GREFENWOEHR, Germany --- U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Eric Dean Johnson, a Charles City native, has completed a one-mile bomb suit run in 8 minutes, 42 seconds outside the Grafenwoehr Post Exchange, setting the new world record for the fastest mile in a bomb suit.
The record has been verified by the World Records Academy.
Johnson, a 702nd Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) Company team leader, set the record last month.
The previous World Records Academy entry for the one-mile bomb suit run was set by Air Force Staff Sgt. Owen Duff with a time of 9 minutes, 22 seconds. Johnson shaved 40 seconds off of Duff's time.
"You can say there was some good-natured, professional competition at the heart of this," said Johnson. "The first record was set by the Navy, followed by the Air Force. I thought it was time for the Army to take a shot at it."
The record-setting run reflects Johnson's personality, according to Capt. Steward McGurk, the 702nd EOD Company commander.
"He sees challenges, sets goals and achieves them," McGurk said.
Johnson's bomb suit weighs about 80 pounds.
The 702nd EOD Co. leadership used the one-mile bomb suit run event to support Johnson and also to raise awareness for the EOD Warrior Fund and EOD Memorial Foundation, two organizations which support both EOD Soldiers and Families of EOD Soldiers who were wounded or killed in action.
"In those final hours before the run I just felt anxious, nervous and ready to do it. But to paraphrase Vince Lombardi, we can accomplish many more things if we don't think of them as impossible," Johnson said.