My overall stats for the blog is 1,549,518 visits and 2,363,638 page views between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2014. (My first post was on the 22nd of January, 2008)
Now for some demographics for the overall life of the blog. Most of my visitors are younger. The top group is the 25-34 year old range with the second group being 18-24 and third being the 35-44 year old range. So my readership group is mostly Millennials and that would fit in line with today’s veteran age group. It also makes sense that this group would find their way to this blog because for research on job stuff, this site would come up and the younger crew seems to be more apt to check out blogs for information.
Now here is a shocker. The break down in gender is 45.85 % of my readers are women and 54.15% are men. I had no idea that so many women were interested in this niche. Especially since there are so few women in this industry working as armed security contractors overseas. In other fields you see women contractors, but even there it is few and far between. My thoughts on this statistic is that contractors have wives and girlfriends who are hungry for knowledge about what their loved ones do for a living. Or if someone dies and I post it, you will have that interest as well. Then of course there are the female analysts, reporters, academics and gamers that visit the site for research purposes.
The top ten countries that have visited the site, and in order are the US, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Germany, France, South Africa, India, Italy, and the Netherlands. And really, those nationalities are the ones I have the most interaction with on Facebook. No surprises there.
As for technology, this is interesting as well. Most visitors came to my site via desktop (1,350,816). But the amount of folks coming here via smart phone (148,722) or tablet (46,746) has dramatically increased. It was a good move to focus on making the site mobile and tablet friendly. Although I still need to improve in that area.
The top mobile devices are the Apple iPhone, iPod and iPad. The Samsung Galaxy products get a mention, but don’t even come close to the Apple products. On a side note, most of my work on the blog was done using a Mac. I have been very pleased with their performance.
Now for content. My all time best post for the life of the blog has been the classic ‘how to get into security contracting without a police or military background’. 41,259 people have checked that one out and that says a lot about the focus of my readership. They are young and looking for employment in a unique job field. The second best post of all time is my entry about Ross Perot’s rescue of EDS employees.
The all time best post for the most amount of page views in one day happened in 2014 on February 16 (5,547 page views!). It was my post on Contractor Weapons and it blew up the internet. lol I think what happened there is that Facebook has been a great tool for sharing information and unique things, and when I shared that post, a lot of my readership on FB really liked it and passed it around. Weapons are always popular, and contractor weapons are a unique area that hasn’t been covered much.
The second best post for one day was my General Balck On Eating With Your Troops entry last year in January 2 (4,240 page views). Balck was a favorite of Col. John Boyd and it is fun to dig into the things Balck did that made him successful. The strategists/theorists out there love digging into these types of deals, and especially if it is somewhat related to Boyd.
The post highlights of 2014 are interesting. ISIS made a big splash this year and Ebola was a big scare. We saw more consolidation in the industry with mergers and acquisitions.
The Slavonic Corps was an interesting post about a bungled Russian PMSC contract in Syria. It was a poorly planned and executed contract, and it is surprising to me that more of those guys did not get killed as they tried to escape their battlefield.
The APPF was disbanded last year…..finally. What a joke. On the up side, I posted about guard contracts popping over there. They are low paying, but it is work for those that want it.
I talked about an interesting deal with the Flying Tigers memorial in China. I believe it would be the largest memorial to a PMSC in the history of contracting. I imagine we will see some former members of the company at the ceremony when they open it up.
The biggest company news last year was Academi (formerly Blackwater, Xe) and Triple Canopy merging under Constellis Holdings. There are other companies in this family, and the total size of this group of companies is 6,000 plus folks! This merger is interesting because TC took over Blackwater’s WPS stuff when they left Iraq back in the day. Now Academi has a connection in Iraq again.
Finally, the other news last year that grabbed my attention was the A 10 versus the F 35 debate. That the Air Force wants to get rid of the A 10 and use the F 35 as a replacement. The problem there is that the F 35 doesn’t even compare to the capabilities of the A 10 for Close Air Support. Plus the F 35 is way too expensive.
This last year I was very busy with my personal contracts, and so my post count was pretty low. I am also spending more time on Facebook because it is faster and easier to share stories/ideas and interact with my readership. The blog has become more of a tool of sharing unique items when time permits.
Probably the most important stuff that I have shared on Facebook was EBFAS. Chet Richards is the one that turned me on to this acronym (which stands for Einheit, Behendigkeit, Fingerspitzengefuhl, Auftragstaktik, Schwerpunkt) and these are crucial elements Boyd and company identified for the ultimate company or military culture. My studies on Mission Command have all pointed in the direction of what EBFAS stands for, and on Facebook I created an album that covers it. I highly suggest checking it out and I am constantly hash-tagging it in other posts.
Leadership is still a big focus of the blog and I am constantly looking for what works and doesn’t work for PMSC organization and command. What is required is a hybrid of military and private company lessons, and I am using it all to ‘build a snowmobile’. Undoubtedly though, there are some basic concepts of leadership that are tried and true, and I try to get those up on the Jundism page when I stumble on these truths.
My thoughts on the industry is that we are definitely heading in the right direction. Maritime Security has been hugely successful in combating piracy. There is some consolidation going on in the industry with the draw down of the wars, but today’s threats are still there and growing. I predict contractors will still be in demand in Iraq and Afghanistan, and with Daesh/ISIS, Boko Haram and Al Qaeda growing and looking more like armies as opposed to terrorists, I believe contractors will continue to be busy.
For training and weapons, I suggest companies focus on leadership for their contracts and add new training based on current threats. Daesh, Boko Haram and Al Qaeda are all gaining combat experience and tactical know-how in places like Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, and Nigeria. As security contractors, it is absolutely vital to the success of the contract and safety of your client that we stay one step ahead of these enemies. We need to be focused on the defense, both for static security and mobile operations. Countering complex assaults and active shooter attacks will be key. Studying TTP’s of the enemy on youtube or through open source stories is key (like armored VBIED’s, tunnel bombs, or complex assaults). Know your enemy, know yourself as Sun Tzu would say, and be prepared. –Matt