Many governments use mercenary services, those of private military contractors or private security contractors, to fulfil roles traditionally held by national armies. These companies hire individuals looking to advance their careers in a paramilitary environment. Mercenary companies typically specialise in one or more fields and recruit heavily from former military and law enforcement personnel. People without a military background may also join such organisations in advisory, technical or maintenance roles based on the needs of the mercenary organisation.
- Skill level:
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Determine your desired profession in the ranks of a mercenary company. Some companies specialise in providing aircraft support and training and hire pilots and maintenance technicians. Others provide security in dangerous zones; members of these private security firms often operate under heavy fire and with great risk.
Contact companies that seek individuals matching your skill set. Mercenary outfits with specialisation in canine training and drug enforcement do not seek pilots or aircraft technicians. PrivateMilitary.org offers a list of mercenary companies along with their focus and desired skills.
Speak with military advisers and friends or colleagues in the military for information on recruiters in the area. Many companies hire regularly but target their efforts on military retirees or those with completed tours of duty.
Demonstrate your abilities for recruiters and provide any requested documentation on your background and previous experience in similar fields. Many private military firms require high levels of security clearance and relatively clear backgrounds before enlisting members. Their clients often request high levels of confidentiality and provide little support for agents in the field.
Tips and warnings
- Not all mercenaries serve in combat or security roles. Don't make any assumptions about potential assignments or past work when dealing with a recruiter.
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- PrivateMilitary.org: "The New Public Management of Security: The Contracting and Managerial State and the Private Military Industry"; Carlos Ortiz; 2010
- The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University; "Private Military Contractors: Determining Accountablity"; Joseph Neff
- Foreign Press Centers; "Private Security Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan: Legal Issues"; Jennifer K. Elsea; December 2009