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View Full Version : Employment in Iraq


Otter
09-16-2004, 06:10 AM
Put yourself in a hypothetical situation for a moment: You’re a single, 31 year old man with no kids and are offered employment in Iraq to help repair and setup wireless portions of their infrastructure through a government contract. You’re compensation is $150,000 a year tax free and the work will be mostly in secured areas.

Too many other variables to consider in order to keep this simple. Do you go?

Poll coming

ptlyon
09-16-2004, 06:26 AM
Sounds nice. But I wouldn't feel sorry for you if you were captured by extremests and had your head chopped off.

You go there on your own risk, IMO.

unlurking
09-16-2004, 06:36 AM
Check to see how many "subs" you are going through. You can get those jobs at $1000 a day. 150k is too low. Also check the work schedule. It's 12 hours a day 6 to 7 days a week (what I've seen). Not that you should even consider leaving the compound in your spare time, but if you are considering it, I would seriously ask for more.

The wife and I discussed this, and it's just not worth it, even at 1k a day.

cdcox
09-16-2004, 06:38 AM
Otter:

Yeah, I would go, based on the information you presented. There is certainly some risk, but the opportunity is quite good. I'd want to go for about 2 years. After that, I'd want to get back to the states to enjoy some of the things I'd given up over the last 2 years.

But the other factors that you haven't included could easily make me change my mind.

Bwana
09-16-2004, 06:44 AM
Not only no, but hell no. And 150K seems low to be a late night star on Fox News on your knees with a group of swing'n dicks sporting AK's standing behind you ready to repo your head.

MichaelH
09-16-2004, 06:47 AM
The money is tax free only in the Mid East. Once you step foot on American soil, if you keep your head, you will have to pay taxes. It's awfully tempting but I'd stay in the good old USA and work at my mundane job. :)

Braincase
09-16-2004, 06:48 AM
Ya need to move that decimal place one more notch to the right if you want my big, untanned ass in Iraq, dog.

PastorMikH
09-16-2004, 06:53 AM
What about your current job? Is it something you will be able to go back to when you get back? Even a year or so worth of pay like that may not be worth quitting a good job now.

Also, the 150k sounds pretty good, but are expenses going to be higher? The trip, calling home, housing, utilities, etc. If these things cost more (they could be cheaper and they could cost a lot more than here in the states) the $ you'd be receiving wouldn't be as much as you think.

Lastly, I wouldn't want to stick around when the military gets downsized.




One other thing I'm wondering, would Meme consider you a helpless civilian that needs her voice protecting you from the harsh US Military over there or would she call you one of the capitalistic pigs that is trying to cash in on the plight of a docile, helpless, and defensless people. :p

Otter
09-16-2004, 07:03 AM
Check to see how many "subs" you are going through. You can get those jobs at $1000 a day. 150k is too low. Also check the work schedule. It's 12 hours a day 6 to 7 days a week (what I've seen). Not that you should even consider leaving the compound in your spare time, but if you are considering it, I would seriously ask for more.

The wife and I discussed this, and it's just not worth it, even at 1k a day.

From what I understand it's 6 days at 10 hours and the 150k is salary while anything over 40 hours is the hourly equivilent of 150.

If I had a wife or kids I wouldn't be considering and to be honest, chances are slim and none I would take the offer. I've only been considered a "stong canidate" at this point.

Somthing tells me the fly fishing isn't too good in Iraq. :D

Just testing the waters.

Brock
09-16-2004, 07:05 AM
Hell yes. Not for 150k though.

Otter
09-16-2004, 07:06 AM
Not only no, but hell no. And 150K seems low to be a late night star on Fox News on your knees with a group of swing'n dicks sporting AK's standing behind you ready to repo your head.

I know. What a freaking way to go. Makes getting eaten by a grizzly in Alaska not too shabby.

Bwana
09-16-2004, 07:11 AM
I know. What a freaking way to go. Makes getting eaten by a grizzly in Alaska not too shabby.

True, but in this case, you have a choice. :hmmm:

2bikemike
09-16-2004, 07:15 AM
I wouldn't do it but then again I am married with children. I agree the pay does seem a little low for what I have heard is available.

Also I believe but I am unsure that you must be in that country for X period of time to get that money tax free. I thought it was something like a year. If you come back before that you pay the taxes.

Chief Henry
09-16-2004, 07:21 AM
If I was not a family man...no way

If they are offering $150,000 I would guess they
would be willing to pay more. But that woulddepend on your SKILLS.

FloridaChief
09-16-2004, 07:32 AM
From what I understand it's 6 days at 10 hours and the 150k is salary while anything over 40 hours is the hourly equivilent of 150.

If I had a wife or kids I wouldn't be considering and to be honest, chances are slim and none I would take the offer. I've only been considered a "stong canidate" at this point.

Somthing tells me the fly fishing isn't too good in Iraq. :D

Just testing the waters.

It's funny you should bring this up now. I too am considering taking a full-time job in the ME next year. My circumstances make me a good candidate: not married, my son is 20 years old and generally don't have anything tying me down here.

I've given it alot of thought the last couple months and am pretty much of a mind to accept the job. The money, obviously is fantastic--much, much more than I could ever make in the USA in my career field. The benefits are also enticing: tax-free income, ALL living expenses paid, 30-day paid vacation with free round-trip airfare to and from the US. And so on.

The risks are, of course, well known. This isn't something you'd walk into lightly. As someone stated in an earlier post, I wouldn't expect a bit of sympathy should the worst occur. I'm walking into this situation of my own volition. It's something I wouldn't advise anyone to do--this is a decision one has to make on their own. But for me, it's an excellent opportunity.

Otter
09-16-2004, 07:33 AM
If I was not a family man...no way

If they are offering $150,000 I would guess they
would be willing to pay more. But that woulddepend on your SKILLS.
It's about 150k + 80k ($230,000 tax free dollars for 12 months work) for the extra hours and that's just an estimate based on an email from someone who was offerd a simalar position. No numbers were offered yet.

My skills are up to date with 10 years expereince, degree in electrical engineering and computer sceince along with Cisco Wireless Specialist Certs under my belt. I make sure I stay marketable.

Otter
09-16-2004, 07:37 AM
It's funny you should bring this up now. I too am considering taking a full-time job in the ME next year. My circumstances make me a good candidate: not married, my son is 20 years old and generally don't have anything tying me down here.

I've given it alot of thought the last couple months and am pretty much of a mind to accept the job. The money, obviously is fantastic--much, much more than I could ever make in the USA in my career field. The benefits are also enticing: tax-free income, ALL living expenses paid, 30-day paid vacation with free round-trip airfare to and from the US. And so on.

The risks are, of course, well known. This isn't something you'd walk into lightly. As someone stated in an earlier post, I wouldn't expect a bit of sympathy should the worst occur. I'm walking into this situation of my own volition. It's something I wouldn't advise anyone to do--this is a decision one has to make on their own. But for me, it's an excellent opportunity.

Every time I try to type somthing someone either walks in here or my phone rings. I'll send you a PM somtime today, maybe we can pool what we learned so far.

RedDread
09-16-2004, 08:20 AM
Well, I usually lurk but I felt compelled to post on this subject. I'm currently stationed over here as a truck driver for the US Army, we provide convoy security for fuel/water/food/vehicle recovery missions etc etc etc.

The first thing is obviously the media has made this war sound a lot worse than it is. For the vast majority of soldiers over here, the most they may ever see is incoming mortars (infrequent, but they vary depending on what post you'd be stationed at), or the Occasional IED - Improvised Explosive Device. Judging by your line of work, setting up wireless networks, you would probably be flown onto the post you would be working at, and depending on the need, driven to other posts as needed. When they say that you would be in a secured area almost all the time, I could safely say that with your job, you would be nowhere near the fences of the camps or off post for any significant length of time. Since the US army is paranoid about the insurgents intercepting wireless transmissions, all of your work would probably be in very central locations on each post. From what I have seen the US Contractors who work over here have it pretty good, you'd probably be in a two man room about the size of a college dorm, no running water, but you'd have power. This is of course assuming that you are actually placed in Iraq. Have they told you the area you'd be placed in? If it's Kuwait the worst thing you'd have to deal with is if the Post Exchange ran out of Khakis.

Another thing to consider is the heat. If you're working outdoors a lot then it could be a looong year. Where I'm at it got up to 135 in the sun, 124 in the shade this summer, but it's actually pretty nice right now.

If you come over here and you don't like it, you can always go home. All the contractors I've talked to said they can leave at any time. Also that money is completely tax free, the US has no control over it since it is income earned outside of US Soil, they won't touch a cent.
I believe all your basic expenses like food and shelter would be covered, so you have to consider how much extra you would make because of the lack of taxes and not having to pay for basic necessities.

I've you have any questions PM/IM me and I'll answer em as best I can.

Otter
09-16-2004, 08:36 AM
Well, I usually lurk but I felt compelled to post on this subject. I'm currently stationed over here as a truck driver for the US Army, we provide convoy security for fuel/water/food/vehicle recovery missions etc etc etc.

The first thing is obviously the media has made this war sound a lot worse than it is. For the vast majority of soldiers over here, the most they may ever see is incoming mortars (infrequent, but they vary depending on what post you'd be stationed at), or the Occasional IED - Improvised Explosive Device. Judging by your line of work, setting up wireless networks, you would probably be flown onto the post you would be working at, and depending on the need, driven to other posts as needed. When they say that you would be in a secured area almost all the time, I could safely say that with your job, you would be nowhere near the fences of the camps or off post for any significant length of time. Since the US army is paranoid about the insurgents intercepting wireless transmissions, all of your work would probably be in very central locations on each post. From what I have seen the US Contractors who work over here have it pretty good, you'd probably be in a two man room about the size of a college dorm, no running water, but you'd have power. This is of course assuming that you are actually placed in Iraq. Have they told you the area you'd be placed in? If it's Kuwait the worst thing you'd have to deal with is if the Post Exchange ran out of Khakis.

Another thing to consider is the heat. If you're working outdoors a lot then it could be a looong year. Where I'm at it got up to 135 in the sun, 124 in the shade this summer, but it's actually pretty nice right now.

If you come over here and you don't like it, you can always go home. All the contractors I've talked to said they can leave at any time. Also that money is completely tax free, the US has no control over it since it is income earned outside of US Soil, they won't touch a cent.
I believe all your basic expenses like food and shelter would be covered, so you have to consider how much extra you would make because of the lack of taxes and not having to pay for basic necessities.

I've you have any questions PM/IM me and I'll answer em as best I can.

Thanks you. I'll PM you later today when I get out of work. :wayne:

HC_Chief
09-16-2004, 08:41 AM
Hell yes. First thing(s) I would invest in = M4 rifle ($15k), 20 30rd Magazines ($1k), OTV w/ Kevlar ($1k) and a K-Pot ($500). I'd also get myself a good hydration system and field med kit.

Always best to be prepared. It is a war zone, after all.

MichaelH
09-16-2004, 08:50 AM
Well, I usually lurk but I felt compelled to post on this subject. I'm currently stationed over here as a truck driver for the US Army, we provide convoy security for fuel/water/food/vehicle recovery missions etc etc etc.

The first thing is obviously the media has made this war sound a lot worse than it is. For the vast majority of soldiers over here, the most they may ever see is incoming mortars (infrequent, but they vary depending on what post you'd be stationed at), or the Occasional IED - Improvised Explosive Device. Judging by your line of work, setting up wireless networks, you would probably be flown onto the post you would be working at, and depending on the need, driven to other posts as needed. When they say that you would be in a secured area almost all the time, I could safely say that with your job, you would be nowhere near the fences of the camps or off post for any significant length of time. Since the US army is paranoid about the insurgents intercepting wireless transmissions, all of your work would probably be in very central locations on each post. From what I have seen the US Contractors who work over here have it pretty good, you'd probably be in a two man room about the size of a college dorm, no running water, but you'd have power. This is of course assuming that you are actually placed in Iraq. Have they told you the area you'd be placed in? If it's Kuwait the worst thing you'd have to deal with is if the Post Exchange ran out of Khakis.

Another thing to consider is the heat. If you're working outdoors a lot then it could be a looong year. Where I'm at it got up to 135 in the sun, 124 in the shade this summer, but it's actually pretty nice right now.

If you come over here and you don't like it, you can always go home. All the contractors I've talked to said they can leave at any time. Also that money is completely tax free, the US has no control over it since it is income earned outside of US Soil, they won't touch a cent.
I believe all your basic expenses like food and shelter would be covered, so you have to consider how much extra you would make because of the lack of taxes and not having to pay for basic necessities.

I've you have any questions PM/IM me and I'll answer em as best I can.

I don't want to stray off topic but thank you for what you're doing over there. And thanks for some insight to what really goes on. :thumb:

Iowanian
09-16-2004, 08:57 AM
bose...thanks for going over.

Otter..........2 guys were in my office this week doing some things to prepare to go over as contractors....I'm not exactly sure what they do, but it was more money.......but maybe more dangerous...They were Vietnam vets and said they weren't scared in the least.

No wife, no kids....young enough to give yourself a "life boost"....I'd sure consider it.

Good luck.

Kraut
09-16-2004, 09:50 AM
Ya need to move that decimal place one more notch to the right if you want my big, untanned ass in Iraq, dog.
I agree :thumb:

Cormac
09-16-2004, 10:08 AM
Bose,

Best of luck over there. Thanks for your insightful post - makes more interesting reading than the newspapers. I hope you get to come back and see your Chiefs soon!

Rausch
09-16-2004, 10:14 AM
Not only no, but hell no. And 150K seems low to be a late night star on Fox News on your knees with a group of swing'n dicks sporting AK's standing behind you ready to repo your head.

Agreed...

To die for your country is one thing, to die because of a bigger paycheck (greed) is stupidity...

StcChief
09-16-2004, 10:45 AM
A friend of mine was in Saudi Arabia and made a ton of tax free money. Free living don't leave compound,etc.
Vacation in Europe. He wouldn't do it again.

Iraq is a different story. They would have to be talking
$500K with real good security.

Flax jackets etc for all employees.

Otter
09-16-2004, 11:47 AM
Only if LynchLover comes with me

Bastard!!! :cuss:

:p

RedDread
09-16-2004, 12:34 PM
Flak Jackets and Kevlars are given to anyone who goes off post for any extended period of time, but they really don't do too much good against incoming mortar fire, they're still designed for small arms only. I don't wear em unless I go off post or they make me. Nothing is more torturous than having to wear full gear on a hot day

Rain Man
09-16-2004, 12:44 PM
If I wasn't married, I'd do it. The odds of getting kidnapped and brutally murdered are pretty low, and it'd be a great story to tell later.

mightyphoenix1
09-16-2004, 12:47 PM
Not only no, but hell no. And 150K seems low to be a late night star on Fox News on your knees with a group of swing'n dicks sporting AK's standing behind you ready to repo your head.

I'm feel'n that sentiment.

BIG_DADDY
09-16-2004, 01:32 PM
150k? NO, not nearly enough.

go bowe
09-16-2004, 01:40 PM
What about your current job? Is it something you will be able to go back to when you get back? Even a year or so worth of pay like that may not be worth quitting a good job now.

Also, the 150k sounds pretty good, but are expenses going to be higher? The trip, calling home, housing, utilities, etc. If these things cost more (they could be cheaper and they could cost a lot more than here in the states) the $ you'd be receiving wouldn't be as much as you think.

Lastly, I wouldn't want to stick around when the military gets downsized.




One other thing I'm wondering, would Meme consider you a helpless civilian that needs her voice protecting you from the harsh US Military over there or would she call you one of the capitalistic pigs that is trying to cash in on the plight of a docile, helpless, and defensless people. :poink oink...

PastorMikH
09-16-2004, 03:05 PM
If I wasn't married, I'd do it. The odds of getting kidnapped and brutally murdered are pretty low, and it'd be a great story to tell later.



Its not like you actually have to have life experience to spin a great story.:)