragon in 2021. Wolfe earned the Legion of Merit Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Army Meritorious Service Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, Master Explosive Ordnance Disposal Badge, and Basic Parachutist Badge. For his civilian service, he earned the Superior Civilian Service Award in 1997 and 2007. Wolfe was inducted into the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps Hall of Fame in 2019.