About 30 to 190 (yes, 190 is the record so far) times a day I get messages and emails from guys who want to break into the Contracting Racket. Besides the usual unreadable English from some Italian dude to outright rude emails demanding that I tell someone how to break into the biz "right fucking now", no one ever asks the smart question of: “Are there any reasons why I should not consider a career in contracting?”
The short answer is “fuck yes there are”
Most folks think the life of an international security contractor is 6-figure paychecks, blowing shit up while yelling “FIRE IN THE HOLE” with a cigar clenched between your chompers with 30 day leaves in Bangkok banging beautiful gals and drinking fine scotch every few months.
To be honest it is that cool, but that’s about it. Forget about having any resemblance of a normal life, you will be an outlaw in the true sense of the Old West definition. So if you are considering a life shooting and looting around the world read everything below, you may change your mind.
Or you may want in the life even more if you are a nut like I am…
The 5 Things to Say Goodbye to if you Become a Civilian Contractor (in no particular order):
-Say Goodbye to Your Marriage
Very few marriages survive the contractor life, and the few that do are a shell of what they used to be and will most likely end in divorce eventually. I don’t even know why guys think a marriage will survive when you only see your wife once a year, 3 times if you are lucky.
That combined with the “shit I might die tomorrow” feeling that builds up until you think banging that Private in a Coms Unit you met at MWR Tango Night under a guard tower isn't cheating is pretty much the nail in the coffin for your marriage.
But don’t worry, your wife would have spent pretty much every one of your paychecks up until that point so its not like you have any savings to loose anyway.
-Say Goodbye to Empathy
The combination of seeing death all the time and being constantly being switched-on basically turns off your empathy switch. No matter how hard you try for most folks it just happens, they can’t even help it, it is simply your mind protecting itself from an emotional sensory overload that would end up with you drooling in the corner of a padded room or eating your glock if your brain did not turn that switch off.
This is the very reason why Cave Men never had to have a good cry, they were too busy looking out for saber toothed tigers and knocking broads over the head with clubs to think about their feelings.
You will most likely experience this the first time you go back home and go out to dinner with your soon to be ex-wife and her stupid friends when they start talking about a school bus of pregnant nuns that ran off a bridge and burst into flames at the bottom of a quarry yesterday – all you will be able to think about is “did I order extra cheese or extra pepperoni? Man I really wanted extra cheese, damn”.
At that point you will not be able to relate with anyone that has not been in a combat zone for more than five years, which is sort of fucked up if you think about it – good thing you won’t think about it anyway, because you are now dead inside. Now have a slice of extra cheese and watch a good comedy flick like Schindler's List and go to bed early, you have a 8AM appointment with your divorce lawyer tomorrow.
-Say Goodbye to Having a Credit Score Grater Than 320
Despite making 6-figs a year you will always have fucked up credit, like 19 year kids that suddenly make it big in the NBA you will be shit with your money and constantly miss payments or just default on stuff for no reason other than next week you will get another 13,000.00 dollar paycheck so “fuck it”.
That combined with all the money you spent on your divorce, cutting a check to your ex-wife every month so she and her new hippy boyfriend can keep up the payments on your former house and spending a chunk of your paycheck on building a house in Issan, Thailand for your bargirl second wife you will be in the exclusive group of people who make more money than surgeons but cannot even get a secured credit card.
-Say Goodbye to Doing Any Other Type of Work Again
If I had a dollar for every time someone in contracting said “I am out bro, I am going to get a gig stateside” I would have enough money to bring my credit score up to 400. Lets face it, you pull triggers, before you got into security contracting you worked at Home Depo.
You know what that means?
You will go back stateside and spend the next 9 months burning through your savings until you finally go back to working at Home Depo for 400 bucks a week taking orders from some dick head who drives a Prius with a “Change” bumper sticker on it.
And about the 60th time some housewife asks you where the “white putty stuff that, you know, goes in the sinky thing, hehehehhee I don’t know my boyfriend like, you know, needs it, you know” you will fucking snap and quit. Then you will burn up the rest of your savings buying stupid shit and drinking until you have no choice but to do “just one more contract”.
-Say Goodbye to Loyalty from Your Brothers in Arms
Remember how the man next to you in your unit back in the day would jump on a grenade for you? Well welcome to contracting where the guy next to you will still jump on a grenade for you, but 3 days later he will rat you out to the project manager for no other reason but to rat you out to the project manager.
Unlike being in the military where your families all live together on base or in a tight knit military community, in contracting the guys you work with all live in different states and could give a rat’s ass if your kid has a baseball game next week. This is the very reason for the “Little Try and Fuck me Now Book” – contracting is a Dog-Eat-Dog world.
When it comes down to getting that next 13,000.00 dollar paycheck or being ‘loyal’ to a co-worker guess what prevails?
Now I am not saying this is the rule, I worked with hundreds of dudes in the decade plus I was a contractor, and many of them I now consider brothers. All 3 of us still keep in touch.
Ahhhhh Fuck It, Contracting beats punching a clock any day. Go for it.
FYI: The first stupid fuck that makes a comment asking for/how to get a contracting job is an idiotic retard
Founder – Editor in Chief DVM
James P. is a Veteran Civilian Contractor who has worked in the Middle East and Southeast Asia for way too long. He spends his off time in Southeast Asia and Virginia getting drunk, shooting guns, writing poorly written articles and applying for secured credit cards.