Contractors in the Military

Going back in time to the Civil War, private contractors can be found, providing support, logistics, and supplies to the military forces. If you think about today’s military bases and approaching the front gate that do you see? Well the first person you see is a private security guard standing there waiting to welcome you to fort whatever. Why don’t you see a Military Police Officer standing there? Simple question right, well it isn’t because the Military is going more and more towards a civilian work force.

What does going to basically civilian work force do for those men and women that serve in the United States Military today? Is the government really making the right choice by continuing to use private contractors back home and abroad in war zones today? That is where this paper is going to search out the causes and effects of the use of private contractors or civilian work force in today’s Military. Today’s Military bases are flooded with civilian workforce working for the government as private contractors. The Government today is looking for anyway to cut Military budget and save money.

But is using the civilian workforce saving money? Well let’s talk about those security guards at the front gate, let’s say the guard is between a GS 1-3 the average salary for them are seventeen thousand to twenty eight thousand a year. Now look at an Army Military Police Officer e-1 through e-3 which is equivalent to the GS 1-3 the salary for that e-1 through e-3 is between seventeen thousand to twenty thousand dollars a year. So from that little comparison using a private workforce really isn’t saving anyone any money. Let me remind you that doesn’t include years in service.

Because more time in the GS ranks you make more money faster. But for that enlisted soldier his money caps after so many years. But everywhere you go you see more and more civilian workforce so there must be a positive side to having civilians work alongside with the Military agencies. Having private contractors work alongside with the Military can take some stress off of units that are deployed down range in combat zones. Those units can focus on their missions at hand and can rely on logistical support and personnel support from basically private security forces downrange.

“For the State Department, armed contractors likewise perform a variety of security tasks”(Isenberg 2009). In comparison to past conflicts the United States was involved in like Gulf War one in which the ratio was one contractor to fifty eight service men. Now let’s jump to the Bosnia conflict where the ration jumped to one to fifth teen. Then you look at Iraq War which the ratio dropped to one to six. So the use of the contractor is becoming more evident in armed conflict zones. So many jobs that the Military gives to the private sector are specific jobs or a “valuable skill” that is a specific task.

So by giving those specific jobs to contractors in war zones allows the military to provide sustainment abilities on forward bases. “Then you have to look at the bad side of those private contractors, with the likes of Black Water, and Triple Canopy”(Cotton 2010). Those two companies have been involved in many altercations that put a bad taste in people’s mouth about private companies working in war zones. Each company did many things that caused a lot of crisis for fellow service members while they were deployed in hostile places.

These companies go to do a job get paid more by our United States Government then goes and does hostile acts against the other country, that puts many other people not just service members in harm way. So why should the DOD pay people like this? Well that is just the great debate. So with the government in war still in Afghanistan, why do we continue to rely on so many private companies, well that is because of those vital assets those people offer. So if the government would put a little more faith in the Military Services we have and train. We could start working on the costs of what is spent while we are at war.

Even though it would be great to limit the use of contractors, the use of the contractors just needs to be limited in certain ways. Keep using the ones that are needed to assist in logistical support and aid in missions to assist. Try and stop the use of the ones in war zones running missions could improve on the government spending, let those people that serve in the Military keep running those missions, because that is what enlisted do serve our country. Works Cited ISENBERG, DAVID. Shadow Force. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 2009. Praeger Security International Online. 1 Jan 2013.