You might be forgiven for thinking that a life on the frontline is exciting, even glamorous. And on occasion, it is. But for the most part, my job is nothing of the sort. It’s dangerous, it’s far from well paid, and it’s stressful. And I mean, stressful. Nothing focuses the mind more than the sight and sound of a guerrilla army and its arsenal of fully-automatic weapons. And nothing destroys the mind more than the sight of women, children and innocent civilians lying dead or dying at one’s feet.
It’s the final wrap up of the last day of your Close Protection training course. It’s been a long, and at times grueling, process but ultimately rewarding on multiple levels.
Along the way you’ve met some people you have really gelled with (and a couple that you have no plans on staying in contact with once class ends.) Overall, you enjoyed the experience, feel like you have gotten your moneys worth, and can say that you have some new, “tools for the toolbox.”
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.
Research by the American Psychological Association indicates that as many as 75-80 percent of Americans self-report their stress to be at moderate to high levels. Stress can come in many forms, and sometimes we may not even notice or seem bothered by it. So what constitutes stress? The normal daily routine of work or home responsibilities can cause stress, as can experiencing a sudden major life-altering event, such as losing a job, dealing with sudden loss, or a prolonged illness.
I have many happy memories as a child going to church regularly being with my friends and family. One day however sticks out in my mind above all others. On this day, a man keeled over in the pew in front of me and the havoc that ensued is still clear in my memory… Emergency.
Since there are no guarantees that you will never be involved in an emergency, this article will help you to understand some of the things necessary to properly handle, or ideally help prevent, a crisis situation in a house of worship.
The first step in countering snipers is for everyone to be aware of the threat. This is where a threat assessment needs to be compiled and the realist threats need to be identified, if potential snipers are a threat then procedures need to be put in place.
In general, operational planning for a sniper threat should always be considered to some extent. Not only should counter sniper procedures be planned for but they need to be practiced, your people need to be trained at least in the basic reactions to fire and the use of cover, preferably before they are exposed to the sniper threat.
The insider threat of crime to organisations is always present and can manifest itself in many ways. This has become more apparent because of the recent social-economic climate change within the UK.
I left school at the age of sixteen with just three, very poor, O levels. Following that I floundered around doing various blue collar jobs: I’ve been a postman, a railway guard and a warehouseman, just to name three of the 20-odd occupations I have had.
I went to college and became a qualified secretary at the age of 30(ish) and after a prosperous career as a sports journalist, I went to University to get a degree in psychology at the ripe old age of 50.
From a physical training perspective, the evolution of my own personal practice, my approach to nutrition and what I advise for the general population has dramatically changed over these years.
CPOs are thinkers, planners, and problems solvers and are generally expected to pull rabbits from hats at short notice and we regularly do. We are employed to ensure not only the safety and security of the client but also their health and well being.
Addiction. Mental Illness. What comes to mind when you hear those words? According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, approximately 1 in 5 Americans experience a form mental illness within a given year, while about 21% of 13-18 year olds experience a serious mental illness.
I’ve harnessed the knowledge and experience I’ve gleaned through two decades of Special Forces soldiering, and nearly twenty years as a private security adviser working in conflict zones around the world to advocate for a formula-guided, options-based response plan to mass shootings. I’ve taught these techniques to diplomats, the media, executives, NGO’s etc.
Physical violence is a fact of life. Those of us involved in the security industry are in the front of the queue when it comes to people wishing to cause us harm. It is right that we are held to account and it is right that we are taught and encouraged to use de-escalation techniques, but at the moment we and those we are dealing with are in greater danger than need be because the training is inadequate.
Are we as protectors, just giving lip service to the physical nature of the craft? Yes, this is a thinking man’s game and the best muscle to work out is the mind, however, are we really preparing for that “Moment of Truth,” the one we hope never happens on our watch, but that we nonetheless have to plan for?
Going to (or going back to) university seems to be becoming increasingly popular and I have lost count of the number of conversations I’ve had about the pros and cons of such a venture.
One of the major concerns / barriers to people embarking on a university course seems to be an anxiety about being a mature student. Whilst perhaps understandable, I hope in this article to reassure you that your experience of university can be just as valuable and exciting as a mature student as someone going straight from school.
Over the years, with the added involvement of oil and gas companies, alongside government contracts, the role of the medic has evolved from working as a ‘team medic’ into a ‘Tier 2’ medic who carries a comprehensive medical kit & medications, and is able to function as a lone medic often in remote locations. These changes have caused multiple shifts in the industry standard and requirements to become a Tier 2 Medic. This should be a good thing but it also comes with pitfalls.
So, what is independent learning? The Higher Education Academy 1 describe independent learning as “a process, a method and a philosophy of education in which a student acquires knowledge by his or her own efforts”.
If you work in an environment where people are likely to get physically injured, then it stands to reason you would want people available with the skills to help.
Whatever the size of the business, whether it is small or large, retail or commercial, it is guaranteed to have a range of valuable assets like computer systems, data and other expensive items that are at risk of theft.
We all have this incredibly sophisticated system and a brain that is constantly being shaped by our experiences. Everyone is unique in their background, skills, experience and beliefs so it’s impossible to get bored when you’re working with people.