CRKT has announced a new addition to its Forged by War program, which assists combat veterans on the path to becoming knife designers. We previously wrote about the first three blades in the Forged by War line — check out that article for a summary of how the program works, and how it assists veterans with creating the tools they wished they had on the battlefield. In addition to helping these individuals deal with PTSD and find an outlet for their skills, the program donates 10% of its net profits to charities of each designer's choice.

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The latest knife in the Forged by War series is the Tecpatl push dagger. It was designed by Michael R. Rodriguez, who joined the U.S. Army at age 17 and continued to serve for 21 years. Fifteen of those years were spent as a Green Beret in the 7th Special Forces Group. He was an 18 Delta Special Forces Medic, a role held by some of the finest trauma medical technicians in the entire U.S. Armed Forces.

During his military career, Michael participated in more than 9 deployments, including locales in Central and South America, Haiti, Somalia, and Afghanistan. After his final combat deployment, he was assigned as a Sniper Instructor for the 1st Special Warfare Training Group.

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As a result of his extensive combat experience, Michael suffered multiple traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), lost vision in his left eye, and was diagnosed with severe PTSD. This forced him to medically retire from his role as a Green Beret, but he continued on to become the Chief Ambassador for the Green Beret Foundation, and sits on the Advisory Council for President George W. Bush’s Military Service Initiative.

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Michael partnered with CRKT to produce the Tecpatl push dagger, which features a sugar skull motif inspired by Michael's New Mexico heritage. The Tecpatl is constructed from tough SK5 carbon steel, and its black powder-coated finish is laser-etched with various symbols. To the ordinary viewer, these symbols look like nothing more than artistic design, but Michael put deep meaning into the engraved markings.

Here are a few of the significant symbols:

  • Horns inspired by the Devil's Brigade, also known as the First Special Service Force. This unit joined elite soldiers from America and Canada during World War II.
  • A Crusader's cross around the lanyard hole
  • Office of Strategic Services insignia
  • “7” to commemorate the 7th Special Forces Group
  • Arrow to represent the crossed arrows of the Special Forces
  • Three lighting bolts to represent the Green Beret shoulder patch

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Even the word Tecpatl is significant — it's the name of a type of obsidian blade once carried by elite Aztec jaguar warriors, and used as a backup weapon for close-quarters combat.

The CRKT Tecpatl push dagger includes a black Kydex sheath, and is available at an MSRP of $90. As with all Forged by War blades, 10% of the proceeds of this knife's sales will go to Michael's charities of choice: The Special Operations Care Fund and the George W. Bush Institute.

For more information on the Tecpatl and other Forged by War blades, visit

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