Alex Burtness: Up For The Challenge

Growing up, Alex’s interest in technology and desire for challenge led him to unexpected places. Now, he’s using his skills where they’re needed most.

play

THE ROAD LESS TAKEN

Taking the easy route has never been in the cards for Alex Burtness. As a teenager in Portland, Ore., Alex was passionate about problem solving and pushing his limits both personally and academically. That included coaching his school’s water polo team, taking advanced science and robotics courses, and being class president. “Alex doesn't choose the easy way. He doesn't shy away from challenges,” says his wife, Jessica. When he heard about the prestigious U.S. Naval Academy, he saw being accepted as his biggest challenge yet. 

Learn more about Service Academies & Senior Military Colleges

Ready For Anything

As an EOD officer, Alex leads his platoon in a variety of missions, utilizing the latest in robotics technology to render ordnance safe. Ordnance can be conventional and improvised, existing both on land and deep below the sea, so his team trains in both environments. “I feel that the whole team learns from Lt. Burtness in his example of leadership and work ethic,” EOD Tech Rusty Quinlan says about working with Alex. “He is always coming in early, leaving late and putting the team before himself. That's very important for us.”

Learn more about Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal

SPIE & FAST ROPE TRAINING

Alex and his team train in Special Patrol Insertion Extraction (SPIE), which allows his platoon to quickly maneuver in and out of dangerous environments that don’t allow for helicopter landings.

Watch a related video: “Explosive Ordnance Disposal (Air Force)”

“LEADING BY EXAMPLE”

Watch Alex and his platoon talk about the importance of trust and learn his team’s opinion of him as both an officer and a friend.

  • Resources

    Joining Overview

    Your journey through Service starts here, with the first of our overview pages.

    Request Info

    Get a free DVD and magazine, plus additional information from each Service, sent to your home.

    Contact a Recruiter

    Schedule a meeting with a recruiter and learn what to expect from your visit.

    Career Field: Engineering & Scientific Research

    Learn more about Alex's career field and the many opportunities available within it.

  • Corrin Campbell

    Musician
    Corrin was drawn to music from a young age. When it came time to make her musical dream a reality, she wasn’t sure how — until a chance meeting.

    Rachelle Nielsen

    Humanitarian
    As a child, Rachelle learned the importance of helping others. Her personal compassion, she'd later discover, would be essential to her career.