Hired Guns Get Fired.

I was disappointed to read this disturbing article in the Washington Post (dated 4.15.07) but not surprised.

As I have previously written in my Smart CEO publication of “The Big Idea Book” article, many of our security contractors are getting involved in situations overseas that would not even be contemplated in the United States let alone tolerated. I have spoken with many of these returning security agents and have come to realize that some are being encouraged to be aggressive and adopt a “shoot first, and don’t even ask questions later”. The use of deadly force appears to be a common occurance and there is little doubt that much is going unreported by peers and supervisors who are willing to turn a blind eye.

In this reported incident, one of those agents employed by Triple Canopy witnessed a colleague opening fire on at least one vehicle, possibly a taxi,and heard him say that morning that he felt like “killing someone” that day. The reporting contractor was from Fiji and was apparently so disgusted with his colleague’s behavior that he tendered his resignation that same day. The other three security contractors from that same detail were fired.

For those who are not familiar with overseas duty in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, companies like Triple Canopy are hired by the U.S. Government to protect visiting dignataries from the U.S. and others based in the areas of conflict. It is dangerous work to be sure but these companies are paid hundreds of millions of dollars in lucrative Government contracts. Sadly, it is quite usual for the local population to look upon all contractors – even those acting in a renegade fashion – as being fully authorized and sanctioned by the U.S. Government to do whatever they chose to do.

This is why Sexton Executive Security is one of the few security companies in the country to take an extremely serious view of those who are returning back to the States and re-entering the security field. These returning security personnel have no doubt gained an incredible insight into working in some of the most dangerous places in the world.

However, while their minds will still be back on the battlefield after they return, they will experience a totally different work place environment back home that will be in sharp contrast to that whcih they left behind. Those of us who have faced this and made the transition know of the difficulties. These contractors need to undergo re-training back Stateside in order to prepare them for life in the private sector working with corporations.

It is our contention that this aspect is every bit as important as the training they took to go over to the hostile regions. If it is neglected, then corporate clients throughout the United States are staring in the face of some very serious liability issues. There is no room in corporate America for shooting first and asking questions later.

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