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Top 13 Private Military Companies

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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.

Also known as private military contractors, these companies are often used not only by the US military but also by 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 hire on as employees to aid in filling these gaps. 

Employees of these 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.

Below is a list of 13 of the most well-known private military companies in the US and throughout the world.

Jump To A Company


11. GRS

12. Aegis

1. Vinnell Corp

Location: Herndon, Virginia

Founder: Allan S. Vinnell


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 the Grand Coulee Dam.

The company first got involved with the US military when it 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 with 126 respondents reviewing.

vinnell arabia review on indeed - private military companies

According to, the average salary for a Vinnell employee is $68,000 annually, which is 3% higher than the national average.

Vinnell Corporation is a subsidiary of Northrup Grumman Corporation.

2. MAG Aerospace

mag aerospace - private military company

Location: Fairfax, Virginia

Founder: Joe Fluet


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

As one of the only private military companies dedicated solely to aviation, this 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 3.8 (out of 5) rating on with 90 respondents reviewing.

mag aerospace review on indeed

According to, the average salary for a MAG Aerospace employee is $75,000 annually.

3. G4S

G4S private military company

Location: London, England

Founder: Marius Hogrefe

Website: G4S

One of the largest private military companies in the UK, 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 3.3 (out of 5) rating on with over 16,000 respondents reviewing.

g4s review on indeed

According to, the average salary for a G4S employee is $42,000 annually, 44% lower than the national average.

4. Mission Essential

mission essential logo - private military companies
By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use,

Location: Columbus, Ohio

Founder: Greg Miller, Chad Monnin


Mission Essential is a private military company that 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 it 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 2011 and 2012.

Mission Essential primarily serves both intelligence and military clients.

Mission Essential has a 4.0 (out of 5) rating on with 434 respondents reviewing.

mission essential review on indeed

According to, the average salary for a Mission Essential employee is $78,000 annually, with Linguists as the top earners with salaries as high as $121,000.

5. AdvanFort

advanfort logo

Location: Herndon, Virginia

Founder: Samir Farajallah


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 is one of the few private military companies that 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 with 5 respondents reviewing.

advanfort review on indeed

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

6. Andrews International

Location: Conshohocken, Pennsylvania and Santa Ana, California

Founder: N/A


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 with 585 respondents reviewing.


According to, the average salary for an Allied Universal employee is $33,500 annually ($16.00 per hour), which is 65% lower than the national average.

7. AKE Group

Location: London, England

Founder: Andrew Kain


Founded in 1991, AKE Group is another one of the largest private military companies in Europe. [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.”

AKE Group has a 4.1 (out of 5) rating on with 25 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.

8. Blue Hackle

Location: Laurel Springs, New Jersey

Founder: N/A


Blue Hackle, LLC was founded in Great Britain in 2004.  Shortly there afterward, it became a wholly-owned American company in 2011.

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 with 9 respondents reviewing.

According to, the average salary for a Blue Hackle employee is $84,366 annually.  The top earners take home more than $97,000.


caci logo

Location: Arlington County, Virginia

Founder: Herb Karr and Harry Markowitz


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. 

In 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]

In fact, with annual revenues approaching $6.4 billion per year, it’s actually one of the largest private military companies in the world.

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

They have a 3.8 (out of 5) rating on with over 2,100 reviews. reports that the average CACI salary ranges from $39,200 per year for a Clerk to $176,000 per year for a department director.

10. DynCorp

dyncorp logo

Location: McClean, Virginia

Founder: N/A


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 was 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 trained much of the police force of both Iraq and Afghanistan.

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

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

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

Amentum, formerly AECOM, purchased DynCorp in late 2020. 

DynCorp has a 3.8 (out of 5) rating on with over 4,900 reviews. reports that the average DynCorp salary ranges from approximately $53,000 per year for a Clerk to $117,000 per year for a Senior Database Administrator.

11. GRS

Location: Fairfax, Virginia

Founder: N/A


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
  • 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 3.8 (out of 5) rating on with 39 respondents reviewing.

According to Indeed, the average salary for a GRS security specialist is $57,688 while a program manager averages $86,299 per year.

12. Aegis

Location: London, England

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


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.

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 with 84 respondents reviewing.

According to, average salaries range from $39,000 for armed security guards to $60,000 for a weapons armorer. 

13. Academi

academi logo

Location: Reston, Virginia

Founder: Erik Prince


Formerly known as Blackwater, Academi is probably the most well-known out of all of the private military companies in this article.

They work heavily with the US military, as well as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Founded in 1997 by former Navy SEAL Erik Prince, they recruit heavily from US Special Operations forces such as DEVGRU, Delta Force, and Army Special Forces.

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. It 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 with 106 reviews by respondents.

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


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

David D.
Private Military Companies

Private Military Companies

4.8 out of 5 (47 Ratings)

There are dozens of private military companies in the US, which employ 100,000's of independent contractors. Learn more about the largest companies, where they're based, what their size is, and more.
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