Mark Sanders retired from the U.S. Navy after more than 20 years of service as a Special Operations Officer, EOD Officer and Master EOD Technician. His last three tours of duty were focused on the counter-Improvised Explosive Device (C-IED) fight at all levels of warfare.
In 2004, Mark reported to U. S. Joint Forces Command as the IED Defeat and counter-IED lead action officer tasked to coordinate operational and strategic level support to the Department of Defense Joint IED Defeat Task Force, now Joint IED Defeat Organization (JIEDDO), and U.S. Central Command. Mark then commanded EOD Training and Evaluation One where he was responsible for advanced counter-IED tactical training of EOD forces deploying to Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. His final assignment was as Deputy Commander of Combined Joint Task Force Troy, Iraq’s multinational and interagency counter-IED brigade task force. He is also qualified as a Surface Warfare Officer, Mixed Gas Deep Sea Diver and Master Parachutist.
His initial tours of duty included Operations Officer on a Mine Countermeasures ship, Officer in Charge of an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) detachment for a carrier battle group during Operation Desert Strike, Executive Officer of the Navy’s Experimental Diving Unit, and overseas duty with the U. S. Seventh Fleet where he planned and executed such multinational exercises as Cobra Gold (Thailand) and Balikatan (Philippines).
His personal decorations include the Bronze Star. He received his Bachelor of Science in Oceanography with merit from the U.S. Naval Academy, Master of Science in National Security from the Air War College, and Master of Science in Public Administration from Auburn University Montgomery. Mr. Sanders is also a graduate of the National Defense University Joint Forces Staff College and is qualified as a Joint Specialty Officer. He is on the Executive Board of the NDIA Explosive Ordnance Disposal Planning and Advisory Committee.