regret that comes from knowing that you could have done more to support a person in life, even if just by offering a kind word or two. Some might think a topic like this has no place in an Alpha industry like Close Protection but consider that a large part of our ranks are pulled from both law enforcement and the military. We can all see how helpful positive reinforcement has been for those stressful careers.
We now see companies capitalizing on this idea, by making different lines of equipment and bags that tout themselves as being “covert” or “discrete”. I am of the belief that if you are wearing clothing that advertises itself as either of these things, it’s anything but.
Truly experienced law enforcement, military and security professionals can spot each other a mile away. Often the giveaways are in the clothing and personal accessories that we choose. Watches, shoes and belts are accessories that are often over looked by those attempting to be “Gray”. Wearing Soloman’s or Merrel’s, a Suunto/Garmin/Pathfinder watch and an Ares Gear/511, or another tactical belt is not being gray. Each of those accessories, gives up information about you, that you say you are trying to conceal.
Over 30 years ago, when I left a failing white-Collar industry in a failing economy in Texas, I did what many in my predicament did. I entered the contract security industry at near minimum wage. What I did that many others did not, was survive in the industry long enough to out earn annually what I was earning in my previous profession.
So you got the tap for the assignment and a spot on the detail? You are good to go for the next several days, weeks, or possibly even months. It’s constant work.
I was a seventeen-year old military recruit when I was issued my first rifle. That marked the beginning of what would amount to nearly forty years of carrying firearms professionally. Twenty-three of those were in the military, including nearly twenty years with the SAS, followed by almost seventeen years of commercial security work.
The proverb ‘manners maketh man’ derives from a shared understanding that courtesy and good manners are essential to the preservation of human interaction and relationships.
Good manners can be applied to several aspects of human life, including how we speak, the words we use, the tone of our voice, our gestures and our actions.
Given the nature of close protection and the conditions under which operators are expected to perform, it is imperative for those providing protective services to be highly developed, multi-disciplined individuals. However, beyond the obvious technical skills reqauired to execute well-drilled procedures, modern operators are expected to display more nuanced skills such as emotional intelligence, candour, judgement and resourcefulness to list but a few. So, how can understanding our personality type help us become better in our roles as close protection operatives? To answer this, we need to have a basic understanding of the factors influencing the various personality traits.
That is the brass ring in our business, AKA the sacred cow, however, on the road to eating Filet Mignon, there are bound to be several Big Mac’s along the route.
So, as we proceed on this journey to success, we have to make sure we navigate the potholes, namely, doing the job as required without becoming too comfortable in our role, leading to potentially disastrous results.
For long-term assignments, it is very important to build up a rapport with your client / VIP and anyone else associated with the operation. Effective and good communications will not only assist you with having an easier and less stressful assignment but also keeps you up-to-date on the client’s day to day activities
When it comes to a wardrobe fit for duty rule number one, you don’t buy it, you acquire it over time. In most cases, unless you have unlimited resources this will be a slow build for most agents. To help you in developing a detail ready wardrobe I offer the below considerations for both fit and function.