August 13, 2004
The demand for bodyguards and security specialists is not just luring experienced men away from the U.S. Army Special Forces, and other elite military organizations. The recruiters have so many jobs to fill that they are also aggressively going after qualified people from the U.S. Secret Service (that protects the American president, among others), U.S. Department of State Diplomatic Security Service, other civilian executive protection services, or even just law enforcement experience (Military Criminal Investigation, local and state law enforcement organizations). As long as the candidates have a good resume (clean record, in good physical shape, can travel overseas for up to six months at a time, and have some years of applicable experience), they are eligible for a growing number of jobs paying $100,000 a year and up. There is not a mass exodus to these higher paying jobs, because everyone realizes that this terrorism driven demand will eventually decline. In other words, making a career of these new jobs is difficult. The new jobs are mostly short term contracts. But the high pay is compensation for the greater danger, that is an attraction for many. There is the also the opportunity to get involved in the war on terror. That is also a major motivator. But money, and adventure, are still the major attractions, as they have been for centuries.
Recently retired military and police personnel are particularly desired for the war on terror. The 20 years retirement is common in many police departments, as well as the American military. Many experienced police detectives retire at 20 in order to take higher paying jobs, for doing the same work, in the civilian market. Corporations use a lot of investigators, for everything from background checks, to security audits and tracking down suspected crime inside the organization. The CIA is a major employer of recently retired Special Forces, SEALs and well qualified police detectives. These men are particularly in demand for work in countries that will not allow Special Forces troops to operate, but will look the other way if CIA employees discretely snoop around. Pakistan and many Arab nations, are a good example of this. The Special Forces retirees know all about operating in a foreign country, and the retired detectives know all about investigative techniques. The CIA provides training for whatever necessary skills the retirees need. What the CIA is mainly interested in is experience, and a track record of dealing with unusual situations. Detectives who have cracked particularly difficult cases are highly prized, especially if they can speak a foreign language or two. While the CIA hires these retirees on short term contracts, the agency has a reputation for taking care of its own, especially if the people involved know how to perform in the field. It wasnt always this way, but it is now and will remain so for at least for the rest of the decade.