Entry Level Tips For The First Time Government Contractor

Posted by Patrick Rifino on

One of the first things you need to ask yourself when getting into this line of work is: What is the goal/endgame for you when you finally hang it up. Most people I've met it's to pay off  either their credit card debt or their mortgage. Before you deploy you need to have a financial plan before you go wheels up. If you don't you can definitely find yourself in contractor limbo which is good and bad depending who you ask. 

Age is another thing that is factored in when becoming a contractor (security field). Most contracts require you to be 25 (in Iraq/Afghanistan), I know Gardaworld had a contract in Kandahar that allowed 23 y/o for a while, but I am not sure as of right now if that is the case. I'd definitely recommend giving college a try and utilizing the Post 9/11 GI-Bill, or Voc-rehab prior to diving into this field.  

Doing a little bit of research on the companies is also recommended. Some that you can look into are Reed, Gardaworld, Janus Global, Sallyport, SOC, Constellis. All these companies have multiple contracts both in combat zones and beyond. One thing any perspective contractor needs to realize is these companies can replace you in a minute and everything comes down to the bottom line. If you are doing your job fulfilling the number the company needs they get paid and that's all they care about. It's important to never forget that.

Knowing the client is extremely important. For most people their are two major clients, the Department of State (WPS II Task Order) rand Department of Defense.  

DoD has several large contracts that have held strong throughout the duration of the GWOT. Many DoD security contracts consist of working entry control points, searching and mirroring cars and possibly internal roving patrols. If you're on day shift it definitely won't be fun and will be longs day in the sun. Many will tell you this can be a "foot in the door" and for some it may be but if you are smart you'll be able to accomplish your goals and move onto to something better in the states.

WPS II (Department of State) covers a variety of security tasks related to protecting diplomatic interests. WPS II has work in Kabul, Baghdad, Erbil, Jerusalem, South Sudan, Central African Republic, and I believe Mogadishu right now. These missions include both mobile/protective contracts and emergency reaction contracts. All WPS II personnel are expected to pass the DOS PSS course and a physical fitness standard. 

Look these companies up and do the research. Look at the positions open and the qualifications required. Be prepared submit your resume, and perform a lot of data entry. Make sure your resume has some crucial key words based on the job description. Many of these companies use a screening software that begins to filter out resumes before it ever reaches the eyes of a recruiter. If you need help with resumes reach out to us here and we will try to help. A deficient resume can be a number one killer for many people when applying for ANY job. 

Always remember to reach out if you have questions. Contracting can be a confusing endeavor to navigate and if you don't a good point of contact it often gets even more confusing. Just know you do have resources that can help you out if you are trying to better yourself!


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2 comments

  • Great article, comes across as a conversation and very easy to follow. Very critical that one finishes their contracts too. Don’t jump ship from the $30/hr contract to the $90/hr and beyond contract while you are in the midst of work… everyone knows everyone, and you want your reputation to be positive. Nobody gives a shit about your bank account or the fact that you left one contract for another solely over money. They want to know that you have their back and that money isn’t going to purchase your loyalty.

    Dayne on
  • Great points. That said, if you go Garda, you deserve your misery. Do your research kids. Friends don’t let friends do shitty contracts.

    Show up able to meet the fitness and marksmanship requirements of whatever gig you’re applying to. Everything is part of the interview process once you submit your application. If you can’t move your body, employ the weapon systems your resume says you can, speak on a radio, or think on your feet, don’t bother applying for any sort of security contract. You’re only putting US lives at risk by doing so. ….because the shit companies aren’t going to cut you. They’ll move you from team to team until you get someone killed or quit because everyone turns on you like the piece of trash that you are.

    That said, read the part about a financial goal again and then write it down. Then read it again to yourself in a mirror. Otherwise you’ll leave without a penny in your pocket.

    Miley on

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