Archive for category Job Tips

Job Tips: Tracking DoD Contract Announcements

Part of the trick with keeping up with contracts in this industry is to use resources that consolidate and make it easy to keep up.  So with this post, I wanted to give a heads up to those who like to track this stuff. DoD keeps a pretty good record that is easy to read and keep track of.  Although they do not have a RSS feed for these reports specifically, you can still bookmark it and check it out. It would even be cool if they put these out on Twitter as they were awarded? Anyway, you can sign up with their email subscription and have this stuff sent to your inbox.

So why is this a job tip?  Well if you are keen on a specific program that you have worked on in the past, and are waiting on whatever company is going to be awarded that contract, then it pays to follow this stuff. As soon as you find out who won these contracts, you can instantly contact a recruiter and ask to be put on their roster for that contract. Or you can just follow their vacancies and stand by for the job announcement.

The other great thing about this is that you can forward this information on to other contractors that you know are interested in a particular program, and hook them up with some good info. Who knows, the guy you help out now could be the PM that hires you for a gig in the future. That is the power of networking. –Matt


U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
Media contact: +1 (703) 697-5131
Contracts valued at $5 million or more are announced each business day at 5 p.m. Contract announcements issued within the past 30 days are listed below. Older contract announcements are available from the contract archive page. Contract announcements are also available by e-mail subscription. Go to DOD News for more information and for links to other news items.
Link to contracts website here.

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Job Tips: SAMI Member Companies And Their Career Pages

Ok ladies and gentlemen, I figured this would be a good resource for anyone interested. What I have done is to take every company that is a member of SAMI, and list them with their career sections.

The reason why I wanted to do this, is to direct applicants towards companies that actually care enough to sign on to a code of conduct and standard.  The list below is a very interesting mix of international companies, and you will recognize a couple from my last survey. The cool thing with this list, is these are actual maritime security companies or security companies, that have been approved by SAMI. This is also a big hint to clients of these companies, that you should direct your complaints to SAMI, to ensure quality is enforced.

The other cool thing about these companies, is that if you do gain employment with them, then you can direct your complaints to SAMI and demand that your company act in accordance to the codes and standards, or they get punished. SAMI is trying to promote itself as a group that can hold it’s members to a standard, and I thoroughly support this concept. I just hope they have the courage to do so.

Either way, I plan on making this a page up top so it is easy to get to. I can also modify, edit, and add more members up there. If you are the CEO or employee of one of the mentioned companies, and there is something incorrect or you would like to add something, just contact me or make a note in the comments section. You can do that here on this post, or on the page itself.

For those companies that are not SAMI members, let me know and I will put you down in the categories section ‘Private Naval Companies’ below, if you are not there already. Although I do reserve the right to ‘not include’ certain companies in either sections. I will probably be removing SAMI companies, and others as time goes by, just because if the word get’s out that you do not take care of your people, or that you have provided poor and reckless service to clients, then your company will not get promoted on this blog. –Matt

The SAMI List

Aspida (Greece)
Aspida is constantly looking for high caliber security professionals for deployment as part of our onboard security teams.
The ideal applicants should have a career in the special forces, be fluent in English and have a sincere love for ships and the sea.
If you are interested in a career at a company where skills, achievements and loyalty are highly valued and professional advancement is defined by meritocracy please send us your CV in English along with army discharge papers and training certificates to
Atlas Inc. (UK)
We require the minimum following qualifications before an applicant is considered by ATLAS. Military service discharge papers checked (for correct Military discharge).
ISPS Ships Security Officer Qualification.
STCW95 (Seafarers Training, Certification and Watchkeepers code 4 Part module, Fire Fighting, Elementry First Aid, Sea Survival Safety, Personal Safety and Social Responsibility.
ENG1 Medical qualified.
CV, reference check and interview.

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Government Work: What’s It Like For Federal Employees Working In Iraq Or Afghanistan?

Actually, it is a pretty sweet deal if you ask me. lol Now I am sure some of you are saying, why is FJ promoting government work?  It is true that I tend to lean towards private industry initiatives and reducing the size of government, but I am also into pointing out what works or what is a good deal in government for folks looking for work. In other words, I support personal choice, and if government work is your thing, then here are some ideas.

Below I have posted two articles that deal with government work in the war zones. The first describes the kind of conditions and salary you can expect, and the second is a job description for Security Protective Specialist or SPS with the DoS.

To me, the SPS position is probably the most relevant position to our industry, because these are the guys that command over the motorcade operations.  In other words, if you are a WPS certified contractor working for DoS providing diplomatic security, your company boss would be working hand in hand with an SPS for mission planning. The SPS is the guy that insures the State Department gets the type of security service it requires for whatever missions. So this is a very important position.

I guess the other thing to point out is do not get sidetracked by the initial salary.  That is the base salary, and the important figure to look at for salary is the uplifts, or overtime and danger pay.  There are other uplifts in pay and benefits, but as you can see with both articles and this section from the DoS site, the potential salary for overseas work is not that bad for government work:

SPS Initial salary will generally be at the FP-04, Step 1($57,678) which includes 8.82% overseas comparability payment.
    •    Post Differential – based upon post of assignment. Afghanistan – 35% of base pay; Iraq – 35% of base pay; Peshawar, Pakistan – 30% of base pay.($77,865)
    •    Overtime – OT may be expected and is paid at the rate of 1.5 times the hourly rate. May request compensatory time off in lieu of overtime pay.
    •    Separate Maintenance Allowance (SMA) – while assigned to unaccompanied posts, SPS employees are eligible for SMA. The SMA is an annual grant determined by the number of dependents and ranges from $6,000 for one child to $20,200 for an adult dependent with 4 or more family members. The SMA is non-taxable.
    •    R&R – Kabul, Peshawar and Baghdad are under a generous leave/R&R allowance program (usually taken at 50-90 day intervals). Kabul and Baghdad allow 2 R&Rs and 3 Regional Rest Breaks (RRBs) or 3 R&Rs and no RRBs. Peshawar allows 2 R&Rs and 1 RRB. R&Rs provide round-trip transportation to any point in the United States. Time usually allowed is approximately two weeks. In addition to the Annual Leave allowance, posts often permit administrative leave to be used while on R&R.
    •    Annual Leave – federal employees earn Annual Leave (AL) based upon the following formula:
(a) If less than 3 years federal service – 4 hours a pay period (26 pay periods in a calendar year) (b) If between 3 and 15 years federal service – 6 hours a pay period (c) If more than 15 years federal service – 8 hours a pay period.
    •    Former Military Service – time spent in the US military is credited towards the annual leave allowance unless the employee is retired from the military. If retired and receiving retired pay, then form SF-813 (Verification of a Military Retiree’s Service) must be submitted before a determination can be made as to the amount of creditable service for leave accrual purposes.
    •    Sick Leave – all employees receive the same allowance – 4 hours per pay period.
    •    Life Insurance – employees automatically receive basic life insurance unless they waive it. They may also select from a variety of options to include up to a maximum of 5 times base annual salary.
    •    Health Insurance – employees may choose from a variety of options. Employees have 60 days to elect coverage. Coverage begins the pay period after the application forms are received in the DS HR Office.
    •    Retirement Plan – all SPS employees are enrolled in the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) and contribute to Social Security.
    •    Thrift Savings Plan – employees may contribute up to the IRS limit ($16,500). USG matches up to 5% of employee’s contribution.
    •    Tax-free Housing – while SPS may be assigned to any foreign service post abroad, current requirements exist in Kabul, Afghanistan; Peshawar, Pakistan and Baghdad, Iraq. At all posts overseas, housing is provided at no cost to the employee.
    •    Application for Special Agent (SA) Position: There is no direct transition from the SPS to the SA position.

And just to re-emphasize some of the good deals here, the overtime is one area that you can do really well with.  In a war zone, it is not unheard of to work odd and very long hours.  With the SPS position, you can make a lot of overtime. Note that if you were to combine all of the benefits up top, to include retirement and medical benefits, then that ‘total benefit package’ starts to look pretty comparable to private industry.

If you would like to apply for an SPS position, you will have to go to USA Jobs or/and sign up with DoS’s email alerts.(currently the SPS positions are closed) I would also suggest getting in shape and working on your shooting game, because there is a pretty extensive train up and vetting process for this position. You should also make sure your background is good to go, so you can actually get the clearance required for this position. As with most government work, there are a ton of hoops to jump through to finally get on the job. But good things come to those who are patient and prepared. –Matt

What’s it like working in Iraq?
By Ed O’Keefe
Ed O’Keefe is on temporary assignment as The Washington Post’s correspondent in Iraq. In addition to traditional war zone reporting, he is keeping tabs on what it’s like for U.S. troops and government officials living and working in Iraq.
BAGHDAD – Interested in working for the U.S. government in Iraq? Though the dangers are obvious, the pay and perks can be pretty good.
Federal employees and contractors serving here face an almost-daily barrage of rocket attacks, the inability to travel freely, scorching hot temperatures and other cultural and linguistic limitations. But workers with the State Department, U.S. Agency for International Development and other federal agencies keep on coming, especially as the U.S. presence here becomes more of a civilian affair.

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Job Tips: Edinburgh International To Start A Recruiting Drive For Oil And Gas Security Jobs In Southern Iraq

Well, here you go guys and gals, and you heard it first on Feral Jundi.  The good folks at Edinburgh International contacted me recently to say that they are currently recruiting for some oil and gas security work in southern Iraq and they wanted to get the word out via FJ.  So the job tip here is that in order to be considered for this work, you need to sign up at their recruitment portal and get on their database. They will not accept resumes by email anymore, and you must be in their database to be considered. Please read the information carefully below as to what they want done. (hint, hint)

Good luck and I am not the POC or recruiter for this. Might I add that oil and gas security work will be very important and long term in Iraq, as the energy industry continues to grow there. –Matt

Edinburgh International only employs experienced and well trained consultants.
Pay, insurance, life support and terms of service all lead industry standards, and signify the calibre of individual employed by Edinburgh International.
In order to apply for a position within Edinburgh International (EI) we need to capture some information about you, your experience and qualifications. We will use this information to conduct candidate searches for ALL of our vacancies.  The more detailed the information you provide us, the greater the chance that we will be able to match you to a role.
Partial or incomplete submissions will automatically fail most EI job searches because we cannot find specific attributes unless you have added them. We cannot and do not search through every CV to find the information requested.
Please take care to fill in your details in all of the following seven sections:
•    My Details
•    Overseas Deployments
•    Qualifications
•    Languages
•    Licenses & Badges
•    Former Branches
•    Nationality
Applicants must be fluent in English. Only applications in this format will be accepted, applications sent via email will not be reviewed.
Your application will be entered into our database and you will ONLY be contacted in the event that you are matched with an opportunity. Calling EI offices directly WILL NOT help your application, please do not do so.
To enter your details onto the database for the first time, please go here. To update your details at any time, please click on Log in.
By submitting details to Edinburgh International , candidates agree to being vetted and having background checks carried out.
Edinburgh International is an equal opportunity employer. Its Equal Opportunities Policy can be found here.

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Cool Stuff: The New Danger Zone Jobs YouTube Channel!

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Job Tips: USTC Offering $5,000 Bonus To Attract Former WPS Contractors

Interesting. Boy, the WPS market is really heating up.  Over the course of the year, I have been watching this whole thing develop through all the back and forth in the news and on the forums, and it has been very active.

At this point in the game, we are at the point where all of these companies are in a competition with one another to get the best and most qualified folks they can get to meet the requirements of the contract.  And as you can see with USTC, they are offering bonuses to attract former WPS folks. I have had a chance to talk with quite a few former WPS guys, and they tell me that they are all getting bombarded with offers by the companies–and especially if they were team leaders/management in WPS.  I guess it’s nice to be wanted? lol

I also think that WPS will continue to be a huge source of employment for contractors for awhile. As troops draw down in Iraq or Afghanistan due to budgetary or political reasons, the diplomatic missions and their protection will be even more of a concern.  And of course enemy combatants will want to take advantage of this transition period and ‘perceived’ security vacuum. If anything, you will see militants test the security apparatus as they watch the military leave, and that is when contractors will be earning their pay.

The size of this program is also stunning. We are talking about thousands of security contractors being used by DoS to perform this mission. So guys will be cycling in and out of this contract for years to come.  So here is the tip of the decade–get WPS certified and get vetted for this program, and you should have some job security for a long time.

Finally, I wanted to highlight the instability in the Middle East and Africa and talk about security at those consulates or embassies located there.  WPS could easily be expanded to meet the security needs of DoS, where ever security is needed. An extremely flexible and capable security pool is needed to meet the demands world wide, and that is what WPS is turning into. And that is the cool thing about private industry supplying this kind of service–they are flexible and capable, and can certainly jump up to meet the needs of DoS. I just hope that DoS is willing to meet private industry half way by creating a ‘learning organization and continuous improvement’ culture/mindset towards managing these contracts. Jundism all the way!! *Disclosure: USTC is not paying me to promote this, nor do I get a head hunters fee. Just putting the word out for them. –Matt

A Signing bonus is being offered to candidates applying for the USTC WPPS program who have worked on any WPPS contract. The signing bonus plan is as follows:
The Signing Bonus is applicable for all IC’s with prior WPPS experience that sign an IC Agreement and one (1) year 270 day (Schedule A) from between March 2, 2011 and May 2, 2011. This offer expires on Midnight, Eastern Standard Time, May 2, 2011. IC must submit his/her bio, and the bio must be approved, within the time frame set forth herein.
The signing bonus is applicable for all IC’s who are currently not working for USTC on a WPPS contract, but have worked on a WPPS contract before.
The signing bonus consist of a one (1) time payment of $5,000.00 as a result of signing an Independent Contractor Service Agreement and a one (1) year (Schedule A) during the timeline outlined above. The $5,000.00 bonus is payable with the first payroll upon initial deployment.
** Any interested personnel currently working for another contractor must finish any current commitment and hereby represents that he/she is not in breach of any other agreement by signing this policy and the IC Agreement and Schedule A.
Link to ad here.