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Top 14 Private Military Companies

Former members of the Armed Forces are often at a loss as to what to do when they leave the military.  Most want to continue to perform and excel at the jobs they performed while serving on active duty, as well as enjoy the camaraderie they enjoyed with their fellow soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen.

Enter private military companies.

Private military companies (PMCs), also known as private military contractors, are often used by not only the US military but also the armed services of various countries throughout the world to “fill in the gaps” where needed.

Logically, these companies turn to ex-military members to employees to aid in filling these gaps. 

Employees of these private military companies are known as private military operators (or contractors). 

Related: The Ultimate Guide To Becoming A Private Military Contractor

As the US Armed Services is the most well-trained in the world, the majority of private military contractors come from the US military.

Some of the most successful, largest, and most well-known private military companies are listed below.

14. Vinnell Corp

Location: Herndon, Virginia

Founder: Allan S. Vinnell

Website: www.vinnellarabia.com

Vinnell Corporation, also known as Vinnell Arabia, was originally founded as a hauling and excavating contracting company in 1931 by Allan S. Vinnell. 

Vinnell was key in the construction of the Pan-American Highway, Dodger Stadium and portions of Dodger Stadium.

The company first got involved with the US military when they performed construction for the US in Vietnam in the 1960s.

In 2003, Vinnell Corporation was awarded the initial contract to recreate the New Iraqi Army by the US Department of Defense (DOD).

The contract called for nine battalions with the option to extend the training to 27 battalions.

In 2003, Vinnell Arabia was bombed by Saudi terrorists resulting in the deaths of eight Americans and two Filipinos. [Ref: 1]

Another Vinnell employee was stalked and assassinated on the street.

Vinnell Arabia has a 3.3 (out of 5) rating on indeed.com with 99 respondents reviewing.

vinnell arabia review on indeed

According to CareerBliss.com, the average salary for a Vinnell employee is $68,000 annually, which is 11% higher than the national average.

Vinnell Corporation is a subsidiary of Northrup Grunham Corporation.

13. MAG Aerospace

mag aerospace - private military company
Image: Defense.gov

Location: Fairfax, Virginia

Founder: Joe Fluet

Website: magaero.com

Founded in 2008 by Joe Fluent, MAG Aerospace specializes in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance services operations, training and technical support.

The company clocked 98,000 flight hours on five continents in 2017 alone.  That same year, the company earned the #779 spot on the Inc. 5000. [Ref: 2]

MAG Aerospace is very active in Afghanistan.  Most recently, they are helping the US military fight the Taliban in Afghanistan as part of Task Force ODIN.

MAG Aerospace has a 3.9 (out of 5) rating on indeed.com with 45 respondents reviewing.

mag aerospace review on indeed

According to paysa.com, the average salary for a MAG Aerospace employee is $75,158 annually, with the top 10% earning more than 108,871.

12. G4S

Source: www.Wikimedia.org

Location: London, England

Founder: Marius Hogrefe

Website: G4S

G4S originated from a guarding business founded by Marius Hogrefe in Copenhagen in 1901.

In 2000, Group 4, a security firm founded in 1960 merged with Falck forming Group 4 Falck labeling itself as “the world’s largest private security systems company.”

G4S, in its present form, came to fruition in 2004 when Group 4 Falck’s security business merged with Securicor creating Group 4 Securicor. [Ref: 3]

The name was later rebranded to G4S.

The core service of G4S consists mainly of manned security services.  That is, they provide trained and screened security officers. 

In addition, G4S provides security systems such as CCTV, access control, fire detection, video analytics, security and building systems integration technology, and intruder alarms.

In addition to providing services to two private Australian prisons, G4S also is responsible for securing the perimeter of Homey Airport, more commonly known as Area 51.

G4S has a 3.4 (out of 5) rating on indeed.com with over 11,000 respondents reviewing.

g4s review on indeed

According to CareerBliss.com, the average salary for a G4S employee is $41,500 annually, 38% lower than the national average.

11. Mission Essential

mission essential logo
By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, Wikipedia.org

Location: Columbus, Ohio

Founder: Greg Miller, Chad Monnin

Website: www.missionessential.com

Mission Essential was founded by Army Special Forces veteran Greg Miller and Army veteran Chad Monnin who met at Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base, Ohio during training.

While initially started to provide a handful of linguists in Iraq, the company bloomed with a $703 million Afghanistan language contract to support Operation Enduring Freedom. [Ref: 4]

Mission Essential was named the number one language services provider by the Common Sense Advisory Board in 2010, 2011, and 2012.

Mission Essential primarily serves both intelligence and military clients.

Mission Essential has a 4.0 (out of 5) rating on indeed.com with 167 respondents reviewing.

mission essential review on indeed

According to PayScale.com, the average salary for a Mission Essential employee is $68,000 annually, with Linguists as the top earners with salaries as high as $121,000.

10. AdvanFort

advanfort logo
Image: Wikimedia.org

Location: Herndon, Virginia

Founder: Samir Farajallah

Website: www.advanfort.com

The US private maritime company AdvanFort was founded in 2009 by Samir Farajallah.

Their primary focus is defense and homeland security products, services, and technologies.

AdvanFort specializes in maritime security with a keen eye on providing armed security fleet assets in high-risk environments.

Related Article: 9 Common Private Military Contractor Jobs (and 3 uncommon ones)

AdvanFort is a signatory with the International Code of Conduct (ICoC) for Pirate Security Providers, certified with the International Maritime Law Enforcement Academy (IMLEA), and also belongs to the Security Association for the Maritime Industry (SAMI). [Ref: 5]

The company maintains a fleet of Offshore Supported Vessels (OSVs) which allow AdvanFort to operate outside of a sovereign nation’s borders.

AdvanFort has a 3.6 (out of 5) rating on indeed.com with 5 respondents reviewing.

advanfort review on indeed

Salary averages for Advanfort were not available/accessible, unfortunately.

9. Andrews International

Location: Conshohocken, Pennsylvania and Santa Ana, California

Founder: N/A

Website: www.aus.com

Andrews International was founded in Los Angeles, California over 25 years ago in 1988.

Initially focused on providing contract security services for Hollywood studios, the company has evolved by filling its ranks with experienced law enforcement and military personnel.

Andrews International was recently acquired by Allied Universal. [Ref: 6]

Although headquartered in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania and Santa Ana, California, the company has offices in all 50 states, as well as the United Kingdom, US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, Mexico, Honduras, and Canada.

Andrews International has a 3.5 (out of 5) rating on indeed.com with 585 respondents reviewing.

 

According to CareerBliss.com, the average salary for a Vinnell employee is $30,000 annually ($14.00 per hour), which is 68% lower than the national average.

8. GK Sierra

Location: Dubai, UAE

Founder: N/A

Website: www.gksierrasecurityllc.com

GK Sierra was founded in 2007 and serves the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  Their focus is on Integrity, Teamwork, Attitude, Performance, and Passion.

They provide the following services (among others):

  • Security Guard Services
  • Access/ Egress Control
  • Visitor / Contractor Control
  • Receptionist / Telephonic Duties
  • Loss Prevention
  • Control Room Operations
  • Crowd Control
  • Fire Prevention and Detection
  • Intruder / Fire and Security Alarm Monitoring

They have an extensive list of clients including NMC Healthcare, Nakheel, UAE XChange, Aster, and RakBank, among others.

GK Sierra has a plethora of ISO certifications.

GK Sierra has a 3.9 (out of 5) rating on indeed.com with 30 respondents reviewing.

gk sierra review on indeed

There is a wide range of salaries within GK Sierra and is largely based on the service provided.

7. AKE Group

Location: London, England

Founder: Andrew Kain

Website: akegroup.com

AKE Group was founded in 1991. [Ref: 7]

They employ a team of professionals who provide their clients with political risk and security consultancy.

The company prides itself on its reputation of 25 plus years of helping “organizations manage security and political risks in emerging markets, and challenging environments.”

Most recently, the company has been tackling the challenges concerning Russia-China foreign policy and Russian political risks the US has faced recently.

AKE Group has a 3.9 (out of 5) rating on glassdoor.com with 30 respondents reviewing.

ake group review

AKE Group is a part of the Rocam International group of companies.

Salary averages for AKE Group were not available/accessible, unfortunately.

6. Blue Hackle

Location: Laurel Springs, New Jersey

Founder: N/A

Website: www.bluehackle.com

Blue Hackle, LLC was founded in Great Britain in 2004.  Shortly there afterward, it became a wholly-owned American company.

Blue Hackle works mainly in the Middle East, Southwest Asia, and Africa.

The company specializes in oil and gas security, static security, PSD security, and commercial and government contracts.

Blue Hackle has a 4.6 (out of 5) rating on indeed.com with 9 respondents reviewing.

According to PaySa.com, the average salary for a Blue Hackle employee is $89,009 annually.  The top 10% earn more than $125,886.

5. CACI

caci logo
Image: Wikipedia.org

Location: Arlington County, Virginia

Founder: Herb Karr and Harry Markowitz

Website: www.caci.com

Herb Karr and Harry Markowitz both left the RAND Corporation in 1962 and founded CACI with the goal of commercializing the SIMScript simulation programming language.

CACI was originally an acronym for California Analysis Center, Incorporated. 

n 1967, it was changed to Consolidated Analysis Center, Incorporated.  Six years later in 1973, the company adopted just the acronym CACI as the company’s official name.

They subsequently founded a United Kingdom subsidiary, CACI Limited (UK) in 1975.

CACI focuses primarily on professional services and information technology and serves a multitude of US government branches including homeland security, healthcare, intelligence, and defense.

CACI enjoys membership in the Russell 2000 index, the S&P MidCap 400 Index, and Fortune 1000 Largest Companies. [Ref: 8]

CACI has over 25 contracts with the federal government under its ID/IQ and GSA Contract Vehicles.

The company prides itself an credits its success over the past 50 years on its character-based culture.

They have a 3.9 (out of 5) rating on indeed.com with over 1.6K reviews.

Indeed.com reports that the average CACI salary ranges from $33,139 per year for a Clerk to $155,000 per year for a Test Lead.

4. DynCorp

dyncorp logo
Image: Wikipedia.org

Location: McClean, Virginia

Founder: N/A

Website: www.dyn-intl.com

DynCorp International originally started as California Eastern Airways (CEA) by a small group of pilots returning World War II.

In 1961, CEA was renamed to Dynalectron to reflect the company’s growth and diversification.  In 1987, the name was shortened to DynCorp.

Dyncorp is an American global service provider that has provided services for the US military in several theaters such as Somalia, Angola, Columbia, Kosovo, Bolivia, Bosnia, Kuwait, and Haiti.

Recently, DynCorp has provided security for Afghanistan’s interim president and trains much of the police force of both Iraq and Afghanistan.

The company also was hired to assist recovery from Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana and neighboring areas.

DynCorp provides the US government services in aviation, logistics, operations, intelligence, and training.

More than 96% of DynCorp’s $3 billion-plus in annual revenue comes from the U.S. Government. [Ref: 9]

DynCorp has a 4.0 (out of 5) rating on indeed.com with over 3.2K reviews.

Indeed.com reports that the average DynCorp salary ranges from approximately $27,591 per year for a Warehouse Specialist to $130,680 per year for a Fire Sprinkler Technician.

3. GRS

Location: Fairfax, Virginia

Founder: N/A

Website: www.grsco.com

Global Resource Solutions (GRS) was founded in 2006.  Although the company is headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, its Operations office is located in San Antonio, Texas.

On the GRS website, the company states that it “is at the forefront of providing operational, strategic, and technical support and solutions throughout the Federal government. GRS maintains deep domain knowledge and strong past performance in the areas of Intelligence Analysis and Operations, Cybersecurity, Security Solutions, Information Technology, and Strategic Consulting. Our team of highly skilled and experienced professionals brings a wealth of knowledge to assist our customers’ critical National Security objectives.” [Ref: 10]

GRS primarily serves the US Intelligence and Defense communities.

GRS has a multitude of Contract Vehicles (both prime and sub) with the US Government:

  • General Services Administration (GSA)
  • Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)
  • Department of the Air Force
  • Department of Defense (DoD)
  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
  • Department of Navy
    SeaPort-e
  • Department of Army
    Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) OMNIBUS III
    Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) Global Intelligence Support Services
    Operations, Planning, Training and Resource Support Services (OPTARSS) II
    Software and Systems Engineering Services – Next Generation (SSES-NexGen)
  • Missile Defense Agency (MDA)
    Missile Defense Agency Engineering and Support Services (MiDAESS)

GRS has a 3.9 (out of 5) rating on indeed.com with 30 respondents reviewing.

According to PayScale.com, the average salary for a GRS employee is $77,000 annually with an average hourly rate of $16.81.

2. Aegis

Location: London, England

Founder: Tim Spicer, Mark Bullough, Jeffrey Day, and Dominic Armstrong

Website: www.garda.com

Aegis Defence Services is a British private security and private military company founded in 2002 with offices worldwide including Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Mozambique, United Arab Emirates, Libya, and Iraq.

Aegis is a founding signatory of the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Providers.

Aegis is currently under a three-year $293 million dollar contract with the US Department of Defense (DOD) to provide security support services in Iraq.

Aegis was also awarded a $487 million dollar contract by the US Department of State to assume security forces operations at the US Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan.

The company has offices in North America, the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Canadian security company GardaWorld took over Aegis in 2015. [Ref: 11]

Aegis has a 3.7 (out of 5) rating on indeed.com with 72 respondents reviewing.

According to PaySa.com, the average salary for an Aegis employee is $80,797 with the top 10% earning more than $131,436.

1. Academi

academi logo
Image: Wikipedia.org

Location: Reston, Virginia

Founder: Erik Prince

Website: www.academi.com

Formerly known as Blackwater, Academi is a private military contracting company that works heavily with the US military, as well as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Founded in 1997 by former Navy SEAL Erik Prince, Academi provides a wide array of services, including:

  • Security management
  • Full-service risk management consulting
  • Law enforcement training
  • Close quarter training
  • Security services
  • Canine training

The vast majority of Academi employees are former military or law enforcement, and also happens to be one of the highest paying military contracting jobs in the business.

Related Article: 9 Common Private Military Contractor Jobs (and 3 uncommon ones)

During the Iraq War, the pay was actually much higher due to the sheer demand for private military contractors.

Academi continues to work with the US government to this day, albeit on a much lesser scale.

Academi has a 3.7 (out of 5) rating on indeed.com with 87 reviews by respondents.

According to CareerBliss.com, the average salary for an Academi employee hovers around $65,000 annually.

References

1. One bombed compound owned by pro-western Saudi

2. Inc. 5000 2017: The Complete Rankings

3. Group 4 Falck Plans To Merge Security Arm With Securicor

4. Lend Me Your Ears: US Military Turns To Contractor Linguists

5. Intl. Code Of Conduct For Private Security Service Providers

6. Allied Universal Acquires U.S. Security Associates

7. About Us – AKE International

8. CACI International | Fortune

9. DynCorp Opportunities Brief – American Small Business Chamber Of Commerce

10. About GRS

11. GardaWorld Acquires Aegis Group

Travis R.
Travis R.
A St. Louis, Missouri native, Travis served eight years in the United States Navy. Duty stations include Air Test and Evaluation Squadron One (AIRTEVRON ONE), NAS Patuxent River, MD, the USS Mount Whitney (LCC-20), Commander Second Fleet (COMSECONDFLT), and US Transportation Command, (USTRANSCOM) Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. After the Navy, Travis worked in the Information Technology sector for twenty-five years. Connect with Travis @MichaelTRose.

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