Defense Contractor

ChevelChevel Member Posts: 208 ■■■□□□□□□□
Hello everyone I am long time lurker but a first time poster. In January I was finally able to get a job as a defense contractor for the army at Fort Lee, VA, as a field tech. I commute 128 miles a day to and from my job. I would like to move closer to the job however I noticed my CAC expires in September along with the contract. So when the contract expires I don't have a job? Or will the company I work for provide another?



  • shodownshodown Member Posts: 2,271
    you should have gotten a CAC card from the company you are on base. When I worked on base I had 2 CAC cards one for reserve, and one for base.
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  • afcyungafcyung Member Posts: 212
    If the contract isnt renewed because the contract was either cut or awarded to another company you will not recieve another CAC.
  • ChevelChevel Member Posts: 208 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I got a card from the company that expires in August of this year, while the CAC expires at the end of September.

    So in other words I am out of a job......well that bites.
  • spicy ahispicy ahi Member Posts: 413 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Not necessarily. I worked for a contract that was on a 3 month renewal. Reason being, the brigade I worked for had several companies with small contracts and they wanted to consolidate them. So as contracts expired, they went to short term renewals until the last one expired so they could consolidate and put one big contract out for bid. I'm sure there are many other possible situations (budget shortfall, changing AOR's) so my suggestion to you would be to go and talk to your immediate supervisor/manager and ask them what the contract status is. Or if you don't know who your supervisor/manager is, ask the company HR rep if they can help you.

    As for the card expiration, it may just be a coincidence. CAC access ends with the contract so that's not so coincidental, however the company card date may just be their date when you have to take a new picture or something for the company. Worked for a company and had to "renew" my company card in June which was their mechanism of refreshing your info. with the company contact directory.

    A good bit of advice now that you're in defense contracting, coming from a (former) frontline supervisor. When interviewing, always ask about the contract terms (length of contract, how many years left, etc.) they're supposed to disclose this information to you and if they don't, that's when the red flags should go up. Always try to find out as much about the situation you're considering as possible, always be ready to take advantage of any of the "goodies" the company provides (the biggest one you can take advantage of right away is having the company pay for your certification exams) and always be mindful if you accept the position of when the end of the contract is approaching. If you're doing the right thing (studying and earning certs as well as diligently documenting the work you do and updating your resume) you should be able to quickly put your resume out and start interviewing for new jobs before the end of the contract. When I was a supervisor, I pushed my guys to do "the right thing" so when our contract ended we were all able to quickly find employment either within the company or somewhere new.
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  • ValsacarValsacar Member Posts: 336
    When I started as a contractor they told me up front there was 5 months left on it before rebids. I was fine with that as the area I'm in (Korea) it is very common for a new company to offer jobs to those already sitting in the chair. We ended up winning, but the losing company protested... REPEATEDLY so I was getting a new CAC every 2-3 months. When the contract ends (or in my case the extension) then your CAC expires, you'll get the paperwork to get a new one if you're still working (same company, or two) shortly before that (normally).

    Also keep in mind that in some places they do it yearly. Our contracts are for 5 years, but each year is an "option" meaning that if we screwed up big the government can void the contract on the new year. Due to that, even when we start our new 5 years (the loser ran out of protests) we will only get a 1 year CAC.
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  • ChevelChevel Member Posts: 208 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Great advice all. I want to get an apartment closer to my job but I didn't want to get into a lease agreement if the job contract expires in a few months. Gas and fatigue are pushing their limits and to keep commuting like this seems pointless. Yes I have contracted my HR and I'm waiting on a response. I just want to get info from others who have experience in this realm.

    Hoping I'm not just worrying myself to death. I don't see how people live on contract jobs.
  • EveryoneEveryone Member Posts: 1,661
    You could.

    When I worked on a defense contract, the base decided not to renew the contract when it expired. Luckily for me I saw the writing on the wall and found another job before that happened. As soon as I had to interview for my own job with another company because that company might win the bid if they decided to contract out again, I started looking for a job anywhere. They ended up deciding not to contract at all, and converted everything to GS positions. Only thing was they only created less than half the number of GS positions than what the number of contractor positions used to be. A couple of my friends were lucky enough to get those GS positions, but the rest ended up without jobs.
  • rwmidlrwmidl CISSP, CISM, MCSE, MCSA, MCPxAlot Worldwide AvailabilityMember Posts: 807 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Depending on your company, they may help you redeploy to another contract. Or they may cut you loose. Anytime you are applying with a contracting company, always find out if they (the company) has the contract/work in hand or are they just gathering resumes for bids (that happens often). Also find out if they have the work in hand, what is the term of the contract. As I mentioned, if the contracting company is one of the big ones more than likely they will help you redeploy to another project (or the contract will be renewed). If it's a smaller company and the contract is picked up by another company, there is a good chance you will be picked up by that other company as well just to keep staff/work from being disrupted. But with being a contractor, all funding is dependent on the Federal budget, so there is always the risk of funding drying up..
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  • ChevelChevel Member Posts: 208 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Some very sound advice I should have came here, but I was so excited to have a job again after the BRAC closed my other one. I don't think HR can give me anything but we'll see. The company varies depending on what contract they do, either they are the main contract with subcontractors, or vise versa, they also have a sister contracts with other companies as well. Everyone keeps reassuring me but it doesn't make me any less nervous about it.
  • timrvttimrvt Member Posts: 28 ■□□□□□□□□□
    had to chime in....I started contracting for USACE in 2001 ...the first time my CAC came up for exp I was a little freaked
    but my sponsor here is the best...been contracting for 11 yrs same usace lab...but in reality I know this will come to an end
    that is the reason I started piling up some certs for the inevitable day..
    lucky that they let me go to any sans/cisco/oracle training I wish to...ccnp route class next then exam
  • ChevelChevel Member Posts: 208 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Timrvt, that's great news, I have three certs so far, but I'm preparing to get another one under my belt. I'm taking my time until I find where I really want to go.

    I was able to get a response from my company it turns out that they are listed for 3 years so all is well. I can stop worrying, lol. Plus if something did happen I would be placed with another company.
  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Member Posts: 4,165 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I know my buddy ran into this issue when they wanted to use a different contracting company. His government boss just talked to them and he was hired by the new company. But glad to hear you are good to go!
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  • spicy ahispicy ahi Member Posts: 413 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Glad to hear you're not going to be out of a job in the immediate future! Keep your nose to the grindstone and keep your certs, education, and resume updated and you shouldn't have too much trouble staying consistently employed.

    While I have all the other contractors on this thread, I wanted to ask how many of you have ever been labeled a job hopper? My resume has stints that average 1-2 years though a number of them are with the same company (just transferred between contracts) I interviewed with someone a few weeks back and asked why I was a job hopper. I explained about the transitions and he accepted the explanation but that label kind of bothered me. I would have gladly stayed at a few of my stops if I had been allowed to!
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  • ValsacarValsacar Member Posts: 336
    Over here it's pretty common actually. The contracting culture in Korea is different from everywhere else, it's a small (comparably) community and companies change over all the time. There's very few people (besides those at or near the PM level) that are loyal to the company, most are loyal to the job.

    We bring surge hires over for major exercises, temp employees, and many are amazed at how open people are about job availabilities in the area. If someone wants to stay, we help them out, even if it means another company as we all know each other and probably worked for that other company at some point in time.

    For us, as long as you are good at your job (and don't piss people off, unless you're REALLY good at your job) you're near guaranteed to get a job if the contract changes. And there will be no ill-will from your former employer, next time they win the contract you'll be back and they'll probably "bridge" your break so your benefits (like number of leave days) counts the last time you worked for them.
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  • ChevelChevel Member Posts: 208 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Thank you, I'm relieved too.

    Spicy Ahi, that was another concern of mine too, I wondered how those in contract "survived" lol. Couldn't imagine hopping like that.

    Valsacar, I did ask other co-workers about past employees, the contractor themselves are actually quite the better ones, but those that left just did dumb things. I am very confident I have nothing to worry about as I take my job with serious and pride. Without being a stick in the mud, lol. I have the clearance, certs, dedication, and experience so I knew I would be ok with that regards.

    Thanks again
  • LaminiLamini Member Posts: 242 ■■■□□□□□□□

    Once you get a job or go from 1 contractor to another, getting a new CAC will be the least of your worries. If you got the job, they'll renew your cac (read: email certs dont carry over, and during in-processing you'll have to do the whole security thing anyway-including cac).
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