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By Cari Hachmann
Dillon Keim, a 2009 San Clemente High School graduate, assumed command on Wednesday, Aug. 28 of the 28th Ordnance Company (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), Airborne, one of three special companies in the U.S. Army that directly supports the special operations forces.
Keim has earned his Explosive Ordnance Disposal basic badge and Air Assault badge. He also has been rated Superior in every military school he has attended and has received awards such as the Bronze Star Medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and Operation Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal.
Keim wrestled and played football at SCHS and earned the rank of Eagle Scout. He comes from a strong family background of service, but he has chosen his own course. He is supported by his wife of two years, Kayti McRusso-Keim, and Keim’s family lives in San Clemente.
After graduating from high school, Keim attended the University of San Diego on an Army Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship and earned a degree in mechanical engineering.
He was then commissioned as Second Lieutenant in the Ordnance Corps. From there, Keim attended Office Basic Course at Fort Lee, Virginia and was accepted into the Explosive Ordnance Disposal community.
There, he became a platoon leader of 2nd platoon 787th Ordnance Company EOD. His platoon was selected to accompany a Special Forces Battalion to Iraq and Syria as part of the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force (CJSOTF) for Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR).
Prior to deploying, he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant. After a successful 10-month deployment, the platoon returned home and Keim was sent to Fort Lee for the Captains Career Course. He became a Captain in both Ordnance and Logistics Branches.
Next, Keim went to Fort Hood, Texas as an Assistant Operations and Planning Officer for the 13th Corps Support Command.
While in this job, he was asked to participate in the selection testing for a company command. Keim was selected for the command and moved again, this time to Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Keim will soon be attending the Army Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia to earn his Airborne badge.