A quiet partner

‘We know the unique challenges the government faces overseas’

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Print this page by Joan Tupponce
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President Alan Buford (left), CEO Greg Craddock
and COO Robert Whitfield

Patriot Group International Inc. prides itself on discretion in working with its customers, many of whom are involved in national intelligence. “We go to great lengths to make sure the services we provide are discreet,” says company CEO Greg Craddock. “Our mission is to provide unparalleled support to our customers.”

Being quiet, however, hasn’t kept the Warrenton-based company from growing. Its revenue increased 3,100 percent from 2010 to 2013, making it the fastest-growing company in this year’s Fantastic 50. Patriot Group also ranked No. 106 on the 2014 Inc. 5000 list and is a two-time winner of Northrop Grumman Corp.’s Performance Excellence award.

The company’s services include security, training, research and development, analytics and training exercise support services. Training services are varied, ranging from advanced marksmanship and protective operations to cultural awareness and sensitivity.

Patriot Group’s customers include the U.S. Department of Defense, the Department of Justice, the intelligence community and other federal agencies. “We have expeditionary capabilities. We move personnel and equipment to austere locations,” Craddock says. “We provide people with special skills and clearances.”

Most of the company’s personnel are veterans. “Our leadership team consists of experienced industry professionals with roots in U.S. military special operations and U.S. government intelligence agencies,” he says. “We know the unique challenges the government faces overseas. We provide conventional and unconventional solutions to those challenges.”

Craddock and a group of private investors bought the company in 2009, five years after it was founded as a government services provider. “When we got started we did elevator pitches trying to sell to a lot of clients,” he says. “Enough trusted us that they decided to give us a shot. When we got those opportunities, we were very responsive. We did what we said we were going to do. We created momentum.”

He and his leadership team ask topnotch experts in the field for recommendations of potential employees. “This is the community we came from and served with,” Craddock says. “It’s an important tool that we leverage.”

He says the company goes to great lengths to make sure that all company personnel are respected and well compensated. “We go the extra step to identify and vet talent,” Craddock says. “We take care of them on projects.”

When the company deploys employees on projects, it always keeps in mind that they are going on unaccompanied tours of duty. “Our personnel quite often leave their families and loved ones behind,” Craddock says. “We provide a high level of support to them and their families.”

One of the company’s biggest challenges is remaining competitive in the crowded field of government contracting. “There is no shortage of capable companies,” Craddock says. “Competing requires effort and energy. You have to manage your resources effectively.”

The company always is balancing the execution of a contract it has won with its efforts to seek new opportunities. “If you get too focused on winning new work, you start making mistakes on the contracts you hold,” he says. “You go on a downward spiral.”

Currently the company has just over 50 employees. “We work with a large number of contractors on a continual basis as well,” Craddock says.

Because of the company’s connection to the military, Craddock believes it’s important to give back to veteran-related organizations. It supports the PenFed Foundation, helping military personnel and their families in the areas of financial literacy and housing; Boulder Crest Retreat, a rural sanctuary for military warriors with combat-stress related injuries; and American Freedom Foundation, which provides grants to military organizations and scholarships to military spouses and their dependents. The company also sponsored the 2013 Holiday Charity Bash that supports the military, wounded warriors and their families.

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