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Blackwater USA


Academi is a private military contractor. It has been formerly called Xe and Blackwater Worldwide and Blackwater USA. Earlier incarnations of the corporation were ran in part by co-founder Erik Prince, a former Navy Seal. Academi has distanced itself from Prince, but the corporation is still owned in large part by a close friend of his family. [1]

Rebranding Efforts and Previous Names

Academi is the latest in a series of rebranding efforts by a troubled private defense company, which has previously gone by the name Blackwater and Xe. Academi was deliberately chosen to sound "boring". [2]. This rebranding was necessary to shake the poor reputation Blackwater/Xe aquired following the Nisoor Square killings in Bagdad on September 16th, 2007, and their subsequent explusion from Iraq [3] as well as a host of other incidents including ethically suspect ties to CIA [4] and accusations of widespread fraud [5]

Prior to 209, Academi was known as Blackwater, and was briefly known as Xe (pronounced like the letter "Z") between 2009 and 2010. Read more about them here.


XE Logo


According to their website, Academi provides "risk assessment, training and security solutions" and specializes in "Training and support for domestic and international clients...Risk management and security services consulting...[and] tability support, crisis response and forward base operations". [6] Academi offers many of the same services as its previous two incarnations, including bodyguard services [7] and Counter-terrorist training [8]. It still owns the 7,000 acre training facility in Moyock Virginia which has been used by Blackwater since 2007. [9]

Leadership and Ownership

Academi is owned by the same corporations that purchased Blackwater/Xe in 2010, two large companies: Forte Capital Advisers and Manhattan Growth Products.[10] Forte Capital Advisers is run by Jason DeYonker, who has several financial and personal connections to former Blackwater Owner Erik Prince. Manhattan Growth Products has controlling shares in many small corporations, including Hugo Naturals, which manufactures all natural cleaning products and "vegan friendly soaps". [11]

Academi's board of directors includes members with ties to the Bush Administration. Wired Magazine speculated that members of the board had been recruited specifically due to their "experience with crisis management" in helping the company reform its damaged reputation. [12] Academi's board of directors includes: [13]

  • Red McCombs (Chairman): Co-Founder of Clear Channel Communications
  • John Ashcroft: Former Attorney General to the Bush Administration
  • Dean Bosacki: managing partner at Manhattan Partners
  • Jason DeYonker: Runs forte Capital Advisors
  • Retired Admiral Bobby Inman
  • Jack Quinn
  • Russ Robinson


Corporate Headquarters

1001 19th Street 19th Floor Arlington, VA 22209 ACADEMI (Moyock)

Training Headquarters PO Box 1029 Moyock, NC 27958

General Inquiries (Phone) 252-435-2488

Email: train AT


  1. Spencer Ackerman: Will Blackwater Go Vegan after Sale to Hippy Firm Wired, December 7th, 2010. Accessed May 3rd, 2012
  2. Nathan Hodge Company Once Known as Blackwater Ditches Xe for Yet Another New Name The Wall Street Journal, December 12th, 2011. Accessed May 3rd, 2012
  3. David Johnston and Josh M. Broder: F.B.I. Says Guards Killed 14 Iraqis Without Cause The New York Times, November 14th, 2007. Accessed May 3rd, 2012
  4. Max Fischer: How close are Blackwater and the CIA The Atlantic Wire Monthly, December 11th, 2009. Accessed May 3rd, 2012.
  5. Mark Mazetti: 2 Ex-Workers Accuse Blackwater Security Company of Defrauding the U.S. for Years The New York Times, February 10th, 2010. Accessed May 3rd, 2012.
  6. Academi: about us
  7. Academi: High Threat Protection Accessed Mary 3rd, 2012.
  8. Academi: Counterterrorist training. Accessed May 3rd, 2012
  9. Academi: facilities Accessed May 3rd, 2012.
  10. Spencer Ackerman: Will Blackwater Go Vegan After Sale to Hippy Firm. Wired, December 17th, 2010. Accessed May 3rd, 2012.
  11. Cory Pein: the Blackwater Vegan Soap Connection War is Business, 17th December 2010. Accessed May 3rd, 2012.
  12. Spencer Ackerman: Blackwater 3.0 Wired, December 12th, 2011. Accessed May 3rd, 2012
  13. Academi: board of directors Accessed May 3rd, 2012