What’s funny about this whole discussion is that it’s not entirely true. Many FAGS (former action guys) think, “I’m gonna go work for Uncle Sugar and make MAD money”. Maaaaaaybe. Depends on the contract and who you’re working for. That’s just one variable. Listen, I did this stuff for 7 years and made well over a million bucks. Sounds crazy, I know. Some gigs I worked I made $750/day and some others I made $900/day. When I first started I ONLY made $500/day. There are things you have to take into consideration.
Many of the young Thundercats only focus on the 25 meter target. That’s good for some situations but no this one. You need to have a backup plan. I know plenty of guys who bought Corvettes, big houses, boats and all sorts of toys. Then!!! They get fired or whatever and have to sell it all and end up, literally, diggin ditches. True story. There are many things/variables you have to take into consideration. 1.) Are you paying into a retirement plan of some sort or making investments? 2.) Do you have a fallback plan (i.e. a business back home). 3.) Are you saving stockpiles of cash in the event you get injured, fired or whatever? Unless you’re a “staffer” you can get fired from these jobs very easily. I’ve seen it. Most of it is due to absolutely bad decision making. There are rules. 1.) Don’t steal from your client (ketamine, night vision devices, weapons or weapon parts, etc.). 2.) Don’t make comments to “staffers” that may be construed as racist, bigoted or basically hurt their feelings. These things can lead to your demise.
How do I get into this luxurious line of work?!? Easy! Know the right people. Back in the day, 2005ish, the money flowed like wine and war was a very lucrative business. It still is. There is profit in chaos. Back then, if you could shoot and not piss anyone off, you’re in. Now, a lot of that depended on the contract you were trying to get in on. Any “mobile” type of job had some requirements. You needed to be a “door kicker” or at least be able to prove your skillset. Now? They still need guys but the market is flooded with post war SOF guys looking to get back to war. Back in the mid-nineties they were in uniform. Now they OWN the contractor market. Us old school guys are moving on to other less physically demanding fields. Like…retirement.
There are still many contracts out there. Truth be told…there are fixin to be more. I keep my ear to the grindstone and stay plugged into the network. Again, a lot of it is who you know. I’ve gotten MANY guys hired for my old job who are still working today. I’m happy for them. I miss the work like crazy but am glad to be home. It helped me get ahead on life and LOT’s of life’s experiences. If you’re looking to get into contracting there are some things to take into consideration. I’d stay away from any company I’ve never heard of. That doesn’t mean that they had to have made it in the news. The last company I worked for has never been in the news. They just need to be reputable. If they want you to deploy next week with NO train up? I’d question it. I’ve got buddies who did that. Hell!!! I almost did that. My buddies ended up showing up for the party, getting handed an AK and some Russian Pineapple grenades and off they went. I will say that the companies I worked for were the top in the industry. No kidding. The best of the best. Who are those companies? Well, back in my day the companies to work for were MVM, Blackwater, Triple Canopy, SOC, Osen Hunter and a couple others. Some of these companies are still kickin’ it today over in the sandbox. Good on ’em!
I’ll close with this, it ain’t over. What’s going on today in Africa and the Middle East will only continue to grow. The contractor market is alive and well. It has been since Ben Franklin hired France, as mercenaries, to help us defeat the Brits. As well as many other battles before that. The mercenary profession is one of the oldest on the planet. Train hard, keep you ears to the grind stone and network with the RIGHT people. Most of us IC’s got our training from the military. That’s what they want. So, join Uncle Sam’s mafia and get trained. There is a TON of money to be made out there. Good luck!!!