Force for Hire

Force for Hire
Welcome to Force for Hire, where we will take you on a deep dive into the shadowy world of private military contracting. Hosts Michelle Harven and Desmon Farris will take listeners behind the scenes of this often misunderstood aspect of modern warfare.

Wrapping up, a look at key issues, and farewell
Oct 9 • 33 min
The Force for Hire team looks back at the series and examines some key issues about the world of private military contracting.
‘Mercenary Mum’ talks leaving military, joining contracting world
Oct 2 • 24 min
Neryl Joyce was an Australian servicemember who turned to contracting when she wasn’t allowed to deploy with her fellow soldiers.
Contractors: Asset or liability to nation’s cybersecurity?
Sep 18 • 27 min
Richard Clarke, special cybersecurity adviser to President George W. Bush joins us this week and addresses digital threats and how military contractors have helped and hurt U.S. national security.
Fighting for justice in a lawless land
Sep 11 • 29 min
This week Force for Hire welcomes Kimberley Motley, who has made a career out of fighting corruption in Afghanistan and has helped bring justice to those working to support the U.S. military.
Dodging bullets, execution during rise of ISIS in Iraq
Sep 4 • 23 min
Johann Raath talks about his experiences working in Iraq during the rise of ISIS and how he escaped death more than once – and came back for more.
Fighting piracy on high seas often job for private military contractors
Aug 21 • 26 min
Maritime security operations are complex. The mesh of international politics, private company procedures and the uncaring nature of the open seas make for a security situation best handled by professionals. More often than some may thin…
Kidnapping, death of US contractor leaves behind shattered family
Aug 7 • 34 min
The day Russell Frost and two former American soldiers were kidnapped was an unusual one, even by the standards of 2016 Baghdad. What followed was 31 days of hell, a life lost far too soon and a family shattered by tragedy.
The legend of ‘Mad Mike’ Hoare
Jul 31 • 32 min
Michael Thomas Hoare has lived a life that, were it not endlessly documented, would seem a pastiche of barroom brags, urban legends and anecdotes lifted from mid-21st century military pulp fiction.Hoare, better known as “Mad Mike,” is a soldi…
Exploring the murky, mysterious world of Russian military contracting
Jul 17 • 35 min
This week we’re looking at a private Russian paramilitary force that is a global threat, even though it isn’t formally recognized by its government.
Former British Army leader Tim Collins talks Iraq War, contracting
Jul 10 • 23 min
We are joined this week by former British colonel Tim Collins, who delivered one of the most famous speeches of the Iraq War. Collins — now involved with security contracting firm New Century — shares his perspective on the operations gaps filled by…
Examining contracting, military spending in the UAE and Saudi Arabia
Jul 3 • 34 min
Guests Theodore Karasik and Aaron Gregg break down why the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are so important to the private military contracting world - and the U.S.
A talk with Tim Lynch, voice of a misunderstood industry
Jun 19 • 20 min
Tim Lynch retired from the Marine Corps in 2000 after a lengthy career as an infantry officer.Some would consider that timing — just a year before the 9/11 attacks thrust America into decades of combat operations — fortuitous.Not Lynch…
Exploitation, human trafficking rampant in third-country national contracting
Jun 12 • 39 min
This week on Force for Hire, we bring aboard a pair of experts to examine an aspect of military contracting that ties into issues of human rights abuses and modern-day slavery.
Meet Cindy Waldron, war zone trucker, military mom and survivor
Jun 5 • 42 min
War zone truck drive Cindy Morgan stopped by and talked with Stars and Stripes about her experiences in Iraq, in a raw, unfiltered look back at a singularly unique career.
Contractors navigate complex maze of laws, policies for health care
May 15 • 34 min
As complex as military health care can be, servicemembers don’t have to worry about the Department of Defense shutting down overnight. Contractors who work for smaller private military or security firms have faced exactly that, leaving them wi…
Black Rifle Coffee CEO’s life as Green Beret, military contractor
May 8 • 37 min
Evan Hafer, CEO and founder of Black Rifle Coffee, joins us on this week’s podcast to talk about life as a Green Beret, contractor and coffee roasting expert.
Leveraging military skills, expertise to forge a new career
May 1 • 42 min
It’s time to find out what it takes to become a military contractor: the skills needed, the attitudes recruiters are looking for and what challenges veterans can expect to face when looking to make the leap into the industry.
The families left behind
Apr 17 • 38 min
In this episode we talk to Barbie Baker and Nicole Woodland, two women with firsthand knowledge of the lifestyle change that takes place after a spouse joins the world of private military contracting.
Money makes the contracting world go ‘round
Apr 10 • 57 min
It’s time to dive headfirst into the topic that has bubbled beneath the surface of nearly every conversation about private military contracting. Money.
An interview with Erik Prince, Blackwater founder, outspoken proponent of military contracting
Apr 3 • 47 min
We sit down with Erik Prince, co-founder of Blackwater and the face of an industry that generally tries to stay out of the limelight.
The beginnings of Blackwater and how it forever changed US policy
Mar 20 • 41 min
In this episode, we delve into Blackwater’s history and how its success and failures changed American foreign policy forever.
Soldier turned contractor explains Blackwater training, security detail in Iraq
Mar 13 • 28 min
The story of Adam Gonzales, a soldier turned Blackwater contractor who worked to protect perhaps the most important civilian in Iraq during the height of the war.
Outsourcing America’s military might
Mar 6 • 35 min
Welcome to Force for Hire, where we will take you on a deep dive into the shadowy world of private military contracting. Join hosts Michelle Harven and Desmon Farris as they talk to military contractors, defense experts and servicemembers to help cl…
Trailer - Welcome to Force for Hire
Feb 13 • 0 min
The teaser trailer for Stars and Stripes’ first podcast, Force for Hire