The 2010 Inc. 5000: Companies at Work
Soldiers in a war zone who understand the languages and cultural nuances tend to be better equipped on the ground. Each year, a few thousand U.S. troops spend three weeks in one of several villages designed by Lexicon Consulting (No. 4) to simulate life in a war-torn nation. The Afghan-style village shown here, located at the Army's national training center in Fort Irwin, California, features authentic scenarios and actors posing as locals. "We hire amputees to fall out of a moving vehicle after an explosion. It's that realistic," says Jamie Arundell-Latshaw, who co-founded the $14.4 million Defense Department contractor in El Cajon, California, in 2005 with her husband, Leroy Latshaw. The retired Army officers met while stationed in Macedonia during the Kosovo War.