Posted on Jul 23, 2014
MAJ Battalion Operations Officer (S3)
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Too often I am seeing our best resource (Soldiers) not being utilized in their career field. Just like in the civilian world you have people doing jobs that has nothing to do with their degrees you have cooks who have to find to do something else. With rare occasion overseas it is all contractors and local nationals cooking or handling food. I only heard of Soldiers being cooks on small FOBs and in secure areas (CG mess). The same with quartermasters doing laundry services.

Even on post stateside it is next to impossible to get cooks and laundry services to do their jobs unless we are in the field. Even then we need to jump through hoops to get food (any kind, good food is even harder to get) for them to cook.

I have a great and big kitchen at my unit but they took the cooks out of my unit after we got a new kitchen. So we never used it at all. Why not put cooks back into the companies to support ourselves during battle assemblies in the Reserves and support AC units in the field? Why not have cooks cook while stateside too?

How do you feel that contractors stole your or your Soldier's jobs?
Posted in these groups: Security-contractors Contractors
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MAJ Jim Woods
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CPT Brian Maurelli........ I am/was one of those contractors. I think that MSG Huffman has it right. I was one of the last Americans out of Iraq (last Gryphon plane out with their office equipment 12/2011). Most of the troops had gone home by Mid November.The only ones who remained were Embassy Personnel which included some PSD Contractors. The Embassy could not supply enough security for it's own personnel so they augmented with the contractors.

We were contracted by DOD to provide a polygraph school for the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Defense Federal Police. We also certified 4 instructors so the school could be self sustaining. We provided polygraphs to several agencies to vett intel sources. We lived on a FOB (moved about 6 times in 10 months) but would go where needed by helo or escort. Our range was as far north as Sinjar/Mosul and as far south as Basrah. It probably helped that one of use was a Retired (30 years) police officer and the other had Military experience and was a police officer for 15 years. These are totally different skill sets than most government/CID/NCIS/ polygraph examiners have. My partner just got back from Nepal doing the same thing minus the intel stuff.

Point being that most of the contractor jobs were in support of objectives that free up soldiers. As the Military slims down, more contractors will be used to fill positions that used to be filled by soldiers. The AVERAGE contractor does not make as much as they like to brag about. As a Captain, you make far more in a year with benefits than a team leader. Some, however, do make over $100,000 a year but only because they have a specialty that is needed.
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MSG Wade Huffman
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Edited >1 y ago
Sir, much of this came about due to simple numbers. All the branches have capped end strengths which are set by Congress each year, even during periods of war (or conflict). If the services need to put more personnel into the 'fight', their only choice is to shift support jobs to the contractors; that number of personnel slots can then be used in traditional war fighter roles.
The most easily understood example of this is Recruiting. Remember the big push for civilian recruiters several years back? Each civilian recruiter freed up another slot that could be used in the fight.
If the Army replaces 5000 slots with contractors in support roles, that's 5000 slots that can be used for more traditional combat roles.
So, it's really more about personnel numbers than it is about the budget (although some roles contracted at a cost savings).
This may not be the entire answer to your question; but I"m very confident it is a big part of the answer.
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SFC(P) Cerfp Log Ncoic
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Totally agree with you MSG Wade Huffman !
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Cpl Software Engineer
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I agree partly. However, most of the contracts are paying amounts that double most of the salaries that their military counterparts made. One of the network techs I worked with at L3 was making 6 figures after he left the Army and went to work for a private contractor. He said he was doing the same job he did while in the Army.

Having managed a few cost plus contracts, I know the value was a lot more than the cost of having a few extra military resources to perform the same duties.

They complain about the military budgets, but they shift those budgets to SOME private contracts that cost much more, I don't see the savings.
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Cpl Software Engineer
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And don't get me started regarding UNION contracts vs. non-union contracts. NADEP union thugs can go to hell. We blew the doors off of the their work ethic and never lost a plane while on my watch. One third the time @ 1/3 the cost. I can only hope that the equipment we installed helped save lives.
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MSG Wade Huffman
MSG Wade Huffman
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Cpl (Join to see) , You may very well be correct on the cost of contracting; but like I said, it has been only a secondary consideration. The primary consideration was the shifting of support roles to contractors in order to free up more positions for the traditional warfighter roles. As LTC Labrador put it, "tooth to tail" ratio.
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CPT Executive Officer
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When I was in Afghanistan I frequently grumbled to myself "what I wouldn't do for a platoon of soldiers, nay...even a squad of soldiers to get done what these contractors can't (read: won't)". The wooden steps to the latrine are broken? Should take some soldiers half a day to fix, right? Nope. Instead, I get to fill out requests in triplicate for the contractors to do it, only to have them whine about it and take 6 weeks to get it done. *blood pressure rising, going to cut this post off*
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