Military Billboard Causing Controversy

By: Meagan O'Halloran Email
By: Meagan O'Halloran Email

After five days of the Weapons Buy Back Program in the Thawra District, more than 3000 rifles and three tons of ordnance were recovered and disposed of by EOD teams like this one from A Company, 20th Engineer Battalion. (U.S. Army photo provided by

After an unofficial military motto was banned in February from the "Navy Explosive Ordinance Disposal School", better known as the EOD School at Eglin Air Force Base, it has since appeared on a local billboard and is causing some controversy.

The ad reads "Initial Success or Total Failure". The digital billboard is situated at the corner of Range Road and Highway 20 in Blue Water Bay and was reportedly paid for by one of the EOD school's own members.

The message is coming under fire by many who find it offensive and is supported by those who find it admirable.

A political disclaimer was added to the advertisement this week because a resolution has been filed in the U.S. House to make the motto official, but the language was removed in February after a commander found the motto to be insensitive and disrespectful to the wounded and fallen EOD technicians and their families.

Many at the EOD school support the motto. A facebook page has been launched to protect it and donations have been made to pay for the billboard.

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  • by Bill Location: PC on Apr 29, 2012 at 12:13 PM
    Exactly what is insensitive about the motto? My dad was involved with EOD from the time it was "munitions" until just a few years ago. All in all he had 50 years with a set of crimpers in his hands working for the military, and then civil contractors worldwide. When he was forced to retire for the second time at age 72 due to cancer he would tell the grand kids stories of some of the things he did. For someone, anyone, to say that the tradition and fellowship that my father lived by is offensive is an insult. These men and women dedicated and gave their lives, and continue to risk them everyday, and it is absolutely "INITIAL SUCCESS OR TOTAL FAILURE". For people to bring their P.C. B.S. into this is total failure. Support our troops, support the men and women who protect the rights that you use to try to trample others. The right to free speech gives you the right to protest my free speech, but not stop it. So complain if you like, but know you cannot stop it. The next time you see a service member, you should thank them, not chastise them.
  • by I appreciate our you? Location: PCB on Apr 28, 2012 at 05:41 PM
    Intial Success or Total Failure. Seems pretty accurate to me! We've had bomb disposal teams for I don't know how long and what they do is extremely admirable. But also, if a mistake is made or the bomb detonates, its over in milliseconds...and is a total failure. So what's wrong with that? Absolutely nothing! If that slogan helps these brave people do their job, to stay focused on the task at hand so they come home safely after each mission...I'm all for it! We owe our very freedoms to complain about such trivial matters as this to each and every one of our past, present and ultimately future military members. In the immortal words of Sgt. Esterhaus on the 80's TV show Hill Street Blues, "Hey, let's be careful out there." So to our EOD service members, thank you and be careful out there!
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