Mercenary: noun

  1. A professional soldier hired to serve in a foreign army.
    “He had planned to seize power with the aid of a group of mercenaries.”
    Synonyms: soldier of fortune, professional soldier, hired soldier

When a samurai lost his lord and became a ronin, he often had one of two choices if he was to continue living by the sword. He could either become a bandit and sacrifice his ethics for money, robbing and murdering the innocent, or he could offer his sword to another lord in an attempt to serve again—retaining his honor and his livelihood.

Let’s talk about one of the oldest professions in the world known by a dirty little word that has always had a bad stigma attached to it: mercenary. Over the past few years, during the war in the Middle East, volunteers, freedom fighters, mercs, or whatever you want to call them, have become a hot topic. As time has worn on, they’ve become rather high profile.

This is in part due to social media and the fact that it has become easy to volunteer your services in a war zone. With this massive influx of volunteer fighters, the face of the modern mercenary is changing—possibly for the better.