Support: May 8, 2004


The murder of four American contractors in Iraq, while working for Blackwater USA, put the thousands of  civilians, employed by the American armed forces, in the news. Blackwater continues to recruit for all sorts of jobs the military needs done, and doesnt have troops available to do. This is typical in wartime, where there is often insufficient time to recruit and train people with needed skills. What Blackwater does is draw upon the large number of retired military people who are able, and willing (for a price) to return to doing what they did before they left, or retired, from the military. Most of these jobs are not about using weapons. For example, a recent Blackwater recruiting effort sought to obtain six people for a Military Crisis Operations Support Team. This is basically a liaison and communications job. Blackwater was looking for two team leaders (officers with Chief of Staff experience, meaning colonels or lieutenant-colonels), and four to do analyst and communicator chores. The two team leaders are being offered $100,000-150,000 a year, while the others are offered $70,000-90,000 a year. This includes full health benefits and up to 25 percent Danger Pay. Travel expenses are also covered, as some of the work is expected to be overseas. Anyone hired has to be able to leave for an overseas assignment with 72 hours notice. All candidates must, of course, be in good health and have, or be able to get, a Top Secret security clearance. While many of these jobs are usually filled by retirees, recent veterans are also much in demand. There are seven million military American veterans (including retirees) between 20-50 years of age. To put this in perspective, consider that there are currently 2.5 million active duty and reserve troops available (some of the reservists are veterans). This means there are over nine million people in the United States with military training, and at least a few million people that outfits like Blackwater can recruit from. 


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