To help establish my credentials, I will tell you that I am a U.S. Marine Corps Infantry Veteran with multiple tours to Iraq. After this time, I served with a certain Private Security Firm in Iraq and Afghanistan for over three years, conducting high threat security in very dangerous environments.
I understand that not every person will be able to do this; perhaps it will only be a small amount. It will all depend on your personal health and level of training, as well as the market in the area around you.
J.W. Rawles in his novels noted a few characters that took up a temporary job guarding an Amish farm with their “space rifles”. They were not getting anything above and beyond what this profession provided them– their most basic need of survival.
Now no one knows quite how the SHTF scenario will play out. It could be a total collapse, as JWR’s novels showed, or it could be something more akin to the Great Depression– a collapse that is only partial and a slow slide towards poverty and depression, in which case security will become worse and worse, better in some areas, and horrible in others. As in any scenario, good or bad, there will be opportunities for money to be made in private security.
I see the private security world being an “opportunity” during the collapse. Those seeking private security could range from well off folks who live in cities and have assets that are still worth something and government officials to farmers and ranchers in rural areas. Regardless, security will be something that is needed, and perhaps that’s where you can fill a gap.
As I noted at the beginning, I have worked in Private Security overseas in high threat areas, doing site and personal security. I have experience in this field, so it is something I have considered because it is an option that I see for myself. The reasons overseas contractors make so much money is because it is a very dangerous job– no safety net, disability, health insurance, nor long term employment options. You are paid well, because of this. Currently, it is very hard to make decent money, or at least be “well paid” for it, in the U.S. because it’s not that dangerous here. That is true, at least for those who would have the resources to pay well.
As things deteriorate further and further, there will be a markedly large uptick in crime from home burglaries to kidnappings and ransom. It’s not that America is special, and Mexico City doesn’t have the magical fairy dust we do. It’s that there is more corruption in the police force; with that situation, it’s easier for criminals to use that void in law enforcement (LE) to conduct these activities profitably. We will see this in America, too. Those who are well off and rich now may not be once this starts happening, but there are always those who have assets and those that take advantage of these situations to position themselves to maintain a certain quality of life. Those people that have the assets to pay large ransoms will be targets to the criminal enterprises that take advantage of the void in law enforcement.
Now, there will be various options open. Some people will just want someone with a gun to protect their land, ranch, and farm. You will not need to have that much experience, perhaps, past being able to shoot well and the stomach to do that job. There will be people, like I mentioned above, who will be able to afford to be more “picky” in the backgrounds of those they hire, and there will be the “clients” in between these two.
You will probably find it hard to get hired by the higher echelon of folks, if you don’t already have the background required– Special Forces, military, SWAT, et cetera. It may help to take what are called “Executive Protection” courses. This is a fancy word for “bodyguard” for rich people. There are a plethora of people coming out of the military and Private Security to fill these job opportunities and then some. These “clients” will also swallow up many well-trained police officers as well create an even larger “drain” on the LE that are still working during the collapse. Often times sworn officers will probably “moonlight” for these folks as their security. (Some may possibly even moonlight full time!) There is a chance, if you personally have the right background, that you would be able to land one of these gigs, but if you do, you are probably already plugged into the “good ole boys” networks and will not have a problem finding these gigs as they become available.
For those of you who have some military (not necessarily SF or combat arms) experience and are good shots, you may want to go and get certified through the NRA as well as IDPA. Join them! You don’t have to be a 1st place finisher in matches, but the fact that you take part and have the nice little certificates will probably be the provenance you need to land the mid-level gigs of those who are not wealthy but have the extra assets to pay for one or two guards for their home and/or families as they travel into town. There are numerous shooting schools, such as Front Sight or even Sig Sauer Academy, who have the name recognition to give you certs that are meaningful to folks. The average person may not know what Front Sight is, but you can have some brochures to show them that it is a high caliber school. I would still, however, try to get some “branded” stuff in there as well. Name recognition goes a long way. It can also help you to become an auxiliary or reserve deputy. However, make sure you are joining a good department, or you may end up being involved in “business” you don’t want to be in when SHTF happens. You don’t need to have all the cool gear and stuff for this. You will just need, and the client will probably want, low profile gear and your willingness and ability to defend their family.
Executive Protection is quite easy. In truth, it is not glamorous. It’s mostly just a highly paid babysitter with a gun. However, in a SHTF scenario, you will probably end up being on site security detail, watching the house, and doing food/supply runs for the family.
As I mentioned in the beginning, there will probably be large ranchers/farmers that will deal with thefts and amounts of thefts that they have never seen before. Currently NO ONE is out stealing potatoes, but there will come a time people will. You will probably only need to be able to set up some cans and shoot them accurately to demonstrate to the client that you are professional and good at what you do– namely standing around with a gun at night to ward off thieves. Having some of the certifications I mentioned above would not hurt, but probably are not as necessary at this level. In my head, I imagine that these sort of gigs would be paid in what that individual produces. You work for them, and you get X amount of pounds of beef a month or X amount of pounds of potatoes and vegetables. It would be barter in its true sense– a service for a service/produce.
A few tips for these jobs are:
- Exude confidence.
- Convince the client, just by the way you handle yourself and the way you handle your weapon, that you know what you are doing.
- Always be professional.
- Never come in with some Rambo talk. Don’t say things like “Don’t worry, Sir, if anyone comes near you I’ll just open their head like a canoe”. You will sound like an idiot and make it obvious that you don’t REALLY know what you are doing, you are just trying to sound like an actor auditioning for Red Dawn. If someone would hire you for talking like that, you probably don’t want to work for them either, given the fact they will hire other idiots that can talk a mean game. I’ve found that those who talk a bunch of that sort of big talk, about 99%, never live up to it, or they do something stupid to get them or their compatriots killed, or worse the client themselves killed.
- Work out, before starting, some sort of “insurance” policy with your employer. It could be a large sum, say a year’s worth of salary, set aside in the case you die defending their property or family. You will want to find a third party– a priest, pastor, or other trusted local individual, who both you and your employer trust. Your employer would give that trusted person silver, gold, or a promissory note for food, to that trusted person to hold for your heirs. It is a sort of SHTF insurance escrow service.
Once again I realize that this won’t apply to everyone. Some people will be able to do some of these jobs and some won’t. Many of you just plain would not want to. My point is that IF you would be able to and have the abilities to, wouldn’t it be good to have this possibility in the bag as a tool in your toolbox for when times get tough? Many certifications, like the NRA or IDPA, are free and just take time and the money for the ammo. Besides, any extra training is never a bad thing.