- Adam Gonzales is a private
Securityspecialist and CEO of Hyperion Services.
- His business consists of alumni
militarymembers who work as personal security guards and hostagelifeguards.
- That’s what her job is like, as freelance writer Jenny Powers put it.
This narrated essay is based on a transcribed conversation with Adam Gonzales, a private hostage negotiator and security specialist. It has been edited for length and clarity.
Whenever the national anthem was played at a sporting event while growing up in Miller Beach, Indiana, I always felt proud to be an American. At the age of 20, I enlisted in the military and was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.
For four years, I trained as a six-man long-range surveillance officer parachuting into enemy lines undetected for reconnaissance and surveillance.
In 2004, I moved to the private military sector and became what former members of the military call a corporate warrior Where silent professional, Outsource to the government to help sustain and augment America’s war efforts.
My first job as an independent contractor was for a military defense contracting company that was relatively unknown at the time.
It was the height of the Iraq war, and I was deployed to Baghdad for six months as security for Ambassador Paul Bremer, the United States’ presidential envoy to Iraq.
Our team, made up of approximately 50 contractors, provided a wide range of missions, including the conduct of armored suburbans, close protection, villa protection and close air support with helicopters.
I worked the night shift, from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. At the end of my shift, I slept when I could, sometimes doing double duty as the door gunner on the Little Bird helicopters that provided close air support to the Ambassador.
In 2013, I decided it was time to lead a more normal life and find civilian employment.
I had no connection to America since I spent my adult life overseas, so I moved to Chicago to take a job as an apprentice electrician.
Every morning I dreaded going to work. I would sit in my truck at the construction site, look out the window thinking “I don’t belong here” and cry to myself.
I held out for a year before deciding to take advantage of my military experience and take the turn to protect UHNW individuals. No longer part of a security guard, I became a one man show – the driver, the forward team, the logistics manager and the protector.
Nine times out of 10, kidnapping is a business transaction.
For some, it’s a quick way to make money. A small percentage of cases, however, have nothing to do with money and concern honor or a vendetta. These are the most difficult because time is running out before the total loss of life.
In 2015, I was called in a case involving a woman in her twenties who had voluntarily joined a cult in Central America but now wanted to get out. She was being held against her will, and I was hired to save her.
I was familiar with the country in particular and had a man on the ground to gather local intelligence before entering alone. With a ground plane waiting in the wings, I created an elaborate cover story feigning interest in joining the cult in order to enter the compound.
The cult leader bought my story, invited me over, and showed me the lay of the land. He even gave me a room with access to a swimming pool and a computer lab.
On the computer, I downloaded information to share with my team outside, including the resort floor plans. I also quietly identified with the kidnapped woman by sharing details about her childhood that I had learned from her family.
Under the pretext that the woman was ill, I arranged for an outside source posing as an ambulance driver to arrive and remove her from the compound. From there, she boarded the private plane safely and returned home. The ordeal lasted three days from my arrival until the rescue.
For my part, I had to stay in the compound a few more days so as not to raise red flags. I made up another story about having to leave due to an emergency with a promise to return, but instead headed straight to a hotel and spent a week chilling out in a hammock on the beach .
It’s hard to find meaning in your job after leaving the military, so I wanted to help other veterans.
In 2017, I launched Silent Professionals, a free job site for military and law enforcement veterans to find work in the private military and security sectors. To date, the site has helped 10,000 veterans re-enter civilian life using their backgrounds and skills to earn a living and discover a renewed sense of purpose.
As our reputation grew, wealthy people with security needs began to reach out to us. So in 2019, the natural progression was to open Hyperion Services, a global security solutions company powered by top military personnel.
The bulk of our business is turnkey executive security which costs $ 2,000 per day and includes accommodation, meals, labor, weapons and equipment. Often, clients sign a one-year contract and pay the full amount up front.
In addition, we offer hostage rescue starting at $ 30,000 per day with a one-month commitment, as well as
These days I live south of DC in the Quantico area. I have PTSD, but my wife for five years, who is also a
After dealing with the most violent people on the planet and witnessing the types of atrocities that I have seen, I see the world from a very different perspective.
Sometimes in bed I wonder how different my life would have been if I had remained an apprentice electrician, but soon after my alarm goes off and I’m back at work.
Editor’s Note: Some details of this story have been anonymized to protect the identity of the people and businesses involved.