I recently ran into an old friend, Micheal Rodriguez, a dyed-in-the-wool Warrior from 7th Special Forces Group. Michael isn’t just a friend, he was my instructor at Special Forces Sniper School. Known across the Regiment simply as “Rod,” he is one of those guys that consistently amazes you.
We retired around the same year, and from time to time we would run into one another at industry events or shooting matches.
“Hey, Rod. What’ve you been up to?”
“Just out mountain biking with George W. Bush.” Or, “I had to climb this mountain so they could test how guys with traumatic brain injury perform in low oxygen environments.”
Not joking. Rod really hangs with 43.
Rod got into bladesmithing somewhere along the way and actually turned up at the Task Force Dagger (a veteran charity organization) 3-Gun match that I was attending with some of his first blades in tow. He was donating them to a raffle to raise funds for the treatment of other wounded vets. He is just that kind of guy.
So it should have been no surprise to find Rod had been selected for Columbia River Knife & Tool’s Forged By War program. Funded by CRKT, this program was started a few years back to bring the designs of modern warriors to life. There are several GWOT Veterans, along with Vietnam Veterans, and veterans from other conflicts as well.
Bladesmithing is a great outlet for those of us whose war is over. There is something magic about turning steel into a weapon, molding it with your skills and will. Even if you just have a chance to make a knife out of a railroad spike or an old file at one of those roadside tourist attractions, it is worth your time. Put it on your bucket list!
The influence of Rod’s knife, the Tecpatl, is Aztec. In fact, Tecpatl is the name of the dagger carried by Jaguar warriors, the elite of the Aztec Army. The designs on the knife carry that influence, though the symbolism is mostly Special Forces. Rod describes all of them in his video from CRKT (see below).
- Blade Length: 3.375″ (85.73 mm)
- Edge: Plain
- Steel: SK5 Carbon Steel, HRC 53-55
- Finish: Black Powder Coat
- Thickness: 0.203″ (5.16 mm)
- Weight: 5.6 oz
- Handle: Stainless Steel
- Style: Fixed Blade Knife w/Sheath
- Sheath Material: Kydex; Black
- Overall Length: 5.813″ (147.65 mm)
- MSRP: $89,99
In testing, I found the Tecpatl to be a fantastic weapon. In fact, it is my new everyday fixed blade (since I live in a free state, I can carry a fixed blade). The push dagger is an underrated design in my opinion and works great for real-world use. The Tecpatl is thin enough to carry comfortably on the belt. I beat mine up, so you don’t have to.
One thing about getting a knife from someone like Rod is he knows how things work in combat. Rod is to humble to say so, but I will for him. Rod is a legitimate war hero, and he has put some bodies in the ground for this nation.
On top of that, he was an 18D, Special Forces Medic. Our medics aren’t like regular medics, they are combatants first, medics second. In fact, they get Combat Infantry Badges, not Combat Medical Badges, and that distinction is important.
A year-long crash course in medicine, combined with being the only thing close to a doctor for hundreds of miles in combat zones, gives them a unique understanding of trauma. And you can bet your ass they know how to inflict it.
Carrying the Tecpatl is like having distilled combat experience on your belt. I am proud to know the designer, and I am proud to carry his blade. And if some violent Antifa goon makes me neck dart him (in a lawful instance of self-defense), I know it is going to work.
Pricing for Tecpatl is $89.99. That includes a Kydex Sheath with CRKT’s spring-loaded MOLLE compatible gear clip for easy carry. The Tecpatl comes with a lifetime warranty. Visit CRKT.com to learn more.