Reports Fantastic 50

People with special skills

Patriot Group lands major government contracts

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Print this page by Joan Tupponce
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Patriot Group’s leadership includes President Alan Buford,
COO Robert Whitfield, CEO Greg Craddock and CFO Jeff Weisenborne.

Patriot Group International Inc. 

This looks to be a very good year for Warrenton-based Patriot Group International Inc. The company, which specializes in security, defense and intelligence services, was named one of 15 prime contractors of a $975 million Counter Narcotics and Global Threats Operations and Logistics Support contract.

Under the nine-year contract, the company will be helping the U.S. and partner organizations detect and defeat threats associated with narcotics, trafficking, piracy and transnational organized crime.

“Our people excel at performing their duties, especially in austere, high-threat environments,” says company CEO Greg Craddock.

Additionally, Chenega-Patriot Group LLC, a joint partnership involving Patriot Group, Chenega Security & Support Services and Reed Inc., was one of seven prime contractors in a five-year, $10.2 billion Worldwide Protective Services II contract awarded by the State Department.

From 2011 to 2014, revenue at Patriot Group rose 2,773 percent, making it the Vanguard winner among service companies in this year’s Fantastic 50. The company also ranked No. 137 on the Inc. 5000 last year and is a two-time winner of Northrop Grumman’s Performance Excellence award.

Patriot Group, which currently has about 90 employees, offers a variety of services, including security, training, research and development, analytics and training exercise support, such as advanced marksmanship and cultural awareness.

It also provides global construction security support in the deployment of personnel and equipment as well as management of life-support functions, such as camps, transportation and logistics, in a variety of U.S. and international locations.

Its clients include the Defense Department, the intelligence community and other federal agencies. “We provide people with special skills and clearances,” Craddock says, noting that members of his team have experience in military special operations and government intelligence agencies. “We realize the unique challenges the government faces overseas, and we provide conventional and unconventional solutions to those challenges.”

Craddock and a group of private investors bought the company in 2009. It had been founded in 2004 as a government service provider.

“We confronted many of the challenges that are common to all startups,” says Craddock, who previously served as a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army. “We kept at it and eventually created some momentum through our network and by convincing other industry professionals to give us a chance to perform. We want to express our gratitude for the number of people that helped us out.”

The company puts an emphasis on hiring experts and being respectful of employees. “We seek out the very best personnel that meet the specific requirements of the job, but we also invest in the individual employee,” Craddock says.

Patriot Group provides employees with additional professional development training and educational opportunities outside of the company.

“Being a service provider, we believe in taking good care of our personnel. We invest in our people,” Craddock says, adding that the leadership team practices a decentralized form of management. “We allow our leaders to make decisions, and we reward them on their successes.”

Remaining successful in a competitive field can be very challenging. “One of the most recent challenges we have had to deal with is scaling,” Craddock says. “We have experienced a degree of success, and with that comes growth, but now we are competing with companies that have tremendous resources. We have to be very focused and responsive. We have to provide a high quality of service to grow our business in a smart way that allows us to continually improve.”

Patriot Group prides itself on being very discreet. “It is a profound challenge to maintain discretion, especially with increased visibility,” Craddock says. “We work very hard to make sure all of our professionals understand this dynamic and adhere to it at all times.”

Risk management presents yet another challenge. “Since we began operations in 2009, the military presence in some of the areas we operate has decreased. This adds a higher degree of risk that a high percentage of our people have to deal with on a daily basis,” he says.

Craddock makes it his mission to not only to hire but to also honor fellow veterans. “Our leadership is primarily comprised of veterans,” he says. “One of our greatest desires is to support the veteran network. Now, there are a profound number of veterans that are coming back from service with disabilities. We want to support them as well through charitable works and contributions.”

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