Not for the faint of heart, a career as a civilian contractor can be an exciting but dangerous job choice. Serving behind the scenes, civilian contractors rarely receive any attention but still fulfill an important role in times of war, taking on the jobs the military doesn’t have the resources or skills to perform. Both men and women serve as civilian contractors. In fact, the Department of Defense has set goals of awarding at least 5 percent of all military contracts to businesses owned by women, according to the Office of Small Business Programs. The main role of a civilian contractor is to support and aid the military as it fulfills its duties to protect the country, but she also takes on other related duties.
Oversee Construction Projects
A main goal of civilian contractors is rebuilding areas torn apart by war, as well as aiding the military in building bases and other structures in war areas. Civilian contractors trained in construction and engineering build everything from bases to airstrips to military outposts. You’ll help communities ruined by war, rebuilding homes, businesses, schools and community buildings. You may also work on sewage and water treatment plants and electrical grids for both military bases and local communities.
Offer Transportation and Maintenance
Civilian contractors act as transportation specialists, operating armored vehicles to transport troops. You may also help transport local citizens, visiting dignitaries and other visitors, such as journalists or government officials. As a civilian contractor, you may work in vehicle and facility maintenance, either working directly as a maintenance person or providing the training to other maintenance employees. As a maintenance specialist, you may work on the facility or base heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), plumbing or sewage systems, ensuring the soldiers have comforts and modern conveniences, even in war zones.
Provide Logistics Services
Logistics is another role civilian contractors play that supports the military. Especially in war zones, military personnel need basic services, such as food, laundry and supplies. Civilian contractors oversee dining halls, laundry facilities, and small retail shops at war zone bases and outposts. You’ll also assist with bringing in supplies and finding workers to fill food and other service positions. Civilian contractors also take on administrative roles, providing services like human resources, operations and management.
Manage Security and Medical Programs
Another major role civilian contractors fill is security and safety. Contractors act as body guards and armored transportation for military personnel, as well as dignitaries and other private citizens. Security positions also include K-9 programs the military uses to track down drugs, weapons and enemy combatants. Explosive ordnance disposal specialists diffuse bombs, booby traps and other weapons, protecting soldiers and local citizens. Some civilian contractors work in the medical field, offering medical services to military personnel, as well as local citizens. Medical civilian contractor roles include emergency medical technicians, doctors, nurses, surgeons, and search and rescue specialists.
Lindsey Thompson began her writing career in 2001. Her work has been published in the Cincinnati Art Museum's "Member Magazine" and "The Ohio Journalist." You'll also find her work on websites like Airbnb, Chron.com, and USAToday.com. Thompson holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University.