Removing weapons of war and restoring our oceans

Who we Are

Our Story

Platinum East was founded by a small team of highly talented U.S. Navy EOD technicians to help communities recover from environmental contamination left in the devastating wake of war. We aim to reduce the catastrophic impact that explosive remnants of war create around the world. By helping developing nations leverage a consortium of state and community level support, we promote environmental restoration and the protection of lives.

Our team has a combined 150 years of military, government, and academic service and has disposed of more than 1.5 million pounds of explosive remnants of war. We are determined to do our part in restoring our oceans and renewing our communities.

Dr. CJ Cowlin

Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer

The common thread in the uncommon life of CJ Cowlin is engaged altruism. From bomb disposal to medicine, he believes service to humanity is essential to a meaningful life. Growing up in unremarkable rural New York circumstances, the universe gifted him a career in US Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) circa 1980. After his initial stint in the Navy, he went on a 15 year international academic walkabout…from Corporate Japan, Commercial Diving, and global university faculties; he helped people. After inadvertently earning a plethora of graduate degrees, 9/11 happened, and he was back in the Navy bomb disposal world. Retiring in 2017, he became a Senior Department of Defense EOD expert, ensnared in PPTX, heroic administrative battles, and occasional paper cuts. If sitting is the new smoking, he was up to three packs a day.

Frankly, he is not too interested in talking about degrees, military awards, or material possessions. What he really wants to get at is results. CJ left the desk commando life to build an unconventional NGO offering a future filled with putting beans back in the jar. His favorite phrase is, “life is measured by what you give, not what you get.” Join us, and change your life.

Mr. Chuck Leonard

Chief Technical Officer

Chuck comes to us with 33 years of diverse military experience encompassing service with the U.S. Army Band, Submarines, Satellite Communications, Special Operations, and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD). He is an expert in terrestrial and underwater tactical ordnance response operations in permissive and non-permissive environments and has also worked on strategic policy and U.S. Interagency support for crisis response operations at the national level, including countering weapons of mass destruction.

After retiring from the U.S. Navy in 2020, Chuck embraced academia to broaden his horizons while concurrently working in the private sector as a senior consultant. Platinum East offers him the means of fulfilling his personal purpose of “being the pebble creating waves to change the world” in serving communities affected by the scourge of explosive remnants of war. 

Mr. Gabriel Grauke

Chief Financial Officer

Gabe joined the Navy just before 9/11 and served for ten years, mostly in the Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal officer corps. A native Texan, he returned home after his service and brought his passion for meaningful innovation in the service of others to the medical industry.

Gabe holds a BS in Engineering and an MBA from the University of Michigan. He has lived throughout the United States and worked extensively throughout Asia. While not running the numbers for Platinum East, Gabe enjoys spending time with his wife, children, and extended family.

Mr. Jason Cocca

Chief Action Officer

Jason Cocca is a native of Cleveland, OH. He completed his Bachelor of Arts in Journalism at The Ohio State University and completed Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) training in 2011. Jason has partnered with EOD forces across the globe in Bahrain, Kuwait, Djibouti, Somalia, and the  Philippines.

He has also served as an Assistant Professor of Naval Science at Auburn University. Throughout his distinguished career, he has provided thousands of hours of training in the field as well as the classroom, procured millions of dollars of equipment for partner military forces, disposed of hundreds of thousands of pounds of unexploded ordnance, and worked with interagency partners to achieve unprecedented results in countering the IED and UXO threat in Asia.

Dr. Steve Sin

Chief Academic Officer

Dr. Steve S. Sin is the Director of the Unconventional Weapons and Technology Division of the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, headquartered at the University of Maryland, where he leads, manages, and develops interdisciplinary research projects spanning across a broad range of national and homeland security challenges.

His expertise includes multi-domain operations, emerging technologies and threats, countering weapons of mass destruction, and Northeast Asia regional security. Previously, Dr. Sin was the Senior Research Associate and Section Chief at the National Center for Security & Preparedness at the State University of New York at Albany, a strategic partner with the New York State Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services. Dr. Sin’s extensive experience also includes a career as a U.S. Army Officer.

Dr. Scott Margraf

Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Scott Margraf is an adventurer at heart and emergency anesthesiologist most days. His love of the ocean and humans are a natural fit at Platinum East. Over the past 15 years, he has deployed across the globe helping folks with a few intermittent moments of military service. At heart, he is a reflective humanist committed to creating long term value for all.

MR. Nat Green

Advisory Counsel

Nat is an attorney with a background in energy and environmental law and a particular interest in government contracting implications of large-scale public remediation activities.  He has consulted and published on a range of issues, including sustainability practices in government procurement, projected economic and legal models for low -carbon electricity systems, and the interaction between development models and energy security.  Nat came to the study and practice of regulatory law with a previous background in China studies and journalism.

Mr. Lucien Pere

Global Strategy Advisor

After serving more than a decade in the healthcare industry in various information technology capacities, Lucien is now dedicated to teaching and researching global security studies. His primary focus is in human safety and security.

When he is not advising the board of Platinum East, Lucien consults all over the world in global and cybersecurity. Lucien’s background gives him fresh insight into the unique needs that Platinum East strives to meet and is a critical voice in the organization.

Ms. Anna Mansueti

Director of Diversity and Gender Equity

As the Director of Diversity and Gender Equity, Anna is responsible for developing and integrating a holistic approach to increase gender inclusivity within the Platinum East organization. She is committed to an intersectional approach that advances both gender equality and the empowerment of women. Before joining Platinum East, Anna commanded EOD platoons in Europe and led ordnance disposal operations in the South Pacific, destroying tens of thousands of pounds of unexploded ordnance. She holds a BA in Studio Art from the University of Colorado Boulder, and in her free time enjoys spending time with her husband and surfing.

Ms. Mariz Sindayen

Philippines Director

Mariz is descended from a long line of Sea People in SE Asia.  She has extensive small boat experience in protecting and nurturing our Ocean.  Her design experience has been critical in developing indigenous friendly ocean restoration projects.

Mr. Shathel Fahs

Director of Location Technology

Shathel is experienced in working with Big Data, remote sensing, and developing solutions for Mine action specializing in detection, sensors, and other critical aspects of Platinum East’s research and development efforts. He has worked in the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, and other international areas for the past 19 years managing and implementing HMA projects. Shathel is a respected instructor, EOD Level 3 Technician, GIS manager, and a published author and photographer.

Our partners

Bomb Techs Without Borders is a force for good, working to prevent non-combatant casualties from land mines and other explosive remnants of war through advocacy, elevating social awareness, and conducting mine risk education.

All Day Tattoo is the official ink provider for Platinum East. 

If you want to get inked, check them out to get the best tattoo Bangkok has to offer.

What we do

Our Approach

We built Platinum East upon the principles of innovation, creativity, and agility. Rather than leaving our tasks to a committee, we apply the best resources, people, and tools to get things done quickly, under budget, and in a way that promotes resilience, health, and security in the communities we serve.

We believe in keeping things simple and focusing on solving problems with those we serve. With our approach, we can help communities recover in a way that best meets their needs and creates a lasting impact. Our dream is to leave the world a better place than we found it, and we do that each and every day in countries around the globe.

Restoring Our Oceans

Two hundred countries around the globe have underwater ordnance polluting their streams, bays, rivers, and oceans. This hazard limits access to these resources, poses health risks, and denies the local community the ability to enjoy all that their environment has to offer. Platinum East has a team of experienced and highly trained underwater ordnance specialists who are able to remove these hazards and, in many cases, recycle the explosive waste. We accomplish your goals by leveraging our diverse network of experts and by working with your community to develop equitable measures to restore our oceans to their former natural splendor.

Renewing Our Communities

Explosive devices left behind after conflict present a persistent problem for many cities and villages around the world. These hazards can and frequently do kill innocent people seeking to return to their homes after prolonged periods of exile. Platinum East is able to mitigate these threats and provide critical information to safety officials seeking to restore order after the chaos of war. Everything we do is tied to building and supporting those we work with, and this collaborative approach allows us to provide long-term value to our fellow humans.

Join Us

Oceans cover more than 70% of the earth’s surface. People around the world are drawn to the water for recreation, adventure, and the pursuit of their dreams. For many people, it is also their source of income. After conflict ends, weapons of war are frequently left behind and what used to be a beautiful beach is now a hazardous environment. There is more ordnance polluting our world’s oceans than we will ever be able to clear by ourselves. If you have a passion for the environment and want to join us on our mission, click below and get involved. There is always more for volunteers to do, and we need people like you to help make our vision a reality. If you are not ready to get in the water with us, you can help by sending us a donation. All the support we receive supports our efforts to save lives and restore the world’s aquatic environment. 

Get Involved

How we help

Our Efforts

Here at Platinum East, we believe in combining our expertise with strategic efforts to remove ordnance and restore communities. We provide environmental cleanup, ordnance removal training, and emergency services when ordnance threatens people, property, and projects. Our diverse team is ready to help you navigate the complex challenges of dealing with unexploded ordnance on land, underwater, and in your community. If you need assistance reclaiming your waters from hazardous ordnance, would like our training and resources for a cleanup project, or would like to connect with us about our emergency services fill out the form at the bottom of the page and one of our highly trained specialists will get back to you ASAP.

UXO Clearance

Underwater and surface ordnance present a hazard to your community, your people, your businesses, and your way of life. Here at Platinum East, we understand how complex site remediation can be, and we are deeply invested in our mission of saving lives by removing post-conflict remnants and restoring communities. Our team has more than 150 years of combined experience in this dangerous field. Whatever your problem is, we have seen it before. While we specialize in underwater ordnance, we are also able to handle ordnance of any type, including route clearance and  improvised explosive devices. In many cases, we can also exploit the items and provide technical reports to your local safety officials, enabling them to understand the threats they may see again in the future.

Training

Saving lives is hard work, and Platinum East is only part of the solution. We believe the path to a better tomorrow is through education, and at Platinum East, we are committed to sustainable methods. To that end, we offer a variety of training modules to help the communities we serve. We do not burden those communities with expensive equipment with high maintenance costs, complex storage requirements, and priced-out consumables. Instead, we teach tried-and-true methods that EOD technicians have used for decades, combined with innovative, low-cost, scientifically supported techniques and tools to defeat yesterday’s explosives with today’s technology. We offer training on every service we provide. As part of our community restoration goal, we aim to train members of the local community to participate in our relief efforts. Our personnel are professional, seasoned, and exemplary leaders, mentors, trainers, and advocates. Together, we will prepare you and your community to take back your oceans, fields, and villages from the explosive hazards standing between you and your future.

Emergency Response Force

Ordnance may be found underwater, on land, and even in homes. Platinum East understands that in these situations, lives hang in the balance. Our team is available around the clock to respond to emerging threats when they arise. By leveraging our diverse network of strategically located technicians, we can be anywhere in the world within 48 hours, with the tools, expertise, and ability to remediate ordnance and restore access to your environment. Our Emergency Response Force is ready to meet you where you are and eliminate conventional and improvised explosive threats at a moment’s notice.