Chad came from a small town in Tennessee where everyone knew everyone else. He was a Boy Scout and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. He began working at age 13 on a farm just up the road from his home. He knew well before he graduated high school that he wanted to serve his country in the military.
Chad’s real last name is Faulkner, but growing up playing guitar and being a fan of Stevie Ray Vaughan he was often called “Chad Ray”. That name stuck with him throughout school and followed him to the Army, so he continues to use it.
Chad will be retiring in the fall of 2017 with 20 years of service in the United States Army. He started his career in October of 1997 enlisting as an Infantryman. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division. He served as a regular infantryman and as a sniper in a scout platoon during his time there. The 82nd is where Chad first started his leadership experience serving as a Fire Team Leader, Squad Leader, Weapons Squad Leader and some limited time as a Platoon Sergeant.
Looking for a new challenge and more accommodating lifestyle as a single parent, Chad decided to apply for Special Operations Civil Affairs. Upon being assigned to the 96th Civil Affairs Battalion he was sent to be trained in Civil Affairs Operations and was immediately assigned as a Team Sergeant of a 4-person Civil Affairs Team. He would go on to also serve as Assistant Battalion Operations Non-Commissioned Officer in charge before moving to 1st Theater Sustainment command as the General’s Staff advisor on Civil Affairs. From there he was asked to go to the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School to be an instructor at the Civil Affairs Qualification Course. Chad exceled as an instructor there and was selected to move up as Chief Instructor of the Civil Affairs Qualification Course and then eventually selected to be the First Sergeant of one of the companies in the Battalion. After two years as a First Sergeant Chad decided it was time to move on and was selected to be the first Civil Affairs soldier assigned to the United States Army Special Operations Command Science and Technology Division, Technology Assessment Unit where he will finish out his career.
During his time in, he’s been deployed seven times to include: Haiti, Egypt, Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait and stateside to New Orleans in support of Hurricane Katrina. Chad received multiple awards during his time in, but does not wish to highlight those. Roughly 17 of his 20 years in service were spent in some kind of leadership role both in peacetime, in combat and in an academic environment. Even as a young leader in the Infantry he was often looked to when a soldier needed “rehabilitating” whether it be discipline issues or physical fitness issues. When solid training was needed even before his time as an instructor, he was often looked to for his knowledge and ability to teach.
Chad Ray is currently Owner/ Operator at Chad Ray Coaching and Consulting as well as plank-owner and contributing author to the American Warrior Society website.