Let's get one thing straight, I am a Contractor, I am not, have never been, and will never be a mercenary. Saying a contractor is a mercenary is the same (realistically because they do accept money) as saying every man and woman in the US armed forces is a mercenary.
Go ahead and read this, it is not a lie:
"I am a U.S. contractor.
I look out for myself, my countrymen, the operators to my left and right, and no one else.
I am my country's scapegoat, the plausible deniability warrior.
I care not for ribbon's and awards for valor. I do this job for the opportunity to kill the enemies of my country.
I will maintain my physical fitness to the highest standards.
I will equip myself with the latest high speed gear, and will keep my weapons up to date.
I will carry more weapons, ammunition, and implements of death on my person, than an infantryman, and when engaged I will lay waste to everything around me.
I will deploy on my terms, and if it ever gets too stupid,I will simply find another company that pays me more.
Interesting huh? There is a more humorous version floating around the internet, but I'm not a big fan of it. Now here is the Mercenaries Creed:
"We will take your money
We will fight your fight
We will not free the enslaved
Nor right a wrong
We will march under your banner
We will stand by your side
To this I swear"
A wee bit different huh?
So what really differintiates a contractor from a mercenary?
1. Experience, generally contractors have proven experience in the millitary or law enforcement; mercenaries usually have little if any training and have never been members of a standing army.
2. Ethics/Morals: Contractors have a relatively strict set of moral and ethical guidelines that they will not break; mercenaries will do anything for money.
3. Loyalty: Contractors work for their country of origin, people/corporations contained within, and MAYBE friendly states; mercenaries work for anyone that will hire them, almost always a foriegn nation.
4. Military:Contractors work with the millitary; mercenaries are hired to fight for the millitary.
5. and finally, in general contractors work one of the following duties: training personnel, or security. Mercenaries attack.
Question: El Sid why did you become a contractor?
Answer: While a member of our armed forces I was involved in an attack on a convoy, I recieved head trauma and muliple gunshot wounds. I had a cracked skull, my left eardrum was blown out, left eye bleeding and swollen shut, shattered pelvis and ankle, I was in a coma in Germany for almost 3 months...I recovered to find out that brain damage meant I have blurry vision and an inability to interpret dialog on my left side. This disqualified me from future millitary service, unless a draft was put in place. So I decided to join a PMC.
Yes, I made more money in a month than an enlisted man does in a year, I had better support while abroad, and for the most part could cross a border without starting a war.
So am I one of the evil mercenaries? That is for you to decide. What do I think? I just wanted to continue serving my country in any way I could. Judge me if you wish, curse me for what I have done if it makes you feel better, but in the end, I did what I could to protect this country from it's enemies.