It’s sexy. You see them around base, beards, leg holsters, whatever kit-set up they want, cool morale patches your 1stSgt. would lose their mind if they saw you wearing and of course the pay. But is it all to good to be true?
As glorious as it seems most US security contractors never really do much outside of walking down Disney Blvd grabbing Green Bean in their supervisors Hi-Lux and pressing a button on a gate. Now that’s not to say that there aren’t some amazing jobs out there. WPS and OGA contracts still have guys making six figures (even though that seems to be changing) however, not everyone guy who worked a force protection/prison detail during OIF 9.1 and OEF 14.1 qualifies for that.
For most people security contracting is 6 days a week 12 hours a day, playing on your phone making friends with people who resign on leave and going to the gym counting down the days till your RnR to Thailand or to your po-dunk flyover state town that your company doesn’t pay for you to fly into the local regional airport.
You’ll spend your days flirting with the Air Force girls and maybe one of your friends or even you may sleep with them because they probably just think you have way more money than you really have because you bought your third new plate carrier off GovX because of an awesome discount code your buddy gave you.
Its not a glorious job by any means, you’ll work on taking cool angle photos to make it seem you’re outside the wire (can’t with Bagram’s flight line), and maybe you’ll find a local from the bazaar to take a photo with you as well. Hopefully, it grows your social media enough and you can get a free shirt or sunglasses.
But in the end how worth it is it? Most entry level static positions make around 175-185 dollars a day for six days of work and supervisors maybe will top out at 225 on a lot of contracts. Companies like Triple Canopy maybe able to pay supervisors well but on some contracts while others pay around $11.00/hr. So, I ask those reading is it worth it, especially those with families.
I had a great time the three years I was gone, I missed a lot of great memories at home, but I made amazing ones. However, I will say my experience was unique and not common for those who I began working with and if certain things didn’t happen, I would have never had those opportunities and probably left the second I saved 20k.
Many people have a romantic version of contracting due to the lore and prowess of Erik Prince’s Blackwater but today it’s nothing like that. There are a lot of crazy and rambunctious events happening in the Middle East but unfortunately for many of the young buck contractors most of their stories involve pushing a button on a static post on an internal post.