Move Over Soldier of Fortune, Here’s the New Mag for Mercs


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It was only a matter of time before an entrepreneurial publisher seized on the private military contracting boom—and all those untapped ad dollars—in order to give Soldier of Fortune, long the preeminent mag for hired guns, a run for its money. That time has arrived and the mag is called Serviam (Latin for “I will serve”). Edited by conservative author and think tanker J. Michael Waller and published by EEI Communications (whose president, James T. deGraffenreid, is a board member of Frank Gaffney’s hawkish Center for Security Policy), the magazine bills itself as a provider of “accurate and actionable information about private sector solutions to promote global stability.” Serviam is a sleeker, tamer version of SOF, which, like the companies it caters to, is seeking to soften the mercenary image, casting soldiers-for-hire as international peacekeepers.

To hear Waller tell it in his inaugural editor’s note, private security firms are as central to America’s heritage as the pilgrims themselves.

Private initiative, innovators, soldiers, pilgrims and missionaries, and entrepreneurs of all stripes founded what became the United States. With vision and ingenuity, toughness and grit, they built a new land of prosperity and safety for all who sought to participate. The early English colonists came to the wilds of America with no military support from their government, despite constant threats from Indians and other European powers. The immigrants and settlers and the investors who financed their expeditions defended themselves on their own and hired professionals to help them.

The spirit that embodied our country’s early pioneers—seeking one’s fortune while generously serving others—ideally motivates the best of today’s providers of private global stability solutions. That’s why in our first issue of Serviam we trace the history of one element of today’s global stability industry: private security contractors, or PSCs. As the nation celebrated the 400th anniversary of the first English settlement in the New World, the establishment of Jamestown, Va., it coincidentally observed four centuries of PSCs in America.

(h/t Danger Room)

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  • Dan Schulman

    Daniel Schulman is Mother Jones' deputy Washington, DC, bureau chief. Reach him at dschulman (at) motherjones.com. Dan is the New York Times best-selling author of Sons of Wichita, a biography of the Koch brothers that is now out in paperback.