Thursday, July 3, 2008
Honor and Commitment In The Security Industry
I don’t write much on the security industry as a whole, but I had a discussion with a fellow contractor the other day and thought that I would put a few words down for those that were not aware of how things worked.
My beef with many operators working in the industry is their propensity to “jump contracts”, in other words coming over to Iraq or Afghanistan on one contract and immediately start looking around for something better. Once they find a job that might be marginally better in terms of pay, living conditions, or mission, they immediate leave the original position and move to the later. Once there, the process starts all over again. At what point to they give their full measure to the task at hand? For lack of a better term, it’s very mercenary in nature, and it doesn’t bode well for the contractor’s sense of loyalty and commitment. If the individual operator cannot be loyal to his or her commitments what makes anyone believe that they will display any loyalty to their fellow teammates or the client?
To be fair, contracting security companies are often guilty of something similar, knows as “resume gathering”, sort of a form of bait and switch. In order for a security company to bid on a contract it will have to show that it can produce the required number of qualified personnel. As a result, companies make false representations to high-end contractors in order to secure their resumes. Once the contract is in-hand the company hires lower-skilled contractors instead in order to save money or increase its profit margin. Again, if a company shows no loyalty and respect to perspective operators why would anyone think that it will honor its commitments to the client?
Security contracting is a very competitive business. Margins have shrunk considerably over the past years and therefore some of the practices have become less than desirable. You live and die in this industry based on your reputation. If you treat your employer, the client, or your teammates with something other than complete up-right honesty and respect you will not be long in the security world.