Contrary to dominant approaches that locate the causes for military entrepreneurialism in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo predominantly in criminal military elites, this article highlights the importance of the Congolese military’s (FARDC) civilian context for understanding military revenue-generation. It analyses how the latter is shaped by structures of domination, signification and legitimisation that drive and are driven by the FARDC’s governance, private protection and security practices. It argues that these practices contribute to bestowing a degree of legitimacy on both the FARDC’s position of power and some of its revenue-generation activities. Furthermore, by emphasising that the FARDC’s regulatory and protection practices are partly the product of popular demands and the routine actions of civilians, the article contends that the causes of military revenue-generation are co-located in the military’s civilian environment. In this manner, it offers a more nuanced conceptualisation of military entrepreneurialism, thus opening up new perspectives on policy interventions in this area.