This is a guest article by D. Alan Johnson, his latest book Asgaard explores the role of US military Contractors in far flung parts of the globe. D. Alan Johnson is well equipped to write not only Asgaard, but also this article. He is what he writes about! Since the mid 1980’s he has been a private military contractor – Simon

With the announcement last week of the last combat brigade leaving Iraq, there was a little-noticed postscript. The Defense Department forecasts the doubling of contractor jobs because of the drawdown of the military.

For many years, the perception of the public is that private military contractor jobs are all about shooters wearing body armor. But the reality is that the shooter community is but a small fraction of the total number of contractors employed. For example, one company is estimating that they will hire 120 pilots in the next six months. Not mentioned by the company is that they will also need managers, maintenance personnel, and loadmasters.

Other companies will be hiring trainers, mechanics, accountants, truck drivers, and managers. Anyone who can speak Arabic will be in high demand. And, as always, the DoD is short communication specialists who can install and repair fiber optic cables and set up satellite communications.

To the unemployed yearning for a good job this is great news. Most of these positions pay close to one hundred thousand a year, the first 90,000 dollars being tax free if one stays out of the country for 300 days. Back in 1996 I took a job like this. I wiped out my debt and became financially well within a year.

Positions in high demand are IT specialists, intelligence analysts, translators, managers, pilots, aircraft mechanics, safety officers, environmental clean-up, demining specialists, doctors, nurses, and medics. Anyone with a training background will be needed due to the continuing mission of training the Iraqi military and police.

Besides all of this, Africa is opening up. The newest joint African Command (AFRICOM) is going to add thirty-four surveillance aircraft within 18 months. With support staff, that could mean as many as 400 high paying jobs.

You won’t be living in luxurious accommodations. The food might not always be great. But if you like an adventure, wish to make a difference in history, and can adjust to another culture, you could find overseas contracting to be your dream job.

You won’t find these jobs listed on Most companies hire on recommendation only. You need to get in the “club.” By that, I mean that you must get known in the community. Do your homework. Travel to meet the hiring team in person. Be persistent. You can do it.

D. Alan Johnson

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