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So you wanna be a private security contractor, huh?
Let me start off by saying EVERYONE and their navy buddies are getting out of the military. Guess who wants to be the cool guy making the big bucks and wearing the Gucci gear. With that being said, there are a lot of opportunities for you after leaving the military. However, that also means contracting companies have their fair share of knuckleheads to pick from. Not everyone is going to get a chance to be the cool guy doing high-speed missions and PSD (personal security detachment) details.
Knowing that, your next option is a static gig. A static gig is basically just what it says. You’ll be stuck on a post, hating life with a passion. Yet, we all have to start somewhere and that’s the contractor version of ‘Just the tip.”
Being a contractor is awesome and the benefits are great. but nothing happens over night. The recruiting period is long and tedious. I’ve seen different men wait anywhere from three months to over a year for a deployment to finally come up. Be prepared to play the waiting game. Here are a few tips that might make you and your recruiter’s lives a little easier and a hell of a lot more smooth.
Make sure your resume is on point before sending it to any company that you even remotely want to work for. You also need to tailor your resume to the company you’re sending it to. If you have experience, LIST IT! Don’t leave anything out of your resume. Someone might be looking for that quality. For example, you were on a small PSD for the general in Iraq. LIST IT!
If you don’t already have a passport, go get one. This is mandatory as you won’t be traveling on official orders from the United States Government anymore. In addition to that, if there are only a few pages left, it’s time for a new passport. You’ll be making several trips. Aside from the passport, you’ll need to have an up-to-date drivers license. Make sure it isn’t going to expire anytime soon.
KEEP ALL YOUR MEDICAL RECORDS FROM THE MILITARY. I can’t stress this enough, if you don’t already have them all neat and organized, start contacting your IPAC or whatever your branch calls it. You will need this information.
When a contracting recruiter finally contacts you, it’s game time. Be sure to meet their deadlines. They aren’t playing games. As I stated before, they have plenty of badass men on their list and they’ll be happy to move right along to the next candidate.
Be prepared to do A LOT of paperwork. Start off by picking up a cheap printer/scanner combo. It will make your life a lot easier in the long run. If you aren’t in the habit of keeping your files neat and organized, go ahead and start that step immediately.
If you’re a fat ass, it’s time to get in shape. Especially if you’re applying for a PSD position. These guys don’t have time to train fat asses, they’re paying you plenty of money to be in shape and if you’re not, they’ll move on to the next candidate. Are you starting to see a trend? Good, now don’t blow your dream job just because the last season of Grey’s Anatomy is your life and you only had time to stop at Burger King before the show started. Get your ass up and do some physical MAN SHIT at the gym.
Get up to date on your firearm and medical training. Firearms training doesn’t come cheap but there are probably 3-5 ranges within a 20-mile radius of you. Be proficient with a pistol from 25 or so meters. Practice your malfunctions, jams, double feeds, etc. If you suck with a pistol, guess what… NEXT!
It’s a common misconception that you will need your own gear. In fact, it’s highly discouraged by many of the contracting companies due to the fact that 3rd world custom’s agents will happily enjoy seizing’ your brand new Crye Precision Adaptive Vest System with the assault configuration that you just spent $4k on.
Your company will most likely supply you with everything you need. However, I would bring your own comfort items like your favorite boots, button-ups, etc.
So, you’ve made it this far. You’ve finally deployed. Don’t be a douche bag when you meet up with your team. Don’t one-up your shift leader. He’s been doing this a lot longer than you have and chances are he probably came from somewhere like CAG. Chances are also pretty high he’ll knock you the fuck out if you try him. Silent professional is the term I believe I was looking for here.
Last but not least, save your hard earned money. Don’t be that boot that spends all his money on a new Mustang and some stripper’s education. You’re going to make good money. Try to make good decisions too. Paying off debt is smart. Buying something nice for your wife/self/kids isn’t a bad idea either.
The contractor business is currently booming in Iraq and we’re probably going to be here for a while. However, that doesn’t mean your contract is secure. DoS (Department of State) could be going through budget cuts and drop 25% of the contracts at any time. Will it happen? Probably not..but it could and has before. You’ll be happy you didn’t spend all of your money.
Last but not least, DON’T GET IN TROUBLE, DON’T BE STUPID. You all know the saying, Play Stupid Games, Win Stupid Prizes!
Here are some good companies to start with:
That should put you in the right direction. Good luck, and remember….don’t fuck it up.