I am seriously considering going to Iraq!


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gunfan
January 13, 2006, 01:26 AM
As a Security Officer to escort convoys. At $100,000.00 (tax-free) this could arrange to have me prepare to attend Law School at the University of Montana in Missoula.

I need to take at least $10,000.00 to move Shelley and I to Missoula. I believe that I can handle myself "in country". Its a "leg up" on the situation. I'll be hoping that the company will issue me a .45 ACP and an AK-47 (at the very least). While I don't fear death, (I've seen my own children die in my arms, and have awakened next to my dead wife) I am concerned with the time that I'll be spending away from Shelley.

Any suggestions/ideas/comments?

Scott

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Boogyman
January 13, 2006, 01:45 AM
Do you have military or combat experience or training? That is a lot of money, but American "contractors" are targets over there from what I've heard.
And a good, healthy fear of death can be an advantage when you're trying to stay alive...:cool:

beerslurpy
January 13, 2006, 01:45 AM
How about getting the money back into the country? Or is it paid to you tax free in the united states? Hint: bend over.

It is probably going to be an easy 100k, but you only have to die once for it to be a crappy job. Your awareness and skill with weapons wont protect you against an IED or a sniper. Dont come crying to us if your number gets called.

edit: and I hope you speak arabic.

odysseus
January 13, 2006, 01:49 AM
Gunfan,

Don't know you, but a couple questions come to mind. Military or law enforcement experience? Also have you traveled internationally every before? Any time overseas? Do you have any Arabic friends or exposure to their culture?

Also what of health, long term disability benefits? If you are maimed, it will be very expensive for your whole life possibly.

Also you wrote of your child and wife. That was tough to read that you went through that. You must be quite a person to have gone through that. Blessings to you.

Kurt_M
January 13, 2006, 01:59 AM
Best of luck. I considered going over as a contractor when I seperated from the Army this summer, but decided against it. Stay safe.

Lehigh Valley Lube 1
January 13, 2006, 02:09 AM
Just got back from there and also Afghanistan...as a soldier. Don't let KBR, Mantech or the barrage of other contractors reel you in. They won't give you a gun, but you will have a few "Weekend Warriors" protecting you. If you do decide to go don't let one of those privates or corporals know how much you make, they may not jump in front of a bullet or dive on a landmine for you ;>)

beerslurpy
January 13, 2006, 02:09 AM
By the way, I'm sorry for appearing harsh or callous, but you will essentially be assigned to a soft target at all times. The likelihood of you being attacked is probably much higher than that of an actual combat unit. Not that I think you wont see combat, but I think the enemy will be bringing the fight to you by surprise, not the other way around.

If you do decide to go, dont skimp on the body armor and be careful.

Pay for law school with loans my friend. It takes longer, but you dont die from it.

StrikeFire83
January 13, 2006, 02:13 AM
My only suggestion.

If you do get ambushed, and find yourself shooting it out, save the last round in the chamber for yourself. An IED or snpier bullet would seem tame compared to getting your head slowly sawed off by rusty, dull machete.

Best of luck.

Edmond
January 13, 2006, 02:33 AM
Pay for law school with loans my friend. It takes longer, but you dont die from it.

I definitely agree with that. $100K is a lot of money but you have even more to live for over here.

Jeff White
January 13, 2006, 02:53 AM
First off, if you don't have military combat arms experience or police tactical unit experience, you're probably not going to be hired as a trigger puller. Another member here, Nightcrawler parleyed his National Guard Combat Engineer experience into a gig in theater but not in Iraq. IIRC it was a static guard post on a facility. You might look at some of his posts on his experience over there.

The money isn't totally tax free, you still have to pay FICA tax and you have to remain out of the country for your tour in order to keep the tax free status. At least thats what I was told when I was approached about one of the jobs a year ago.

Jeff

rick_reno
January 13, 2006, 03:31 AM
Probably safter than a night shift at 7-11 - go for it. Get the best body armor and make sure you always have it on.

ka50
January 13, 2006, 03:34 AM
you won't need 100k from the inside of a casket

get a loan out, go to school

AK-74me
January 13, 2006, 03:45 AM
Have you seen any of these videos posted on here lately, alot of them are contractor getting ambushed or getting their convoys blown to bits by IED's?

I'd rather go work on one of those crap boats for a season or two and make the money then go to Iraq where everyone and their brother would like to put a bullett in your head!

strambo
January 13, 2006, 04:17 AM
Only about 84K is tax free and only if you stay overseas for 330 consecutive days. Guys, convoy escort means trigger puller, not unarmed "KBR." Yes, you'll be a target, but hey who isn't over there? The military and Iraqi civilians still get shot up more (a lot more) than contractors.

100K sounds a little "light" for convoy escort duty. Shoot for at least 10K per month. Make sure you know the details of your contract, every company is different. Some just pay X dollars every month like a salary. Some pay a huge hourly rate but only when you're on the road. Some provide gear no charge, some charge for it. Some have benefits, some don't.

You can't judge a company by someone else's experience either. Every contract is different and all companies have good people and good contracts/jobs as well as bad. If you were in the military...well the contractor mindset is different. Your job is to protect your client (or his stuff) not your buddies or achieve a "mission". You are a well paid expendable asset. Not a bad thing, just business. These companies try to take care of folks, but the job comes first and if you don't like it you can quit. In the military you can't quit, so morale is more important.

I spent 5 months over there as a security contrator and it was the best job and experience I've ever had. I'd stay longer and/or go back, but it's hard with a family. A lot of those guys are single and stay for a year, then get on 3 or 6 month rotations.

strambo
January 13, 2006, 04:28 AM
I wouldn't advise doing anything just for the money. In my case, the money was a bonus. No, I wouldn't have gone for free, or even half...but I would have gone for a lot less. I wanted the experience both professionally and personally. If the only, or even main, reason is just to pay for school...:uhoh: Only you can make the best decision for you and yours, good luck with whatever you decide.

StrikeFire83
January 13, 2006, 04:30 AM
I wouldn't advise doing anything just for the money. In my case, the money was a bonus. No, I wouldn't have gone for free, or even half...but I would have gone for a lot less. I wanted the experience both professionally and personally. If the only, or even main, reason is just to pay for school...:uhoh: Only you can make the best decision for you and yours, good luck with whatever you decide.

Why would you go for any reason other than money, if I might ask?

Are you going to be a body guard by trade here in the states?

Seems like an awful risk to put one's self in for "the experience."

And I'm not trying to sound insulting, just very curious.

strambo
January 13, 2006, 04:46 AM
Seems like an awful risk to put one's self in for "the experience."
Seems like an awful risk just for some green pieces of paper too. That's what I meant by that, I think for this kinda thing there has to be more than just money as a motivator. Kinda like folks who only join the military for the college $$. They sure aren't happy campers when it comes time to deploy.

No insult taken Strike...yeah, considered trying to get into the Executive Protection field in the States and have some training in it. It is a very hard field to get into. I was also active duty combat arms and still in the Guard. I wasn't deployed in the WOT for the military, so there was a sense of duty for me as well. The rest can't be explained easily...I just feel that I was suited for it and protecting civilian construction contractors over there building the country would be a meaningful job.

I learned also that the money has to be high. Folks are voluntarily taking lots of risk and leaving their families for a job with little support and a questionable future. I mean would you quit a great career for 1 year of good pay? Most people probably can't get a leave of absence.

Ironically, I'm headed to Afghanistan for a year with the Guard soon. Less pay and a lot longer time away, but I haven't served a tour for Uncle Sam yet and I volunteered. Again, it's not for the money (cause it's a lot less) but the money will still be pretty good and I'm hoping the experience better. If not, well that's why they call it "serving your country" I guess.

Molon Labe
January 13, 2006, 09:21 AM
There's more to life than making money.

gunfan
January 13, 2006, 09:35 AM
I have served in the military (U.S. Navy) and have extensive security training. I have qualified with the semiautomatic handgun and revolver (several times) and have remained in the top 20% of my security teams. I have had training in crime scene preservation, bomb detection (for Federal installations) and inspecting electronic devices at entry checkpoints while operating a Magnetometer and metal detection wands. I have also worked over 10 hours at a time at cold, dreary posts.

I intend to take Graduate Level Student Loans. (In the end, I will owe over $200,000.00). In the long run, It should be worth it. I'll always "cover my six" to go back to my Shelley. I have outlived four children and have been married five times. (My fourth wife died from diabetic complications). BTW, nothing in this life surprises me.

In college, one of my beloved Sociology professors was from Baghdad. (I mourned the loss of his mother).

Yes, I have "been there... done that".

Scott

Lennyjoe
January 13, 2006, 10:36 AM
Sounds like your mind is made up. ;)

I wish you well my friend.

Stay safe, watch your six, be prepared and come home safe.

carlrodd
January 13, 2006, 10:42 AM
Do you have military or combat experience or training? That is a lot of money, but American "contractors" are targets over there from what I've heard.
And a good, healthy fear of death can be an advantage when you're trying to stay alive...:cool:

that they are, and my experience with the american security contractors was that they were typically rather arrogant and used APPALLING tactics when they got contact. a bad combination over there. so watch who you sign up with....do some serious research on the company.

gunfan
January 13, 2006, 12:25 PM
that they are, and my experience with the american security contractors was that they were typically rather arrogant and used APPALLING tactics when they got contact. a bad combination over there. so watch who you sign up with....do some serious research on the company.

All I want to do is guard my principle and cover my back. If I can get by with doing just so, I may just sign with the company that knows how to perform its job well.

As you stated, I must perform an extensive amount of research.

Scott

engineer151515
January 13, 2006, 12:33 PM
You would have to add at least one more tax-free zero to that number ($1,000,000) before I would even consider going over.


For a week or two.


:)

progunner1957
January 13, 2006, 12:53 PM
There's more to life than making money.
+1.

Such as:
Being alive instead of dead.
Having two legs.
Having two arms.
Having two eyes.
Being there for your family.
Not having your head sawed off by a bunch of psycho Islamic thugs.

Listen to the guy who said:
Just got back from there and also Afghanistan...as a soldier. Don't let KBR, Mantech or the barrage of other contractors reel you in. They won't give you a gun, but you will have a few "Weekend Warriors" protecting you. If you do decide to go don't let one of those privates or corporals know how much you make, they may not jump in front of a bullet or dive on a landmine for you

Go jump neck deep in a war with no gun??? N.F. way - not for $100,000 a month, let alone $10,000. Hey, even "Uncle Sugar" gives the troops guns!!

Your family needs you. There are many ways to pay for law school and still be here for your family - they need you more than you can imagine.

Think about it, my friend.

bobaloo
January 13, 2006, 01:12 PM
I'd see if I couldn't negotiate the money a little. As noted above, it seems a little light. A good buddy of mine just turned down $16K per month to go there.

0007
January 13, 2006, 01:36 PM
That money is definately "light". Most of the guys that I know who are going there say it's around $13K for a three month contract with a bonus for each completion and more for an extension.

benEzra
January 13, 2006, 01:37 PM
Dont come crying to us if your number gets called.
Umm, if anybody dies and THEN comes crying to me, I'm going to be very worried. :eek:

What caliber would you use against an angry ghost? :uhoh:

AK-74me
January 13, 2006, 01:47 PM
That money is definately "light". Most of the guys that I know who are going there say it's around $13K for a three month contract with a bonus for each completion and more for an extension.

A guy that I worked with left his job to go be a contract security in Iraq mid-2005. He said he was getting right around $15k a month.

Dain Bramage
January 13, 2006, 03:12 PM
It's important work and you are going in as a free man with your eyes open.

I take a risk driving 35 miles to work every day to earn my money. The increased risk you would take is compensated by more money. For some people, that level of risk is not worth the payback. Only you can decide. Good luck to you whichever way you choose.

It's interesting that there are a lot of people on this board supporting volunteers into the military, but there are also a lot of naysayers to being a private contractor. I'm not saying they are necessarily the same people. The nobility of military service (which gunfan already did) is no greater than his goal to better his education. In fact, it is often the same goal that military volunteers have.

WT
January 13, 2006, 03:36 PM
I gather some wounded contractors are ignored by their employers once they get back to the States. Be very careful. You MAY not be taken care of.

Look into this very carefully.

bogie
January 13, 2006, 04:41 PM
What do you guys hear of non-security/combat type positions? I have no desire to wander around with a boomstick - I'd rather be one of the people being guarded. I figure that if I need a boomstick then, there'll be one or two sitting around unattended...

Of course, I'd probably see if I could scrounge a good Remington 700 in .308, just for the event that it'd come in handy...

strambo
January 13, 2006, 07:47 PM
If you are in a non-security type position you really don't need a gun. You will most likely be in the "Green Zone" or at the airport. Huge, well guarded perimiters. IT type jobs and engineering jobs pay more (sometimes a lot more) than security positions. Now, if you are going to be outside "the wire" so to speak, well, I would want to be armed.:uhoh:

CAnnoneer
January 13, 2006, 11:27 PM
that they are, and my experience with the american security contractors was that they were typically rather arrogant and used APPALLING tactics when they got contact.

Please do tell.

rero360
January 14, 2006, 12:12 AM
as far as I know, at least from the companies that my friends have dealt with when they were over there, their unit worked closely with a couple of companies, the contractors were issued plenty of guns and ammo, armor and all that fun stuff,I was considering doing the contractor gig myself but I want to go over with my unit first, I feel a duty to my fellow soldiers. from what I've heard blackwater is the best company to work for, but very hard to get in.

BsChoy
January 14, 2006, 10:14 AM
I have served in the military (U.S. Navy) and have extensive security training. I have qualified with the semiautomatic handgun and revolver (several times) and have remained in the top 20% of my security teams. I have had training in crime scene preservation, bomb detection (for Federal installations) and inspecting electronic devices at entry checkpoints while operating a Magnetometer and metal detection wands. I have also worked over 10 hours at a time at cold, dreary posts.

Scott

Scott

I don't think you want to live, it sounds like you have nothing else to live for to me...only your shooting skills will be needed...the "contractors" over there aren't manning security checkpoints all day...they are mercs for all intents and purpopses...you will have almost no reinforcements if the SHTF and if you do it ain't nothing like the military...contractors are getting decent weapons but you've got nothing to help you survive an IED or RPG or even a simple small arms ambush except a vest. Think long and hard about this one.

telomerase
January 14, 2006, 01:27 PM
if you're just killing for the money, get a bid from the insurgents. They'd probably pay more than $100K for someone who can be bought.

Ohen Cepel
January 14, 2006, 01:40 PM
I was suprised the hear how much contractors in Bosnia actually made. They were paid around $100,000. However, had NO sick leave, vacation, insurance, and had to pay ALL of the social security/taxes that applied to them themselves.

Their $100,000 really meant about $60,000.

Not enough money for me to do it that's for sure.

However, if you're going look into BlackWater. Got a pitch from them recently and they were paying about twice what you're looking at now and were doing 6 month hitches.

Biker
January 14, 2006, 01:51 PM
If I was ten years younger and had no family, I'd give it serious consideration.
However, I do believe that I'd wait till after March. If it turns out to be true that we hit Iran in that time period, the money just would not be worth it.
Biker

silverlance
January 14, 2006, 02:49 PM
with all due respect - and no insult intended, seriously -

if you've outlived five wives and four children, do you still think you are, as the singer sings, "as good as you ever was"?

unless, of course, each relationship was extremely short-lived, in which case... well, I just wonder how someone with the background you describe could possibly be younger than 50 (not that someone over fifty can't be a fit guard, understand, just that I imagine it would be a bit harder on the system than say at 25) or that you would get security clearance to be a highly paid security officer - (assuming that the deaths of your family were from other than natural causes).

again, no insult, just wondering.

imho, if you've finally got it good after all these years of hardship, why risk it one more time?

gunfan
January 14, 2006, 05:12 PM
In either Afghanistan or Iraq. It shouldn't be too difficult to pass their "background check" (no felonies or violent misdemeanor convictions).

Working the "inside" is likely to be safer and more "intellectually oriented".

Scott

Manedwolf
January 14, 2006, 08:42 PM
As a Security Officer to escort convoys. At $100,000.00 (tax-free) this could arrange to have me prepare to attend Law School at the University of Montana in Missoula.

I need to take at least $10,000.00 to move Shelley and I to Missoula. I believe that I can handle myself "in country". Its a "leg up" on the situation. I'll be hoping that the company will issue me a .45 ACP and an AK-47 (at the very least). While I don't fear death, (I've seen my own children die in my arms, and have awakened next to my dead wife) I am concerned with the time that I'll be spending away from Shelley.

Any suggestions/ideas/comments?

Scott

It still seems like something wrong, to me, that the men and women who signed up to defend their country and who are over there get pocket change and their families' benefits get cut constantly...but the hired mercenaries/contractors/whatever you want to call it make big bucks.

If I was a "real soldier" over there, I dunno...I'd kind of resent that the people who signed up to fight for pay, not country, are making a hell of a lot more money than the enlisted personnel will ever see...?

gunfan
January 14, 2006, 11:32 PM
It still seems like something wrong, to me, that the men and women who signed up to defend their country and who are over there get pocket change and their families' benefits get cut constantly...but the hired mercenaries/contractors/whatever you want to call it make big bucks.

If I was a "real soldier" over there, I dunno...I'd kind of resent that the people who signed up to fight for pay, not country, are making a hell of a lot more money than the enlisted personnel will ever see...?

I missed getting my white carcass shipped off to Vietnam by three... count them, 3 months! If I go to the Middle East, I damn sure better be well-paid!

Scott

AFhack
January 14, 2006, 11:48 PM
Last I saw - the contractors coming into country weren't supplying weapons stateside - they supplied them in theater. Contractor personnel were drawing weapons out of company stock once they arrived in country. Of course, selection seemed to vary a lot by contractor. While I didn't get details, some of the larger contractors (I think Blackwater comes to mind) had a legal arrangement to ship certain weapons in while others were dealing with firearms that could be procured locally.


Seems to me that the quality of your armament could be highly variable - which would be a cause of concern for me.

On body armor... of course this is entirely anectodal... I think I recall one contractor telling me that his employers supplied none but they could wear what they owned. He also said he know of at least one employer over there that told their employees that no body armor would be worn at all.

bevis
January 15, 2006, 01:37 AM
i have never seen a brinks truck being pulled behind a hearst.
that should pretty much spell it out.

rock jock
January 15, 2006, 02:04 AM
gunfan,

If I were in your postition with your background (and life experiences), I would do it. Life is more than about money, but it is also about more than just staying alive.

esheato
January 15, 2006, 02:19 AM
I got paid a whole lot less than 100k to be there for a few months. USAF and all...

Ed

strambo
January 15, 2006, 04:11 AM
that the men and women who signed up to defend their country and who are over there get pocket change and their families' benefits get cut constantly...but the hired mercenaries/contractors/whatever you want to call it make big bucks.
I guess you don't realize they're the same people? Almost all contractors are former military. They did their time, many did tours in the current conflict in Iraq (or Afghanistan) with the military first. Contractors don't get benefits by and large and they have no job when they get back. Military family benefits aren't being cut constantly BTW. One of the great things about my impending tour to Afghanistan is the benefits I will get from the military. I was paying over $700/month for them as a contractor and almost $500 now back in the States.

No need for a soldier to be jealous, it's the very service their doing that qualifies them for this job later if they want. Most probably don't want, they just like to complain. I did too as a private, it's in the job description I think.:D

slzy
January 15, 2006, 07:14 AM
Are you sure you want to be a lawyer?

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