Too antsy to go overseas; Not antsy enough to get right to come home

There is a romatic impression that has been seaping throughout the security industry.  The visual of an operator/specialist, or whatever you want to call him, all geared up with a long rifle slung across his shoulder, plate carrier full of mag and assorted pouches, beard or goatee, with Oakley wrap around glasses, and a baseball cap, is to say the least POWERFUL looking.  It compares to the old Charles Atlas comic ad in the 60’s and 70’s magazines where the skinny kid gets sand kicked on him at the beach and seeks exercise tips from Charles Atlas and remakbly he’s transformed into a human mastodon.

The point is there is a huge difference between fact and fiction.  Fact is, there is only a small sect of real operators that should even have their passports stamped and monies spent by companies vetting them and getting a clearance.  What a person has on paper can NEVER fully tell you about the real person on the inside.  The world of protection is NO Joke and I hate that it is becoming the catch all for people that can’t find their niche in life.  Protection has become what the military was in to 70’s.  A, “if all fails go in the military”.  What did that do?  If the military was your second choice, then you’re entering the service because its your last ditch effort at doing something worthwhile.  Is that reall volunteering?  Maybe, maybe not.

Back to those images.  There is also a large uprising of EP Specialists that believe that there bio/CV/resume is non competitive without that “Sandbox” entry.  So in their zeal to be the full package, they start training up and pushing out resumes.  Hold off on that Blackhawk order tuffy.  Yea, you’ve worked 5+ years in EP and have spanned the world covering everyone.  Newsflash, you only have the basic understanding of what you’re ansty about doing.  I have spoken to informally interviewed a few of the operators over there and they gave me the impression that once you hit the AO there is an informal hazing that goes on because, they feel more comfortable working with veteran operators.  For the sake of this blog veteran operators doesnt exclusively me SF guys, but veteran PSD operators. Like it or not, your bio and history will beat you to the green zone and filter among the guys on the ground.  You’ll be looked at as the last kid picked in a pick up game.  Non of this is to dissuade you from going, but the company that picks you up is not going to tell you this.

What I am here to tell you is this: It’s not for everyone and the real operators over there don’t want everyone coming.  “Help is on the way” to them is someone that has stormed the front lines with them, that has pushed through an ambush with them, that has survived  attacks in a motorcade.  Their bond is forged through adversity.  Coming from a tailored suit to a plate carrier is not enough, you better have a laminated recommendation letter from Colonel Beckwith or Paul Howe in your utility pouch, otherwise you’ll get to feel what the other side of the Heismann trophy stiff feels like.

Lastly, I will go out on a limb here.  You do NOT need the PSD contractor work on your belt to get work here.  In fact, if your  resume is only PSD I believe it will hinder you without having melded back into the corporate or CONUS private sector work.  Just as you need to train up to go overseas, guys that have worked exclusively over there need to train too.  Read the 3 PS and Gradient scale.  There is no doubt you can pick up the EP training, but the switching mechanism need to be re-wired or NGO will stand for NO GOOD OPERATOR

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