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CONTRACTORS: You Know You’ve Been Contracting For Too Long When…

The recruiting poster for my first gig

Today I was putting on my Kit when one of my teammates said “You know you’ve been contracting too long if can put on all your kit with a cigarette hanging out of your mouth and not drop a single ash”

We had a good laugh about it and spent the rest of the day thinking up new ones. Spending all day long cracking on other Contractors and each other is a pretty common thing especially if you are on a team with a tight group of guys. The main thing I will miss from this work when I “retire”  is the camaraderie amongst men who carry guns.

Out of all the different groups of people I have hung out with Contractors are one of the funniest subcultures out there [Expats are a close second]. They share their own lingo, vacation spots, fashion [or lack of fashion] and poor choices in women.

Anyway, the stuff we were coming up with was so funny I had to start taking notes. I have listed the funniest ones the current or former contractors here should totally get. And even if you have never worked as a Civilian Contractor you should still get a kick out of reading it.

You Know You’ve Been Contracting For Too Long When…

– You know where Issan is

– You ever carried a weapon on a gig that had the word “Launcher” in it’s name

– You saw those pictures of the drunken TC Embassy Guard Force guys in Afghanistan and said “So?”

– You can’t take a job with a company that makes you go through the U.S. Army’s CRC because you never turned in your gear the last time you went through [because you jumped ship and went to work for another company mid-contract] and owe them like 4,000.00 Dollars in lost gear.

– You have more than 4 Gorilla Boxes full of shit form other gigs in your house back home.

– You remember when no-one ever got a gig from filling out an online job app.

– You start a sentence with “when I was married”

– You have not been back to the states on leave in 4 years

– You remember when spending 30,000.00 dollars while on leave was no big deal.

– You know 5 or more people on every FOB in Iraq

– When you arrive in Bangkok on leave a local bird picks you up, and you drive

– You start a sentence with “So we started shooting right away” [for guys who have worked in Iraq]

For the Civilian Contractors reading this feel free to add a few more of your own “You Know You’ve Been Contracting For Too Long When…” in the Comments.


~James G
Founder – Editor in Chief

James G is a Veteran Civilian Contractor who has worked in the Middle East and Southeast Asia for way too long; he has traveled to over 50 countries chasing fortune and glory. He spends his off time in Indonesia and Virginia getting drunk, shooting guns, writing poorly written articles and Smoking too much. James G. on FACEBOOK

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  1. Where you from….?. Hell mate I dont know.

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  2. When a friend tells you he came across some photos of you recently, you tell him to email them to you, and your eyes are blacked out, in all of them…

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  3. When you look at photos from 2003 you wonder where that kit went… then you look down and wonder where you got your current kit.

    When you want to throat punch your neighbor because he is bitching about a 48 hour work week.

    When you have a house filled with all kinds of very expensive, very shiny stuff and 30 bucks in the bank.

    When you are home you have to fight the urge to avoid road patch and tend to switch lanes for trash bags on the curbside.

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    couple of hundred very similar here. Some will fit on James’ list and I can hit about 80 odd of them !

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  5. You do finally come home on leave to get all the fedex and ups boxes that your neighbor kept for you. Then stack them on top of all the other unopened fedex and ups boxes from the last time you were home. Damn internet!

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  6. You can wake up from a nap in the helo, look out in pitch darkness and know what FOB you’re on.
    “Rustamiyah, No, don’t get out yet, your stop is two more down on the ‘Great Circle Route’ in Iraq.

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  7. When “all clear” is the only thing that wakes you up before your alarm clock.

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  8. You change lanes under overpasses.

    You call interstates and highways “routes”.

    You call the immigrants in your area “TCNs”.

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  9. You find yourself waiting for your GF to call out “Clear Right” before turning out onto a road.

    Same same all the driving tweeks.

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  10. You find yourself waiting for your GF to call out “Clear Right” before turning out onto a road.Same same all the driving tweeks.  

    That one works for us Fire/Rescue types too. lol

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  11. If you know how to say “Stop or I’ll shoot” in three or more languages. Or you know the first three lines of the evening call to prayer by heart,

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    • hilarious- how about in 3 different dialects. and you know the pronunciation for every town and city in your AO

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  12. “Clear right” works on evert aviation contractor, too.

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  13. If you’ve ever exited your vehicle on the freeway to give another driver lessons on dispersal, and didn’t know them.

    Or how about -wrecked a jeep *breaking both axles* while swerving to avoid a cardboard box going 50+mph and still not rolling.

    Ever called a French hotel asking for the WW2 discount and gotten hooked up. Sofitel NYC *near times sq(212) 354-8844

    If you’ve ever drawn up a tactical diaper bag with PALs looping and a fold out changing mat for a friend.

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  14. If you ever lived in a tent and thought this is Plush !

    If you ever stayed in a hotel minus screens and at night got no sleep Via the Mosquitoes eating your Ass !

    Ever Bitched about earning less than 600$ a Day !

    Seen the Dead and laughed at the condition or position of the Body /s and thought funny !

    Enjoyed the pain and Misery of your self or others !

    Hit it with your purse !!!

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    • love the tent one bro

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  15. In the middle of a fire fight you think well they aint shooting at me yet, so got time for a few mins more of sunbathing

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  16. You can find your way around Iraq or Afgan but get lost in your home town

    Different company’s have more of your stuff in storage on Fobs than you do at home

    When your going out with your mrs and she tells ya to wear something nice and you walk out with a clean pair of 5.11’s on

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    • You and I Brother have still got Gear in Iraq to this day LOL! BTW Hows Afghan ?

      When all else fails , Hit it with your purse M8 !

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  17. …when you can find over 1/2 of your crew asleep on the way to work and they are suppose to be on guard…

    when you and your men start to all look, talk and smell alike and you all are from different parts of the world…

    when you and your guys all start nodding your head from side to side and you are not from India…

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    • or bulgaria

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  18. You can find your way around Iraq or Afgan but get lost in your home townWhen your going out with your mrs and she tells ya to wear something nice and you walk out with a clean pair of 5.11′s on  

    I can relate to this two

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  19. LOL, when you can tell where someone is from the back, just by the camo pattern?

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  20. When the Indian guys at the chowhall on five different bases know exactly what you want for midrats every time you go in.

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  21. You have eaten under conditions you wouldn’t feel comfortable taking a crap in back home.

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  22. … on your down time you keep on watching your movie/tv-show, while you have IDF alarms going off…. then thinking you knew you should have taken a piss earlier.

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  23. This is one I learned from family over in afghan/iraq

    You slow and avoid white toyota pick ups

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  24. You return home and find that you miss living in a CHU.

    You get mad because you have to pay for food when you’re on R&R.

    You have a water bottle and a piss bottle beside your bed at home.

    You miss pirated video’s.

    You think the uniforms worn by DFAC staff are high style.

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