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Posted: 12/11/2005 6:00:24 PM EDT
I talked with a guy today who is a contractor with Blackwater in Iraq. We talked about the training I have and he mentioned that "there is always a need for more contractors." Not that anyone made me an offer or anything, but I couldn't help but think about it.

I have a stable job, a new house, and I make good $$$.

However…

A small piece of me kinda wants to do something like that. I know that as a 33 YO, I should be past that stage, but it is an itch never the less.

Would it be worth it?
Link Posted: 12/11/2005 6:01:52 PM EDT
I'm 34, and I'd do it in a heartbeat. However, since I don't have webbed feet (and am not a personal friend of Gary Jackson) I didn't get hired.
Link Posted: 12/11/2005 6:05:03 PM EDT
I'd bet not even 5% of the company are SEALs and less than 1% have ever met the owner.
Link Posted: 12/11/2005 6:08:34 PM EDT
I am trying to think how much $$$ would make it worthwile from a carrer perspective. I would take a serious hit it that department...
Link Posted: 12/11/2005 6:10:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By modog:
I'm 34, and I'd do it in a heartbeat. However, since I don't have webbed feet (and am not a personal friend of Gary Jackson) I didn't get hired.



No offense, but do you have a vendetta against Special Operations personnel?

Justin
Link Posted: 12/11/2005 6:14:22 PM EDT
I dont understand why it keeps being stated that contractors "must have prior military experience" when much of the time they are simply guarding a building with guns, guarding in a convoy or doing body guard work on foot.

Seems to me anyone could be taught how to do that. It's not like contractors are assaulting any strongpoints or doing raids.


- rem
Link Posted: 12/11/2005 6:19:07 PM EDT
In Iraq, the contractors from companies like BW and Dyncorp are not doing 'in the rear with the gear' type missions.

They do have some operators who spend time in the rear, but it is guarding VIPs' and things like that.

I saw Mr. Jackson down in LA when I was down there.

Also had them call me asking if I would be willing to go back down there.. had to pass
Link Posted: 12/11/2005 6:20:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/11/2005 6:22:05 PM EDT by PBIR]

Originally Posted By remedy:
I dont understand why it keeps being stated that contractors "must have prior military experience" when much of the time they are simply guarding a building with guns, guarding in a convoy or doing body guard work on foot.

Seems to me anyone could be taught how to do that. It's not like contractors are assaulting any strongpoints or doing raids.


- rem



The prior military aspect means you have a certain level of uniform knowledge knowledge that is a definite plus in those situations when it comes time to earn your pay. It's all well and good to have just a little on the job training when you're standing around and nothing is going on. When the steel starts coming in, it's a different story. You should take a few minutes to read the AA reports from James Yeager about the ambush he and his detail rolled into back in April.
Link Posted: 12/11/2005 6:26:13 PM EDT
My bud just got back from there and he has extremely dim views of Iraq and its people as a result.

He was there in a training capacity.

Due to his Law Enforcement background, I think he was not as world wise as the Green Beanies and Frogs he was around.

"shrug"

He hates that place, and says he would not wish Iraq on his worst enemy... that is his quote and it is not embellished by me in any way.

Everybody is diff though.

YMMV

Dram out
Link Posted: 12/11/2005 6:26:25 PM EDT
Hell yea it's worth it. Very good pay, and a chance to battle the ROP. If I did not have a family and a very good job I would be all over it.
Link Posted: 12/11/2005 6:26:46 PM EDT
I can't afford it
Link Posted: 12/11/2005 6:31:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Hydguy:
In Iraq, the contractors from companies like BW and Dyncorp are not doing 'in the rear with the gear' type missions.

They do have some operators who spend time in the rear, but it is guarding VIPs' and things like that.

I saw Mr. Jackson down in LA when I was down there.

Also had them call me asking if I would be willing to go back down there.. had to pass



A good friend of mine is over there. He is an LEO on hiatus from a local department. He pulls a lot of static guard duty, but he also does convoy duty as well.

It was kind of a lark that he went at all. He wasn't making the kind of money here that he thought he should be making and applied at several higher-paying agencies around the state. They all turned him down (he is retired military and in his late forties). Anyway, he applied for a conractor job and got accepted. He has completed a one year tour over there and just re-upped for a second. He makes in the neighborhood of 120k a year, tax free.

Also, there is a trick to the tax-free part of it; you have to be there the whole year to qualify. Someone else can jump in here and correct me if I am wrong, but that's the gist of what I got from what he told me.
Link Posted: 12/11/2005 7:41:26 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/11/2005 8:04:01 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/11/2005 8:10:54 PM EDT

Originally Posted By remedy:
I dont understand why it keeps being stated that contractors "must have prior military experience" when much of the time they are simply guarding a building with guns, guarding in a convoy or doing body guard work on foot.

Seems to me anyone could be taught how to do that. It's not like contractors are assaulting any strongpoints or doing raids.


- rem

Prior military experience generally assures the employer that you know something. You can bet that generic military experience isn't going to be enough. I doubt I could get hired by some of the better companies, and I've done a tour in Iraq already.

The guards you are talking about do more than normal security guards here in the States. There is often actual combat involved. Additionally, no company wants to train you to do anything, with the exception of Blackwater, who will run you through their acadamy for $20,000. You need to know what you are doing before you apply.
Link Posted: 12/11/2005 8:11:33 PM EDT
Depends, I guess, on how much you have to live for.
Link Posted: 12/11/2005 8:13:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Dramborleg:
My bud just got back from there and he has extremely dim views of Iraq and its people as a result.

He was there in a training capacity.

Due to his Law Enforcement background, I think he was not as world wise as the Green Beanies and Frogs he was around.

"shrug"

He hates that place, and says he would not wish Iraq on his worst enemy... that is his quote and it is not embellished by me in any way.

Everybody is diff though.

YMMV

Dram out



I've heard the 180' of that... I guess it really does depend!
Link Posted: 12/11/2005 8:20:50 PM EDT

Originally Posted By PBIR:

The prior military aspect means you have a certain level of uniform knowledge knowledge that is a definite plus in those situations when it comes time to earn your pay. It's all well and good to have just a little on the job training when you're standing around and nothing is going on. When the steel starts coming in, it's a different story. You should take a few minutes to read the AA reports from James Yeager about the ambush he and his detail rolled into back in April.



I understand that however most people with "former military experience" have never even fired their weapons outside of training and zeroing. Most have never had incoming rounds at them.

It seems to me that someone who is a former police officer, or just a real gung-ho type of guy that has lots of weapons experience and some training but never been in the military could be a good fit as a contractor.

- rem
Link Posted: 12/11/2005 8:24:52 PM EDT

Originally Posted By joker581:
The guards you are talking about do more than normal security guards here in the States. There is often actual combat involved. Additionally, no company wants to train you to do anything, with the exception of Blackwater, who will run you through their acadamy for $20,000. You need to know what you are doing before you apply.



I really only meant some light CQB reaction-time training and general rules of engagement, IE, paper exams, so you at least know what to do in what situation.

- rem
Link Posted: 12/11/2005 8:33:03 PM EDT
Also I was told the food was absolute sh** and fairly unfit for consumption. And he was there with a DOD related contractor.

Also, he was not fond of getting mortared and rocketed daily.

He lost some good team mates to the above, guys that one on one are untouchable by the Muj terrs. That sucks, no matter how high speed you are, if you catch a mortar round in your hootch when sacking out... thats your ass right then and there. No refund, do not pass go... no $200 either.

shrug

Its what you think you need to do with your life. If you are mad about money, you will discover perhaps when being mortared, that there are other things to be doing with your time than being target practice for rounds addressed to whom it may concern.

That is the gist of what I got from him.

Oh yeah, he said the insect life over there has to be seen, and experienced, to be believed!

Dram out
Link Posted: 12/11/2005 8:39:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By remedy:
I dont understand why it keeps being stated that contractors "must have prior military experience" when much of the time they are simply guarding a building with guns, guarding in a convoy or doing body guard work on foot.

Seems to me anyone could be taught how to do that. It's not like contractors are assaulting any strongpoints or doing raids.


- rem



Two reasons: One contractual obligation. Most contracts state the minimum requirements for all persennel of all positions.

Two: it not a big deal until it's firefight, then it's a infantry battle. Belt fed, fire and manuever, fire team and squad tactics.

Watch people that are not military when SHTF and all they do is screw up on average.
Link Posted: 12/11/2005 8:47:44 PM EDT
The catch to that is that most of the guys they try to hire are pretty high-speed. Their reaction is going to be different under fire, and they should have a much better grasp of immediate action type actions.

A minimal amount of training isn't going to do you any good when all the other guys out there are doing stuff you can't do.

There have been numerous repors of poorly trained and inexperienced contractors becoming a liability under fire.

There is also a poser factor that must be taken into consideration. Even some of the best shooting schools send people out with skills and no documentation. Some schools don't give any relavent training and issue documentation that would make the untrained observer think you were John Wayne incarnate. Documented military training proves that you are in the skill bracket that they need. Without solid documentation, nearly anyone who walks in off the street can claim to be qualified. Nearly all of us have met posers that talk a good enough game to fool us. MSR Irish or Tampa is not the place to find out that that guy was full of shit.
Link Posted: 12/11/2005 9:27:40 PM EDT
The other thing that seperates military training from everything else is attrition.

Attrition starts right at basic, then AIT, the airborne, first 3 months in Batt you loose more, Ranger school a lot more, SFAS another big group, it goes on and on.

These schools test and build character. Nowhere else in life has the selection process. By the time a guy does 4-8 years we have a fairly good idea of how he will fit in on a team and act under fire.

For the people I worked for we started with about 50 guys, 48 were SOCOM with combat tours, 2 from the 82nd with combat tours. We washed out 1/3 of them.

When I got to my team I had confidence that these guys had made it over and over again in their lives. Had passed everyones tests over and over, and still were willing to put up with one more.

These things select for character that cannot be determined any other way.

No other place teaches the concepts of how to lead and how to follow, chain of command, and team directed work. I've done the other stuff, it does not compare. I don't care what SWAT school you went to it's not Ranger school and never will be.

My buddies who are now cops who have been military, laugh all the time about the difference, and how their cop friends don't get it and never will.

You want to be a security contractor, at a minimum go get your four year degree as an infantryman first.
Link Posted: 12/11/2005 9:42:28 PM EDT
I got a buddy over there as a contractor, he is on his third contractor tour. He is a "green beanie" and his team is all spec ops qualified and then some. He is expensive to say the least. He won't go anywhere with anyone not on his level of skill, fitness and intelligence. You get what you pay for, basically qualified dreamers can find themselves in a world of hurt pretty damn quick. The less than first rate security companies are short on everything from brains to decent equipment. Pick your employer carefully.

After three tours there as a civilian contractor and two as a GI, he has not said a single positive thing about the Iraqis. He did say every single one of them is perfectly willing to betray you to your death. The days they get rocket attacked are always "holidays". If your hired help does not show up for work, expect trouble.

His company used military and police from several south american countries for internal and building security, he said they range from dismal to really good and they get paid about 20% of what he makes.

He will be back in a few days from his last trip, if this post is still alive I can post whatever interesting stuff he has to say.
Link Posted: 12/12/2005 12:15:20 AM EDT
Go work for Aegis.

Screw Blackwater.



And I know most, if not all of you, wont be able to do it......but try for the PSD team/mission. It really is the cat's pajamas compared to what else you could be doing.
Link Posted: 12/12/2005 3:35:38 AM EDT

Originally Posted By remedy:


It seems to me that someone who is a former police officer, or just a real gung-ho type of guy that has lots of weapons experience and some training but never been in the military could be a good fit as a contractor.

- rem



Take it up with the PMC companies then. Some LEO are eligible for work with companies like Blackwater without .mil experience. Not sure what you mean by "a real gung-ho type of guy that has lots of weapons experience and some training but never been in the military" but it sounds like you are talking about your average arfcom member. That's not likely to happen.
Link Posted: 12/12/2005 4:43:04 AM EDT
.
Link Posted: 1/20/2006 10:55:02 PM EDT
Why does the government use these high priced Security contractors instead of using regular military. Is the a shortage of soldiers? Why not pay service men and women good like these contractors. We might not have a shortage.
Link Posted: 1/20/2006 11:01:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Sixgun357:
Why does the government use these high priced Security contractors instead of using regular military. Is the a shortage of soldiers? Why not pay service men and women good like these contractors. We might not have a shortage.



i'd like to know also if the gov't is actually saving much money by using contractors
Link Posted: 1/20/2006 11:11:15 PM EDT

Originally Posted By slash-5:
I talked with a guy today who is a contractor with Blackwater in Iraq. We talked about the training I have and he mentioned that "there is always a need for more contractors." Not that anyone made me an offer or anything, but I couldn't help but think about it.

I have a stable job, a new house, and I make good $$$.

However…

A small piece of me kinda wants to do something like that. I know that as a 33 YO, I should be past that stage, but it is an itch never the less.

Would it be worth it?



Don't expect to get over that any time soon. I'm 42 and I oppose the war (and have from before the start), but there's still a part of me that wants to go.
Link Posted: 1/20/2006 11:13:47 PM EDT

Originally Posted By kpel308:
If you are out of the States for 335 days out of 365, and earned your money in a dangerous area (Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan), then you don't pay tax on the first US$80K.

I may be heading over there if things don't knock loose here in Thailand. I'd hate to have to leave here, but I have no qualms whatsoever about serving my country and making a bit of cash doing it.

Kosovo was pretty mild, but it was a good experience, which should stand me in good stead should I need to go to the Sandbox.



Just to clarify it's 330 days. Also, you are right about the $80k but it's not exactly broken down that way. They take $80k and divide that by 12 months. Comes out to $6667 per month. Anything over that amount per month you get taxed on.
Link Posted: 1/20/2006 11:33:38 PM EDT
I thought about driving a truck over there for the $100k they were offering. I am told (not by the contractors, never really looked into it hard) that there were no guns allowed on or with the driver.

Fuck that.
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 10:16:44 PM EDT
btt
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 10:23:33 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Sixgun357:
Why does the government use these high priced Security contractors instead of using regular military. Is the a shortage of soldiers? Why not pay service men and women good like these contractors. We might not have a shortage.




For some positions, it's why spend your own troops on the mission?

You have a highly trained SF soldier. He's trained to the wall. Why do you want him guarding some guy? Waste of manpower. Except it is important and hard, so you contract it out.

Lots of reasons to contract stuff out. I work on a gov't contract, and it's largely because the folks I'm with are specialists with lots of time in. If they were military, they'd all have to get rotated out and sent elsewhere. The people we connect with on DOD sometimes have almost no idea what we're doing, because why would they coming from, say, tanks?
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 1:34:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By remedy:
I dont understand why it keeps being stated that contractors "must have prior military experience" when much of the time they are simply guarding a building with guns, guarding in a convoy or doing body guard work on foot.

Seems to me anyone could be taught how to do that. It's not like contractors are assaulting any strongpoints or doing raids.


- rem




Blackwater has an 8 week course. Any idiot can do it.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 1:40:40 AM EDT

Originally Posted By MoparMike:
I thought about driving a truck over there for the $100k they were offering. I am told (not by the contractors, never really looked into it hard) that there were no guns allowed on or with the driver.

Fuck that.




That gun might make you FEEL better but you are only foolong yourself. Really, what exactly do you think you are going to do with it if you get attacked? You wont be thinking about joining the fight. Look for another job other than truck driver.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 1:54:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By FatCobra:
That gun might make you FEEL better but you are only foolong yourself. Really, what exactly do you think you are going to do with it if you get attacked?



Uhm, shoot the merry fellows trying to kidnap you?
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 2:02:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/24/2006 2:02:49 AM EDT by vito113]
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 2:10:10 AM EDT
I think so. I have been there twice and would like to go again. Yeah it sucks getting mortared, rocketed or ambushed but if you feel it is your calling then do so. Just choose your employer carefully.

Max
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 3:53:26 AM EDT

Originally Posted By remedy:
I dont understand why it keeps being stated that contractors "must have prior military experience" when much of the time they are simply guarding a building with guns, guarding in a convoy or doing body guard work on foot.

Seems to me anyone could be taught how to do that. It's not like contractors are assaulting any strongpoints or doing raids.


- rem



Contractors can find themselves in the middle of a firefight over there. In such a situation the contractor is going to need to have combat communications skills, combat navigation skills, a knowledge of infantry tactics and CQB tactics, etc.

Things you don't get by watching the History channel and reading gun magazines.

Further, the contractor can be shuffled from mission to mission and face widely divergent challenges on any mission he is assigned to.

The bottom line is that Blackwater needs people who are flexible, dependable, and already at a certain skill set before they ever set foot in country. There are other ways of aquiring those skills, but prior distinguished service in the military special forces just about guarantees someone will have what they need to be successful as a contractor.

Just because all you see on TV is guys standing around with rifles, that doesn't mean anyone can do the job. There is a hell of a lot more to it than what you see on TV.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 3:58:48 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/24/2006 4:03:51 AM EDT by John_Wayne777]

Originally Posted By remedy:
I understand that however most people with "former military experience" have never even fired their weapons outside of training and zeroing. Most have never had incoming rounds at them.

It seems to me that someone who is a former police officer, or just a real gung-ho type of guy that has lots of weapons experience and some training but never been in the military could be a good fit as a contractor.

- rem


Link Posted: 1/24/2006 4:13:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By joker581:

Originally Posted By remedy:
I dont understand why it keeps being stated that contractors "must have prior military experience" when much of the time they are simply guarding a building with guns, guarding in a convoy or doing body guard work on foot.

Seems to me anyone could be taught how to do that. It's not like contractors are assaulting any strongpoints or doing raids.


- rem

Prior military experience generally assures the employer that you know something. You can bet that generic military experience isn't going to be enough. I doubt I could get hired by some of the better companies, and I've done a tour in Iraq already.

The guards you are talking about do more than normal security guards here in the States. There is often actual combat involved. Additionally, no company wants to train you to do anything, with the exception of Blackwater, who will run you through their acadamy for $20,000. You need to know what you are doing before you apply.



I have a friend who simply had prior mil experience and got hired on without a problem, until they found out he was taking some medication (I don't know what). If it had not been for that, he would be getting back . . . in late March. No spec. ops, no GB or any of that noise, he was simply a SGT with 15 years (obstinate SOB).
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 4:17:55 AM EDT
A good friend of mine from college just had his best friend killed in Iraq last September by an IED. He was driving a truck as a contractor.

No. It's not worth being a contractor in Iraq.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 4:26:57 AM EDT
It's a war zone...hazard pay is not enough for me to risk getting kidnapped by sexually frustrated men wearing more cloth on their heads than I do on my entire body.



Seriously, IMHO, ya wanna go to a war zone?
Do so dressed in camouflage.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 4:36:45 AM EDT
Not every contractor job is PSD, there are all kinds of gigs all over the world, from managing the drivers of the shit sucking trucks or contract linguists, to medics, to IT, to mechanics, Armorer's ect ect ect. PSD is something new in the contract world, how long it lasts is anyones guess. The longevity in contracting is in support and training contracts.

Also not every contract is in the sandbox.

Some jobs will require you to go outside the wire, others you might never leave the secured base.

My point is that you do not need to have special ops exp for 90% of the contract jobs working for the USGov, just the 10% that is sexy.

Link Posted: 1/24/2006 5:00:34 AM EDT

Originally Posted By PSYWAR1-0:
Not every contractor job is PSD, there are all kinds of gigs all over the world, from managing the drivers of the shit sucking trucks or contract linguists, to medics, to IT, to mechanics, Armorer's ect ect ect. PSD is something new in the contract world, how long it lasts is anyones guess. The longevity in contracting is in support and training contracts.

Also not every contract is in the sandbox.

Some jobs will require you to go outside the wire, others you might never leave the secured base.

My point is that you do not need to have special ops exp for 90% of the contract jobs working for the USGov, just the 10% that is sexy.




Yup. I'm in IT over here. I don't go outside the wire except once every 4 months to go home.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 6:34:53 AM EDT
I was offered to work with Blackwater twice, mostly because I have been in the Army and I served in Iraq; four of my fellow soldiers went to Iraq and worked as PMCs for another company; one of them came home in a body bag and left a wife and a 5 year old son behind.

I have nothing against Blackwater, DynCorp, Global Response, KBR or any other company currently working in Iraq; I feel that they are the best at what they do; however, I don't feel that $80,000 a year, tax free is worth losing my life over.

Just my .2 cents.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 6:47:15 AM EDT
The real deal contractors I have met, their prior expierence varied widely. Most were former Marine FAST, Airborne, Rangers, some grunts and a couple of SWAT guys. Several companies offer training for the average Joe Blow to try and get a contractor job. But I would think you would still need to "know" someone on the inside to help you get hired.

A lot of the contractors are in the "old boy network". Helps to know people on the inside, they can help tremendously in getting someone hired.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 6:49:12 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 7:00:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Sixgun357:
Why does the government use these high priced Security contractors instead of using regular military. Is the a shortage of soldiers? Why not pay service men and women good like these contractors. We might not have a shortage.



Im going to try and explain this as best I can.

First off the majority of the "Security Contractors" are not working for DOD. They are providing security for other US Gov folks. If all this security was being done by the folks already in the military who are trained to do it, there would not be any SO types left to do all the other missions that they are expected to do.

Second, as to the other contractors, the folks on the support side: Congress sets the troop limits for the military, they also provide the funds. The military has figured out that for every job that they contract out, thats more bodies that they can put into war fighting jobs. Replace 100 admin clerks and 50 helo mechs and 25 instructors at the school house at each base with contractors, who in most cases bring with them much more insitutional knowledge than the average soldier, and who can dedicate 100% of their time to the job (no CTT, range qual, motor stables) and before you know it you have the numbers to stand up a new infantry battalion.
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 7:02:26 AM EDT


My bro in law was offered $120k for Afghanistan and his wife propmtly turned it down!

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