It’s been QUITE a while since we’ve been able to go on a team trip, but last week we had an opportunity to join up with several Global SOF Partners and friends in Ft. Bragg, NC, for a Modern Warfare Week site survey and range day(s).
**Safety first, of course–everyone you see pictured was required to have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the event kickoff. One test we’re all happy to say we “failed.”**
Three members of our team were selected for the journey: President Stu Bradin and Director of Government Relations Richard Lamb for their expertise in weapons, and Director of Marketing Chelsea Hamashin… for marketing support and, well, some adult supervision.
We’re no strangers to loading up a large vehicle and driving across parts of the country, but it was our first time doing this in a while so maybe we were a little rusty? Because it took us about two hours to do all of our necessary stops and pick-ups in Tampa, and as soon as the city was in our rear-view we decided we needed some lunch.
Despite the slow start, our team was soon headed north for stop #1: Charleston, SC. Selected for its location halfway to our target, the array of seafood available, and because it’s home to Stu’s alma mater… The Citadel!
Many tales were told while we were in Stu’s old stomping grounds, but it was a quick visit. Day 2 of the journey had us back on the road early so we could get to our final destination… Fayetteville, NC.
Did we mention the Range Days?
We are being careful with our travel in 2020, so we wanted to make sure this trip served quite a few purposes.
One was to prepare for Modern Warfare Week, which has now been postponed to April 2021. It will include a hands-on Demo Day (7 APR) and two days of Symposium Sessions co-sponsored by USASOC and an Expo, (8-9 APR).
We were able to visit the Demo Day venue specifically on this trip: The Range Complex.
The Range Complex is a Foundation Small Business Partner and they have hosted range events for our past two Modern Warfare Weeks. Each year this gets bigger and more hands-on, so we’re really excited about what 2021 will bring.
Demo opportunities include live-fire shooting ranges where industry can demonstrate different weapons systems, optics, ammunition, and more.
Plus, there’s a shoot house, open air space for UAVs, and even a classroom with A/V. What more could you need!?
Learn more about the 2021 Modern Warfare Week on our website at: https://mww.gsofsymposium.org/.
Time Traveling with the Tactical Rifleman
Purpose #2 was pretty exciting–we got to have a reunion with SGM (Ret) Karl Erickson. He’s a former Green Beret who both Stu and Rick know from their Army careers, but many of you may know him better as the Tactical Rifleman.
Karl and his team joined us at The Range Complex to shoot some new weapons and talk about some old uniforms!
That’s right, if you know Rick Lamb, you know that he loves military and SOF History. Karl and his team wanted to help us share that with the world, so Rick brought THIRTEEN of his historical uniforms with him up to NC to showcase.
Karl and Rick setup in The Range Complex classroom to shoot videos on each uniform in detail, dating back to 1916.
If you like military, history, uniforms, the Tactical Rifleman, or just letting YouTube entertain you for a few hours… you should definitely be excited about the release of these videos!
We’re excited to keep up the relationship with Karl and his team and we’re already plotting the many ways we can continue to work together.
A Trip to Fiddler’s Green
If this pandemic has highlighted anything, it’s the importance of friends and family, and having a strong support network in all things.
This trip emphasized that, especially the brotherhood that exists among men who have served their nation in some way (and Chelsea).
For example, we got to finally meet our SkillBridge intern, SFC Dennis Moore, outside of the computer screen! Dennis joined us for a few days of the trip, so now he’s officially part of our Global SOF Family.
In an especially poignant moment of the trip, Rick staged a surprise memorial event for Stu’s father, COL (Ret) James Bradin.
Less than a week before the trip, COL Bradin Sr. died of a long-term illness. He was a great man, father, and the most decorated cavalryman of the Vietnam War. For that reason, Rick donned his authentic cavalryman uniform and honored the legacy of Stu’s father with a memorial–including a recitation of Fiddler’s Green.
Fiddler’s Green is the eternal paradise that exists for cavalrymen after they die, and Rick gave an amazing rendition. Here it is, for the uninitiated:
Halfway down the trail to Hell,
In a shady meadow green
Are the Souls of all dead Troopers camped,
Near a good old-time canteen.
And this eternal resting place
Is known as Fiddlers’ Green.
Marching past, straight through to Hell
The Infantry are seen.
Accompanied by the Engineers,
Artillery and Marines,
For none but the shades of Cavalrymen
Dismount at Fiddlers’ Green.
Though some go curving down the trail
To seek a warmer scene.
No Trooper ever gets to Hell
Ere he’s emptied his canteen.
And so rides back to drink again
With friends at Fiddlers’ Green.
And so when man and horse go down
Beneath a saber keen,
Or in a roaring charge of fierce melee
You stop a bullet clean,
And the hostiles come to get your scalp,
Just empty your canteen,
And put your pistol to your head
And go to Fiddlers’ Green.
Of course, the memorial ended with a Horse Soldier Bourbon toast to COL Bradin’s memory. Here’s to a life well lived!
Operation ROAD SERPENT
Our third big piece of the trip was engaging with Corporate Partners! In addition to TRC, we also had Deployed Resources on site at the range.
Deployed Resources has some really impressive facilities set up at the venue, including a huge tent, compact gym, variety of kitchens and bathrooms, and more! They camped out at TRC for the better part of a month to get some exposure to the many groups meeting there, and it’s pretty impressive!
Thanks to their whole team for participating, and if you’d like to learn more about what they have to offer you can visit them online here.
We also had the opportunity to shoot some new weapons in development by another corporate partner… but we can’t quite talk about that yet! But Rick and Stu were excited to get their hands on some new technology that goes “bang!” and offer their insights and opinions.
…but more on that in the future!
Last thing we’d be remiss not to mention: we saw a big ‘ole 4 ft long rattlesnake and we didn’t shoot and/or eat it. And we’re pretty sure Rick still regrets that.
Until next time… stay safe and healthy!!