We’ve recently posted a few articles about companies being approached by bloggers and service members alike for “test items.” Naturally, this opened up the flood gates of anecdotes from various friends detailing the different approaches they’ve received.
We’ve heard a lot of great ones but none so far beat the “Tactical Chaplain.” Since this guy is supposedly a Chaplain, we’ll leave his name out of it, but his story is something that must be shared.
Apparently, a rather prominent tactical manufacturer received a T&E request from an owner of an e-mail address that indicated he was assigned to the United States Army Special Operations Command. Naturally, this received a lot of attention and it was passed to the guy who handles SOF customers. He related that the email contained several of the right buzz words but that they weren’t quite used in the right context. And, he referred to himself as a “Tactical Chaplain.” On a hunch, and in order to make sure it was all cool with the government customer, the email was forwarded to the US Army Special Forces Command G8 which is in charge of Force Modernization. The compass check was a good call. It appears there are no Combat Chaplains assigned to G8. Instead, a senior SF NCO at G8 read the email and his BS meter pegged. The way it was written didn’t make sense and he couldn’t figure out what a “Tactical Chaplain” was. He called the Tactical Chaplain out and asked him to explain his request as well as the nature of the evaluations he was conducting. Tactical Chaplain apparently thought counseling the troops meant talking kit. As for the more traditional duties of a Man of God? Well, Tactical Chaplain ain’t got time for that.
This is the Tactical Chaplain’s response to an inquiry for explanation from G8:
“These reviews are informal in nature but often helpful to the individuals involved. No CDD work implied. I am actually in the process of moving from the military space to the federal space. As a tactical Chaplain, I am often asked for gear review and recommendation (at a team level). My prior service (USMC) included time as an engineer and armorer – so I enjoy the T&E process. I have no experience with Company X and it was recommended to me to investigate their products.“
Here is the Force Mod NCO’s response:
Your email to the Company X representative stated, “Annually, I am responsible to locate, evaluate and quantify items of tactical gear based on operation needs.”
This statement is misleading to industry. You also have a USASOC email address. Again, this is misleading to industry as it implies that your scope of duties include testing and evaluating kit for USASOC. You are not authorized to conduct T/E for USASOC. If you are a member of this command, then you are not allowed to conduct T/E period, unless selected to do so by a combat developer from this command.
Your actions could cause legal ramifications to yourself and this command. “
Turns out, Tactical Chaplain is in transition to the ‘government sector’ from his military duties. As for the follow up? Well, Tactical Chaplain ain’t got time for that. But, if you’re in industry and get a request to T&E a combat crucifix you might want to oblige. Otherwise, if it’s about anything else, you’ll probably say you ain’t got time for that.