Private Contractor Jobs For Civilians - Adjusting to civilian life can be a difficult endeavor for combat veterans, and finding paid work is an important component of the transition. Adam Gonzales is a combat veteran who used his skills at Blackwater, a private military contractor company. Now, he helps other veterans connect with employers who can make the most of their skills.
Gonzales, 40, lives in Northern Virginia. As a child, he was very patriotic. He distinctly remembers hearing the national anthem before the event. His love for America grew stronger as he read the Pledge of Allegiance every morning before school.
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At the age of 20 he enlisted in the US Army. He served in the Long Range Surveillance Unit, and his job was to parachute behind enemy lines and collect intelligence on the enemy. He was deployed to Afghanistan and served throughout the country. After four years of service, he switched to the civilian military sector and began working for Blackwater.
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In January 2004, Blackwater evaluated the function over a two-week period. At the time, many of Blackwater's veterans were from elite units throughout the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps.
"What I took away from me is that I always have to train hard every day, especially if I'm going to make this a career. As a kid, [I] became a sponge and had to learn just as much. It can be done by people with more experience," said Gonzales.
Shortly after the evaluation period, Gonzales was deployed to Iraq under a contract protecting US Ambassador to Iraq Paul Bremer. At the time, Al Qaeda in Iraq offered a bounty of $15 million on Bremer. A bounty of $50,000 was placed on the contractors.
Adam Gonzales worked as a private military contractor after serving in the US Army. (Provided by Silent Professional)
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Upon arrival, Gonzales and his comrades entered an active war zone. When they landed, they found a two-mile road leading into the Green Zone, according to Gonzales, the most dangerous two-mile stretch in the world at the time. He recalled that about 20 people died on this road every day.
"It was like driving with a cape on. They really didn't want people driving between 7am and 12pm. That's actually when most of the hits happened. Small arms fire, ambushes, RPGs, IEDs, vehicles. It was going to be a VBIED, an onboard IED, so on the first day there was a very high probability of smoking on that road,” Gonzales recalled.
Fortunately, Gonzales and his colleagues made it to Baghdad safely. Even so, every day was dangerous. They will transport Bremer throughout Baghdad and shelter him in his residence. Sometimes they worked 24 hours a day to make sure Bremer was safe.
After six months, Gonzales and his colleagues finished their work. They put Bremer on a plane and sent him safely home to his family.
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After four years at Blackwater, Gonzales started working for other contracting companies. His first mission was to protect American mail shipments to remote rural outposts in Afghanistan. He learned how important the mail was to American morale, and he and his militia became a constant target for the Taliban. At any one time, 200 to 300 Taliban fighters would ambush the convoy.
Gonzalez continued to work in the civilian military until he experienced a last-minute crisis in Afghanistan in 2012, when he began to think deeply about his work. During that engagement, he and the Afghan fighters he worked with on the combat outposts were attacked daily. One day the wooden cabin he was living in was hit by a rocket and burned down. Fortunately, Gonzales was out.
"I got to the point where I said I had to go back home and start a life for myself in America," Gonzalez said.
Adam Gonzales (C) had a hard time adjusting to the civilian job market after working as a private military contractor. (Provided by Silent Professional)
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Gonzales promised to return to the United States, settle down, and find a "normal" job. However, like many combat veterans, he had a hard time adjusting to civilian life. His cousin owned a commercial electric company and he was able to secure a job as an assistant project manager.
"It was probably the lowest point of my life when I was able to work at a job I didn't like, being an expert in my industry, a respected and trusted lowest-level non-trade employee," said Gonzales.
He would sit in his truck and cry in the parking lot or on the job site because he was so unhappy with what he was doing and where his own life was going. He tried to work, but after a year he felt he had to quit.
Fortunately, one of his best friends lived in Houston and was able to connect him to a job in private security. He has done executive protection work for high net worth individuals, actors and rap artists.
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"That's what got me into private security and really put my skills to use," Gonzales explained.
After working in private security, he and his wife started a business called Silent Professionals in October 2017.
To date, Silent Professionals has helped more than 5,000 veterans find jobs in the private military, civilian security, and cybersecurity fields. This service is also free for veterans seeking employment. It was his own personal experience that motivated him to help other veterans in very similar situations.
“It came down to understanding the pitfalls that American soldiers go through when they get home and the challenges of trying to find a job,” said Gonzales.
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'This has cost millions of lives': Steve Kirsch on crackdown on recycled drugs and spike in deaths 5 months after vaccine launch Looking for a job that gives you more freedom and flexibility? If so, working as an independent contractor could be the perfect solution. Independent contracting offers many advantages that will be covered in this article.
There are many different types of independent contractor jobs available, so whatever your skills or interests are, they will be an ideal fit for you. Check out our list of the 13 best independent contractor jobs to see if it's right for you.
The term independent contractor refers to a person who is hired for a job but is not an employee of the employing company. This means that independent contractors do not receive benefits or have taxes withheld from their paychecks. In many cases, independent contractors are free to choose the projects they work on and the hours they work because there is no direct employer-employee relationship between them and the person or company they work for.
Independent contractors must be able to prove that they are truly independent entities by providing services to multiple clients at once and represent themselves as a business. This distinguishes independent contractors from those who provide services to only a single company or organization.
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Now let's shift our focus and look at the best opportunities to work as a freelancer or contractor. Of course, the possibilities are endless. We cover some of the most common or most requested options, but there are many others.
If you are looking for a flexible job or business opportunity, one option to consider is working as a virtual assistant (VA). This is a very broad position and the VA can offer a wide variety of services, but digital services for entrepreneurs and small businesses are in high demand.
Many VAs offer services such as social media management, blog management, moderation in Facebook groups or online forums, email support, and more.
One of the most important benefits of working as a VA is the ability to tailor your service around the skills and experience you already have.
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If you want to work as a virtual assistant, you have a few different options. Some companies, such as Zirtual and Vasumo, hire VA for independent contractor work and provide work. Another option is to start your own business as a freelancer and find clients on your own. The highest paid VAs usually go out on their own.
Getting Started: If you want to learn how to build a successful business as a VA, Gina Horkey's Fully Booked VA is an excellent resource.
If you have good writing skills, there are many opportunities to work as a freelance writer. While there are many different services you can offer as a freelancer, writing has an advantage over most others because of its ongoing work.
Many of our clients who employ freelance writers manage websites and blogs that need new content constantly.
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