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.
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).
If you take the four areas that are part of the traditional military model: gymnastics/calisthenics (bodyweight exercise), outdoor obstacle courses (moving efficiently through a range of environments), combat sports (boxing, grappling etc), speed marching (bipedal locomotion); these intrinsically include the main focus physical qualities: mobility, strength, reaction speed, coordination, balance and cardiorespiratory function. If these areas are incorporated into a physical fitness programme, treated as a skill and kept in the majority at a low/medium intensity with bouts of high intensity, the result will be a well-rounded human capable of thriving in the diversities of the modern life.
We cast our eye over the main stories impacting the security industry. Here’s what’s appeared on the radar since the last issue.
These challenges can take the form of unintentional harm coming by way of a prop, stage equipment, or something as simple as a slip and fall caused by a long dress and high heels.
Whenever we can, we as Protectors must try and anticipate, correcting or counteracting the occurrences that can cause this harm. This is usually done during the Site Advance at which time we do a walk-thru of the areas that the VIP will be visiting, in this scenario, the stage. It is at that time we will perform a visual inspection of the stage and the props, go hands-on with items the Protectee might come into contact with, such as the guard railing, and enlist the help of experts to answer questions that are beyond our realm of expertise, such as how the overhead lights are connected to the scaffolding.
Not because there is less work out there, in fact, the opposite is probably true. With global threat levels at an all-time high, there is more work in the security industry now than there ever has been and the security industry is booming, but it’s harder to find work because there are now thousands more so-called ‘qualified’ CPOs chasing after every position. It is a fact that most licensed operators have never actually done a day’s close protection work in their lives. At the time of writing this article, there are over 14,000 valid, UK, CP licences. Yes, over fourteen thousand people in the UK currently have a license to operate as a Close Protection Officer.
The ‘tactical culture’ had flourished over the last few years, mainly due to the proliferation of video cameras and increasing engagement with social media platforms, which I believe is causing the lines between reality and the ‘tacticool’ entertainment world to become very, very blurred…
It takes very little these days to be a part of the tactical sub-culture that is trending, here’s how to do it. Simply, purchase a gun, where legal, get your hands on some tactical clothing, buy a bunch of ‘black op’ accessories, plug into ‘Soldier of Fortune’ social-media channels and perhaps even take some no-fail tactical training courses, then after a few months, hey presto, you’re an expert! Whereas, in the good old days, the only option, if you wanted this lifestyle, was to join the military – preferably the Infantry!
Who, when initially looking for a close protection course, tried to find the cheapest course and quickest route possible to your badge? Who researched their training provider and checked out all the credentials and qualifications of their instructors?
Who doesn’t intend to do any other training until they find at least some work to pay back their initial training costs? Who, reading this, has attended an ‘accredited’ training course but has actually never yet done a day’s work as a designated protection officer? I could go on, but well… you get the picture!
Starting out, I was one of the guys that didn’t take the job too serious. However, it was while working in the field, I felt my “calling,” and noticed that here was an opportunity for me to grow in the industry and use my position and access to branch out to create a bigger platform for myself. One thing I can say is as it relates to touring, when musical acts come to town, I see them face the same challenges time and again. As such, I thought it might be appropriate to share some insights that may make life a bit smoother for the next individual or team.
“The training is necessary because of the world we live in and the kinds of issues our students face,’’ said Wilson, who travels around the entire county to help students. “We deal with emotional, physical and psychological trauma. You’re always wondering if it’s going to be you or your school next.”
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.
Risk and Retaliation at the World Cup and Beyond. On 3/26/2018, the United States joined 20 nations including the UK, Canada, and Italy in what is said to be the largest coordinated expulsion of Russian intelligence officers in history.
Over 100 Russian diplomats were told to leave their foreign postings in response to the poisoning of a former Russian spy living in the UK. Russia promised to retaliate against this “provocative gesture”.
Celebrity protection is in some ways a unique market, however, in marketing, the more specific you can be, the more successful you will be in finding customers. This means that it’s helpful, sometimes necessary, to research, develop, and define a niche, carving out a select piece of a bigger industry to specialize in.
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.
I’ve always tried to make sure I ask and answer that question before I write about personal experiences in public settings. In light of that, I must admit I thought about this one a bit longer than most, but felt it was worthy to share because one of the purposes of The Circuit Magazine is to inform and educate while offering unique perspectives within the Close Protection community.
“Elijah, I’m glad you choose me for the assignment, just so you know I have to be home on the 15th as my son has his little league try-outs.” I’ll have to be honest and say, if the assignment extends past the 15th, I’m likely going to use someone else from the outset. Why? Because VIP clients appreciate familiarity but the rotation of celebrity protection agents does not project stability, instead, it implies just the opposite.
One of the most dangerous things I have had to encounter when escorting a client is when you egress a nightclub environment. Being a solo operator makes this almost Mission Impossible yet it is done every day in the Executive Protection field. Without the luxury of a multi-man team you are essentially blind to the […]
So let me set the stage of this edition of Keeping Your Edge: it’s day 26 of a 30 day musical tour, and I’m currently writing this column in the front lounge of a 38’ Tour Bus. This particular bus has a fully functioning recording studio in the rear, and the THUMP, THUMP, THUMP of […]
When someone asks, “what do you do for a living”? Do you say, I’m a “Bodyguard” or you’re an Executive Protection Specialist? What’s in a name?