In the context of close protection work, the use of firearms is often an all or nothing proposition. In most cases, you are either armed, or you’re not! There is a whole host of things that play into that, be it where you are, your level of certification, or the demands the client puts on you. All of that aside, I wanted to take some time and dig into the finer things, often overlooked when we talk about “strapping up.” Ammunition!
Organised physical exercise can be traced far back to ancient Greek times, where it was viewed that it should be both an integral part of an individual’s responsibility and civic duty to maintain health.
Over 2020 cyber security and technology have only soared in terms of profile and importance, with talk about threats to remote working from technology, difficulties, and some dramatic outages. Logistics, enabled largely by technology, have been essential to keep things moving and give people support and normality.
Throughout my nine years of experience in the Executive Protection (EP) industry, I’d like to think that I’ve achieved many significant accomplishments.
Having traveled to over 30 countries, building executive protection and estate teams, embarking on 10 major worldwide tours and transitioning from field agent to Director of Security. Despite my successes, I’ve still felt like a student at best, but now finally considering myself a Specialist. Naively, many young protectors are eager to consider themselves “specialists” without undergoing the proper mentorship and gaining the practical experience needed to hold this title.
It is believed that this is the safest method of carry because when the handgun is drawn from the holster, it points in a straight line directly at the target. The cross-draw is where the gun is on the opposite side of the body to the dominant hand, so you have to reach across the body to draw the handgun.
Designed by an audiologist, earHero’s speakers are so tiny they will never block your ear canal giving you the ability to literally talk on a separate phone without removing the earHero tactical earpiece from either ear.
You can literally hear whisper level sounds from yards away, while identifying the sounds’ precise location. The earHero tactical headsets have wires so thin and clear, they are virtually undetectable, and the design is so comfortable, you’ll barely know the earpiece is there.
Being an instructor for Tony Scotti’s Vehicle Dynamics Institute has forwarded the opportunity to observe how a large section of professionals interact and function from different niches of the industry. Military, transnational EP teams, US based teams, Federal LEO’s or with civilians this theme shows through. Even in the larger training arena the change can be seen as more of the schools are starting to focus on classes or blocks of instruction such as client management and behavioral analysis. The discussion forms are flooded with conversations relating to how to work in a team dynamic. It doesn’t matter if its a 28 day school or a three day school, they will be touching on and teaching these topics.
In the past, I viewed Executive Protection (EP) as persons who provided corporate level protection. This was the guy who only walked with the CEO, politician, or other important corporate executives and dignitaries. With my limited understanding, I didn’t think of those who drive these same individuals as being considered Executive Protection agents as well. As an EP specialist, I now understand and have experienced some of the vast role’s EP work will encompass.
My transition was a tricky one. Coming from a field where we are trained to address crime once it happens, mentally it leaves you in response mode. EP is very proactive, as such, we must anticipate what could happen and work to mitigate that. Also, as an Law Enforcement Officer, you have control over almost every situation that you’re in. The law gives you that authority and that luxury. In Executive Protection, not so much. So there’s another shift in mindset that one must have. As an EP professional you don’t have the same authority that LEO’s have, so you can’t bark out commands, stop traffic, block public access, etc., as such, the transition was tricky. The best way I can describe it is, not difficult but also, not “easy,” so to speak.
The Circuit Magazine held a Virtual Learning and Development Forum on September 4, 2020, that was attended by Executive Protection specialists and experts from around the globe, including the UK, US, Europe, Latin America, Middle East and West Africa.
Before you build your company’s or personal brand lets first take a moment to reconcile what branding is and how it differs from marketing. Branding is the process involved in creating a unique name and/or image for a product or service in the mind of the consumer. The goal of “Branding” is to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers. What differentiated message have you created in the mind of your desired clientele?
Did you know: Historically, street crime increases, proportionately, with population growth? Crime in England is accelerating, and according to police figures, the London murder rate has now surpassed that of New York for the first time in modern history. Not only does this place the general public at risk but arguably, it exposes the front-line security operator to even greater danger.
Having dug around in the last year to see what’s going on with security training courses at home and overseas, it would appear that there is a gap between what’s acceptable, to what’s a complete rip off, and that gap is as wide as the Grand Canyon.
The “workout” is only a part of the overall Physical Fitness picture. Give or take 8 hours a day for sleeping, that leaves 16 waking hours that require physical activity. I use the word “require” because if we want to stay active for the long game, then it really isn’t an option and it must be a priority. This is where I feel the missing link is for most people, a basic understanding of true Physical Fitness and how to apply it to everyday living without just viewing it as a workout period.
In the early days of ‘private contractor’ work in Iraq following the end of the war in 2003, medics were generally unregulated and unregistered, most being ex RMAs (now CMT1s) who had left the military and qualified as HSE Offshore Medics. Some had not done any ‘civilian’ courses but were hired on the strength of their military qualifications and experience; the guys would generally operate as firstly a PSD team member/operator, and secondly as a team medic. In those days the drugs and equipment carried by the medics was very limited; generally, FFDs, quick clot, blast bandages and if you were lucky some morphine auto injectors, Paracetamol and Ibuprofen.
In the world of protective services, we are often charged with the responsibility of having to manage and reconcile between safety and access for our protectees.
As business owners, employees, independent contractors or just private citizens we too are challenged with the dichotomy of managing our personal and professional lives on social media.
Handguns are meant for close-quarter shooting. Think about it; if someone is going to attack, kidnap or rob you on the street, they are going to be close, within conversational range. Now, look around your home or business and see what the maximum distance is that you would have a clear shot at a criminal or terrorist, for most this will be less than 10 yards/meters. This places emphasis on close quarter instinctive shooting over precision target shooting. As part of your training practice for long distance shoots (for handguns, this means over 25 yards), you should try hitting targets out to and over 100 yards. This will improve your handgun skills and show you your capabilities and limitations, but the emphasis should be on close quarter instinctive shooting.
The term ‘Image Projection’ refers to the tactic of presenting yourself as an Alpha personality in order to discourage a confrontation.
In short, dressing like an Alpha personality prompts respect from people (men and women) and makes you look like a hard target (psychologically).
The first two of these tenets involve soft skills which are sometimes referred to as Protective Intelligence (PI) and include situational and tactical awareness skills (route analysis and surveillance detection). The third tenet, Defend, requires hard skills such as the use of firearms and security driving. These hard skills may be required if we were unable to prevent or avoid an attack, and we end up in a situation where we have to survive an ambush. Continuing where we left off in Part One, we will finish covering some of the soft skills involved in Protective Intelligence and then move on to discuss the hard skills.
As is common with us all, we love our gear and we can’t get enough. A common discussion in our Facebook group, The Protective Security Group, is travel gear and equipment.
While not meant to be a comprehensive or ‘cookie-cutter’ list, below I share a typical packing of my ‘go-bag’ which I hope you all find useful; at least as a good baseline to add/subtract from for your travel needs.