There is no shortage of jobs for American private military contractors. Between 2012 and 2017, the government spent over $160 billion on PMCs. That is a much larger sum than the entire defense budget of most other nations. As outlined below, there are many different opportunities available, even for people with little or no combat experience.
The required level of experience and training varies with each contractor. Furthermore, some companies help with items like travel visas and relocation assistance. In other situations, individuals are responsible for these things themselves.
Whether they are deployed to a relatively quiet area like South Korea or a hotbed like Syria, private military contractors face a number of serious injury risks. Trauma injuries, like falls, happen suddenly and without warning. Occupational diseases, like hearing loss and toxic exposure, are even more common. Frequently, these victims go about their daily lives for many years before they realize they are sick.
In both these situations, the Defense Base Act pays reasonably necessary medical expenses and replaces lost wages. The medical bill benefit usually applies to everything from the first moment of emergency care to the last physical therapy session. The insurance company usually pays these bills directly, and victims are not financially responsible for any unpaid charges. As for wage replacement, most victims receive two-thirds of their average weekly wage for the duration of their temporary disabilities. The AWW includes regular and irregular cash and non-cash compensation.
One of the most prolific private military contractor jobs is probably not one you would expect. Passenger car drivers usually transport VIPs. So, these individuals are a bit like those Uber Deluxe drivers. They have responsibilities beyond holding the steering wheel. There is also a significant demand for commercial vehicle operators. As one might expect, driver salaries are much higher overseas. There is a big difference between operating a dump truck in Aleppo and driving such a vehicle in Ann Arbor.
Today’s battles are largely fought with keystrokes and clicks as opposed to bullets and bombs. In active war zones, computers are usually linked over networks that are only semi-secure, at best. Cybersecurity professionals must be able to predict threats and be ready to respond appropriately. Security audits are usually part of this job, as well. These professionals must assess strengths and vulnerabilities, so decision-makers know where to allocate resources.
Data Scientist/Data Analyst
Computer geeks could probably spend hours discussing the differences between these two jobs. But for private military contractor purposes, they are essentially the same. These individuals examine seemingly endless streams of data and intelligence to spot patterns, predict trends, and otherwise filter the information for decision-makers. Data analysts and data scientists must also have some grasp of policy objectives, so they can better discern what information is important and what is largely trivial.
We are finally to the job that most people associate with private military contractors. However, this job is not nearly as glamorous as it appears to be on movies and TV shows. Most security contractors monitor checkpoints, verify identification badges, escort VIPs on tours, and protect supply convoys. These tasks require mostly deterrence. Many security contractors rarely, if ever, fire a shot in anger. That is especially true in places like Qatar and Haiti where there is little risk of a militant ambush or similar action.
As the name implies, most of these professionals have both security contractor or similar experience, as well as supervisor experience. Their security background helps them understand the needs and parameters of individual missions. The supervisor portion usually involves making a schedule and assigning certain people to certain tasks at certain times. In terms of the chain of command, security supervisors are usually onsite shift supervisors or perhaps one level up. Permanent employees are usually the bosses.
Especially after an extended conflict, like the ones in Southwest Asia, the rebuilding phase is often more costly than the combat phase. Additionally, the rebuilding phase is almost always at least as important, if not more important than, the combat phase. After so many contractors and servicemembers have sacrificed so much, an unsatisfying and temporary resolution would be devastating in many ways. Yet without effective rebuilding, that is probably what would happen. Until basic services and infrastructure return, there is no way the former war zone will be anything approaching normal.
Construction Surveillance Technicians (CST)
These highly specialized positions require much more than monitoring camera feed and looking at screens. Much like data analysts, CSTs must examine data streams and identify any red flags or disturbing trends. Sometimes, a truck that passes a camera multiple times is just a truck. Other times, it could be something more. CSTs know when to sound the alarm, when to send a memo, and when to hit the “skip” key. CSTs usually have some minor maintenance duties as well. It is usually not possible to call for help every time for every minor technical problem.
These security agents are usually aboard ship for weeks at a time. And, they usually only have a few days of shore leave before they cast off again. Aboard ship, these security agents are usually on call 24 hours a day. There is typically no shift work. So, it takes a special kind of person to handle these duties. Maritime security agents usually have additional responsibilities, like security audits and safety inspections.
Aircraft which cannot fly and weapons that do not fire are no help to a war effort. Mechanics perform preventative maintenance. They also diagnose and address issues. Typically, mechanics in the field have limited support services. If the proper spare part is unavailable, they must often improvise. Typically, private military contractor mechanics worked at the company which built the hardware they are maintaining. As a result, they have some valuable insider knowledge.
For more information about DBA procedure, contact Barnett, Lerner, Karsen, Frankel & Castro, P.A.