Ah, Army logic, and military logic in general (pun intended). In the Familiars world, the Spell Eruption Event caught a lot of people by surprise, including military around the world. As happens with most [all?] bureaucracies, the military was slow to sort out just how to deal with this, or if magic existed at all.
According to tradition—and each branch of the US Armed Forces claims it for their own—military magic began with a ticked-off NCO who possessed greater creativity of invective than most. Somewhere in Southwest Asia, this ticked-off NCO cursed the guy shooting at him, with more intensity and vehemence than usual. The Army version that André heard was that the curse was something along the lines of “may your [manhood] turn into fleas with claws and halitosis, and your ammunition turn into locusts.” Whatever the actual phrasing, the results were 1. a suddenly exhausted sergeant who beheld 2. a suddenly screaming foe who dropped his weapon and his trousers, grabbed his [groin region] and fled, 3. with his associates not far behind.
Duplicating this success proved to be more of a challenge. Finding a place for magic in the military made sending multiple abyssal creatures back to their places of origin at the same time look easy by comparison. For their part, those magic workers already in the military were not entirely pleased with having their faith traditions turned into part of the Table of Organization. The Wiccans especially could not quite get it through the heads of the Powers that Be that their magic was not suited to short-notice, battlefield applications. Those who followed Asatru handled it a bit better, but there were still warm differences of opinion. Things like “ill-intent returns three-fold” and “harm none, do as thou wilt,” are not concepts bureaucrats of any kind take at face value.
I can tell that you are not at all surprised by this.
The US Army, in its collective wisdom, decided that since magic came with curses, and curses were sort of traditionally religious, therefore the best place to deal with magic was . . . the Chaplains’ Corps. And no gainsaying or opposition would change the minds of the Pentagon. The Roman Catholic chaplains sort of shrugged, some of the Protestants were OK with it, and others came unglued at being forced to have responsibility “for people who handle the tools and arms of Satan.”
By the time André came into his (undesired) power, things had sorted out. He and Rodney are assigned as special assistants to the chaplain’s office of an infantry unit, and officially answer to the chaplain. In reality they answer to the command chain of the unit just as if they were any other specialty temporarily tacked on for a mission-specific need. No, it doesn’t make sense, but it’s the Army Way. André goes where he’s sent, does what he’s supposed to (most of the time, or at least when there is a large enough number of witnesses of sufficient rank), and has stopped asking unanswerable questions like “Why?” and “In what plane of existence does this make sense?”
This becomes sort of important in Intensely Familiar.