13 Things Needed to Help You Become a Personal Bodyguard

Personal Bodyguard

Hearing the news of Corwin Noble’s passing was a dark day for me. I was fortunate to have been the recipient of this humble man’s wealth of knowledge when I was starting out as Personal Bodyguard in the Personal Protection field. He taught me so much and answered question after question; graciously dispensed wisdom that I rely upon to this very day.

His death five years ago at the age of 54 meant the world had lost one of the “good guys.” Corwin had dedicated his life to the protection and security of other people. He worked for the Police department, was on a SWAT team, and served in private protection in the US, the Middle East, and in Latin and Central America.

I hope you enjoy this article; it is meant to recognize Corwin’s contributions to a field I have come to know and love. His lessons made me the man I am today, and I’m honored to have known him and to be able to call him not only my mentor, but my friend. Here’s to you, Corwin.

Many times I am asked “What makes a good Personal Bodyguard and who would you have on your team?” I receive resumes every week from all types of individuals. Each resume attempts to show their skills and experience whether it is military, police, civilian, or corporate experience. But what personal attributes am I as a protector looking for that I would place my life and the life of a client in their hands? Let’s look at several factors.

Personal Bodyguard Qualities

Personal Bodyguard

Personal Bodyguards Need Common Sense

The first and foremost I attribute I am looking for in someone who wants to be a personal bodyguard  is good common sense and excellent judgment. He or she must be intelligent because this job is a thinking person’s game. You are trying to keep our client out of harms way and this is accomplished at length by using your brain to analyze a situation, having the forethought to identify possible threats, and having the common sense needed to apply your skills efficiently and effectively.

They must have initiative and be a team player as a protective team must be a cohesive unit. Of equal importance on working as part of a team is the ability to work alone. On many assignments you may be by yourself. One-on-one protective assignments are quite common, or you may be assigned with just a security driver that always stays with the vehicle.

Personal Bodyguard Qualifications

You must be detail oriented and keep a good personal appearance- never attempt to dress better than a client but know what is appropriate wear and the right clothing for your environment. A personal bodyguard must have a positive attitude- you will work long, stressful hours, often with no thanks other than the fact that everyone is alive at the end of the day.

Demeanor comes with positive attitude- how you conduct yourself with a client and more importantly how you represent yourself with the client at all times. You are the closest person to the client at all times, and many times their direct representative. This allows  you the Protector to always be “in position” and ready to act as necessary.

Physical health and strength are an absolute must to conduct a proper protective assignment. I can attest that this job is long hours spent being constantly on alert for any dangers. It takes a physical toll on the body each day and you must maintain your physical health and strength to properly survive as a Protector. You never know when an incident may occur and when you have to put into practice those physical attributes and strengths to remove yourself and your protectee from a dangerous or given situation.

Police and Close Personal Protection

Dangerous Situation

Having a background in security and security procedures is always important. Many times I am asked “do I have to have military or special operations unit training. Do I have to be a former law enforcement officer?” My answer has always been that having a solid formal background with the military or law enforcement is good but not always the best or necessary. Those life experiences that you received while being in combat or on patrol handling dangerous situations as a police officer are good but that does not always make you a Protector.

A Personal Bodyguard Needs Formal Protection Training

Consider this when reflecting on my previous statement- many years ago, I was assigned to conduct training for the United States Federal Police (now a part of the U.S. Homeland Security). Part of the training I conducted was a scenario in which Air Soft guns were used during a simulation of a direct attack on the principal.

The police officers in the formation did what came naturally: when the shots came they instinctively took cover and returned fire, leaving the protectee standing alone taking direct hits! Instinct is always a factor when stress is involved, but overall how you react to any given situation comes from a combination of instinct, life experience, and training.

Often your training can hold just as much if not more value than your background. Example, I know an individual that had no police or military background. In fact, his only experience was as the security manager for a major hotel chain in the city of Minneapolis.

But upon beginning his career as a personal bodyguard and as a result of good, continuous training and experience he has been acting as the Protector for many major celebrities for the past decade. He has been living and working in a high threat environment as his first major assignment and doing a fantastic job at it. He is a Protector!

Formal Protection Training is a necessary process for a Protector. Just like any career the education and knowledge you receive are the primary tools you will rely on for an assignment. I have attended many prominent schools over the last 30 years such as: Executive Protection Institute; Executive Security International; R.L. Oatman & Associates; Tactical Explosive Entry School (formally TEES).

Bodyguard Education

Executive Protection Institute

All of these schools were excellent with great instructors. It is important to continue attending various schools in order to increase your knowledge base and to networking. You take something away from every school that you attend. You will often hear me referring to this collective education as “My Toolbox”. It encompasses all your knowledge, training, and experience, and as you expand your “Toolbox” you will reach that goal of becoming a professional Protector.

Driving schools are where you will receive one of the most beneficial educations, and the resultant skill set is one of the most important aspects that I look for in a member of my teams or when considering someone for hire. Daily travel by roadway is a way of life for everyone. As a personal bodyguard you need to know both defensive and offensive driving skills.

I personally place more emphasis on defensive driving skills. In most cities and assignments you are not going to need to employ a bootleg turn, PIT maneuver or car fighting, but those skills are important depending on the location in which you are providing service such as in a high risk country or city. However, defensive driving is something you can employ each day no matter where you are transporting the protectee. There are excellent schools where you can learn comprehensive, solid offensive and defensive driving skills such as Tony Scotti or Bill Scott Raceway (BSR).

A Personal Bodyguard Needs Basic Medical Knowledge

One of the most important aspects of training that I advise all individuals who want to enter into field is, have some kind of medical knowledge.

At the most minimum level a personal bodyguard should have CPR and basic first aid training. I would suggest that anyone who wishes to become a professional bodyguard to have training and certification as an Emergency Medical Technician.

This training can be received through most community colleges and there are also many private schools that provide the training. You as a Protector are more likely to have a medical incident than an outright assault occur with your protectee, and having a good medical background when that happens can save a life, even your own.

Last on the list of what makes a Protector are good defensive tactical skills and firearms skills. I placed them last because having those skills in my toolbox is important but in 30 years of providing personal protection I have not had to physically defend my client or deploy my weapon in a tactical role on assignment in a non-high risk environment.

You’ll notice that I say “defensive skills” instead of “martial arts skills”. I receive resumes and phones calls daily from individuals who immediately state how many different belts they hold in how many different martial arts. True, these are a great tool to have in your repertoire but not the most necessary skill to have as a Protector.

Martial Arts

Martial Arts

I stress that you do need to have the skill base to defend yourself and your protectee if necessary, but it is not your primary tool. Too many times clients, and protectors, think along the lines of “I am skilled in all these martial arts and therefore you will be safe from harm.” Depending on your threat assessment and risk analysis, have you done all that is possible to keep your client safe from harm in the first place?

A Personal Bodyguard Needs Firearm Training

Last is included firearms training, and you see that I have emphasized you should carry a firearm only if you are legally allowed to do so. I have worked throughout the world over a span of more than 30 years, always complying with the host country’s regulations, and I can count on one hand the countries that allowed me to legally carry a firearm.

Does that mean that I provided protection in high-risk areas or countries without a firearm? YES! As a Protector I have worked in Mexico and in that country possession of even one round of ammunition can carry a very stiff criminal penalty and I for one am not going to sit in a Mexican jail. During my time in Mexico  I have never lost a protectee nor has harm come to him or her.

If you are going to carry a firearm on a protective assignment then have the proper training and, more importantly, the proper licenses and permits. How many times have you seen a news report where the  personal bodyguard of a celebrity has been arrested for illegally carrying a firearm outside of his permitted jurisdiction?

How many times have you heard something along the lines of, “Well I have a permit in California so…”The answer from law enforcement as the bodyguard is incarcerated and the client is embarrassed is more or less, “Well you are not licensed here in New York!”.

In addition to your “Toolbox”, I encourage you to utilize the following seven rules. Take a moment to reflect on how they may affect the chances of survival for you and your protectee, and how this affects your status as a Protector.

THE SEVEN RULES OF A PROTECTOR

1. ASSUME NOTHING, QUESTION EVERYTHING

2. STAY WITH THE PRINCIPAL

3. CONTINUALLY SCAN YOUR AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY

4. ALWAYS HAVE A PLAN OF ACTION

5. PROJECT A FIRM POSITIVE IMAGE

6. YOU MUST PROTECT YOURSELF BEFORE YOU CAN PROTECT THE PRINCIPAL

7. MAINTAIN A SURVIVAL STATE OF MIND, COMPLACENCY AND BOREDOM ARE KILLERS!

This article was written by Corwin K Nobel

Bodyguard

Corwin K Noble

 

So let’s connect soon!

Warmest Regards

Founder of Bodyguard Careers

Harlan (Hucky) Austin

Executive Protection Schools

The Truth About Executive Protection Schools

Executive Protection SchoolsTraining

Executive Protection School

What you should know about executive protection schools. Several years ago I was on a layover at Midway Airport when I noticed a professionally dressed woman looking in my direction wearing an expression that I quickly recognized as one of familiarity.

You know the look that someone gives you right before the index finger begins to wag and that age old line rolls off the tongue, “Hey, don’t I know you from someplace?”

The interesting thing was that she wasn’t so much looking at me as she was looking at my black portfolio with the bright red embossed emblem which read, “SPI” for, Southern Police Institute.

That black portfolio and the Kentucky Colonel plaque that hangs in my office are the membership cards that tie me into an elite group of law enforcement professionals with whom I share a common experience and a common set of credentials.

In law enforcement circles there are only a few command schools that really matter, The FBI Academy, Northwestern Command School, and the Southern Police Institute.  If you have attended one of those three schools you have met the first several key requirements for any command level police chief job you might be pursuing.

Essential Ingredients When Selecting an Executive Protection School

Much talk has been made of two essential ingredients for success in the professional world these days.  The two new buzz words are “Branding” and “Networking.”  If you want to get the job or the contract its all about your brand and your network, few other things matter as much.

As it is in the world of law enforcement, there are certain executive protection schools that will set you apart from the competition and effectively “Brand” you as a serious contender for desirable work and that will expand your “Network” so that you are not alone in marketing yourself.

At the conclusion of this article we will show you how to make an informed decision about which executive protection school you will attend.  But first, lets talk a little bit about what’s out there and how to avoid some of the predatory marketing practices of schools that will leave you broke, ignorant, and empty handed, when its time to produce some credentials.

If you want to be certified in CPR go take a Red Cross course and they will certify you.  If you want to be certified to teach a firearms course the NRA can fix you up.  But if you want to be a certified executive protection specialist there is no such certification available.

A school can give you a certification that says you passed their course, but that certification is not universally recognized as a qualifier to perform EP services.  Any executive protection school that promises they will certify you as an EP specialist without carefully explaining that their certificate does not meet any legal standard for qualification is trying to take advantage of you.

Because there is no legal requirement of certification for EP services, there is no true need for any executive protection school to offer certification other than as a document to indicate you passed their course.

Make Sure you Look at Reputable Executive Protection Schools

However, it is important to note that some reputable executive protection schools are accredited by the state which they operate, and many schools will teach you legal requirements for use of force and use of firearms.

You also want to be on the lookout for schools that promise you work upon completion of their course.  Let’s face it, the job market is tough out there and getting EP work is just as competitive as ever.

Attending a reputable executive protection school can open doors for you but no one can promise you work just because you completed their course.  A good and reputable school will tell you this up front.

Most potential clients will want to know that you have been trained.  Anyone who is not interested in knowing whether or not you have been trained is probably only looking for a couple of knuckle dragging goons to knock people aside or to look impressive.

There is a substantial amount of liability involved in hiring untrained bodyguards.

Some celebrities have paid out large sums of money for having friends or relatives serve as protection only to have them respond inappropriately in critical situation and cause harm to citizens.  A well trained bodyguard is well worth their wages and will protect the client physically and religiously.

When you are looking for a reputable executive protection school look for one that is run by individuals who themselves have stellar credentials and years of experience in the business. There are several important factors to consider when selecting an executive protection school:

•    Location
•    Price
•    Coursework
•    Reputation

LOCATION: Fortunately, some reputable executive protection schools now offer online courses.  This is important because often traveling to another state to receive training can become cost prohibitive.

However, if possible it is best to attend a local executive protection school because more than likely your first jobs will not be long-term assignments traveling the world with a Rock Star or Rapper, living in hotels!

Bodyguard Overload

Newbie

You will likely find yourself on short-term assignments working a small venue for a political client for one night or working as a stand-in for someone who is unavailable for an executive that needs to get  safely to the airport.

A security company may want to hire you to do access control at the building entrance of a major corporation at first, or you may be asked to volunteer with a small team to protect the family of a CEO at a fundraising event.

Earlier I mentioned the importance of networking. Attending a local school where you are face to face with other EP professionals and the instructors affords one the optimal opportunity to network.

If you take an online course you miss the opportunity to interact personally with others.
PRICE: Do your homework. Compare prices of different programs. Determine how many hours of training you will receive for the fees you are expected to pay.

Don’t fall for those ads that promise you a new career for $1500 and 30 hours of coursework. The promise of a job upon completion of coursework is an outright lie.

One “training program” tells people they will be a “certified executive protection specialist” upon completion of the program.  When you see ads like this ask to speak to alumni of these programs. Review the refund policy. Visit other websites and read blogs or boards to read what working professionals in the business have to say.

COURSEWORK:
Again, compare the coursework of the various schools. 15 hours of coursework does NOT train you to be an EPS.  It takes months of hard work and study to become a police officer and even more hard work, study, and years of experience to become a police executive.  The same can be said for becoming a firefighter, an EMT, a paramedic.

Executive Portection Schools coursework

Military personnel and other professionals also go through extensive training before taking an active role in their field.  Even these professionals with all their training and experience will find it difficult to obtain work as an EPS.

A handful of classes with Acme Bodyguards School will not make you a “Certified” EP professional. The fact is that if it sounds too good to believe it probably is too good to believe.

REPUTATION: Word of Mouth in this line of business is important. While it’s true that not every individual is going to be happy 100% of the time with even the best of programs, the positive comments will out number the negative comments made by the public.

You need to look at the big picture. Contact the Better Business Bureau prior to investing any money in an EPS training program. Consider contacting the schools personally via telephone and ask questions. Ask to read bios of the instructors and complete course descriptions. Read about people who have had careers you admire and learn where they trained.

In the beginning of this article I mentioned meeting a person at Midway Airport.  A uniform, a certain tattoo, or even a black portfolio can gain you recognition and identify you as one of the club.  The right executive protection school can open doors for you as well, but you have to be realistic in your expectations.

My black portfolio and the school it represents got me noticed and it gave me a platform for speaking to a stranger who had nothing more in common with me than the school we both attended.  However, it is my own experience, personality, and winsome nature that kept the door of opportunity open.

Years later, I brought that same portfolio to a job interview.  The man interviewing me was an FBI graduate.  He took one look at that portfolio, smiled, and asked me a few serious questions before the interview turned into a casual conversation about the two different command schools we attended.

Look carefully at the executive protection schools we recommend and understand that when you walk into that interview or you make your pitch to get the job, you may be taking the reputation of that school into the interview with you, so choose carefully.

This article about executive protection schools

was written by Douglas Belton

 

So let’s connect soon!

Warmest Regards

Founder of Bodyguard Careers

Harlan (Hucky) Austin

 

Close Protection: Lessons in Stalker Psychology

Close Protection

CLOSE PROTECTION SETTING THE SCENE: It is the premiere of a much-publicized movie. A large crowd of excited fans, holding autograph books and associated memorabilia has gathered on either side of the red carpet, anxiously awaiting the arrival of the stars. Media and photographers have gathered around the entrance to the theatre.

Close Protection Guard

Violence Consultant

Hans Van Beuge is leading a close protection protective detail, tasked with the safety and security of one of the stars of tonight’s event.

The security team has planned and prepared extensively as, according to Van Beuge, this is the time the client could be at greatest risk.

Finally the last stretch limousine arrives at the red carpet. After giving final instructions to the driver, Van Beuge is the first to exit the vehicle. He scans the crowd carefully and makes eye contact with advance agent Scott Agostino, who has been on site for several hours already. Agostino has been assessing the crowd as they arrive with the intensity of a lifeguard watching swimmers in the water. He gives a nod to Van Beuge who then opens the rear door of the limousine and escorts his client onto the red carpet. The walk into the theatre has been carefully choreographed. The movements between the protectee and protectors has been meticulously synchronized. It is imperative that the security team achieve a balance between maximum exposure for the celebrity and minimum security risk; a goal which they achieve with the easy grace of seasoned close protection professionals.

Van Beuge knows that from a threat management perspective, award nights and premiers have inherited weaknesses. Due to the publicity surrounding these events, any individual who has inappropriate intentions towards their clients knows exactly where they will be at a specific time. He is aware of the need to be extremely well-prepared and vigilant.

On previous such occasions, Van Beuge has had to manage stalkers attempting to make contact with his clients as well as protesters and serial pests trying to cause embarrassment or gain publicity at a celebrity’s expense. In all these instances, early identification and intervention has neutralized any potential confrontation. According to Van Beuge, the mentally disordered individuals who engage in pursuit behaviors (Van Beuge’s preferred term for “stalking”) that cause him the most concern. To counter these threats, Van Beuge relies on psychology as much as traditional security methodologies to provide effective protection.

“The greater our understanding of people who engage in pursuit behavior, the better our chances of predicting what they may do and then implementing preventative measures,” says Van Beuge.

Rise in Celebrity Stalking and Media Exposure Increases Need for Close Protection

According to Van Beuge, there are far more cases of celebrity stalking than are reported in the media. Many cases go unreported to law-enforcement agencies. Most famous public figures don’t want the publicity associated with these cases. Instead, they rely on private sector specialists qualified to manage their close protection deal in a more subtle manner.

Van Beuge says he believes there are bio psychological factors associated with stalking behaviors, and that there has been a massive increase in celebrity stalking over the past 30 years.

He cites research in the United State that claims over 30% of the population is affected by what can be called a Celebrity Worship Syndrome to some degree, or CWS has been described as “an obsessive-addictive disorder where an individual becomes overly involved and interested (i.e., completely obsessed) with the details of the personal life of a celebrity. Any person who is “in the public eye” can be the object of a person’s obsession (e.g., authors, politicians, journalists), but research and criminal prosecutions suggest they are more likely to be someone from the world of television, film and/or pop music.” (Mark D. Griffiths, Ph.D., Psychology Today)

For most people it is just a fascination with the lives of the rich and famous. They follow the news of celebrities in the media for entertainment or social reasons. However, in its most intense form, celebrity worship syndrome can affect about 1% of people who develop borderline pathological conditions.

Van Beuge says that the media has played a major role in the increase of celebrity stalking. Imagine what it’s like for those people who have difficulty separating reality from fantasy, having a celebrity seemingly talking directly to them out of a television set in their own home. Television creates a feeling of intimacy for some people. Look at the large number of interview and gossip shows and the huge range of magazines that are devoted to celebrities and their lifestyles. People are likely to know more about their favorite celebrity then they do about their next-door neighbor.

John Ellery, one of Australia’s leading Hostile Environment Specialists and a former SAS Counter-Terrorist soldier, agrees on the value of Van Beuge’s study of psychology as an aid to understanding violent behavior.

According to Van Buege’s research, unwanted pursuit behavior is the result of a mental illness. Someone who is mentally ill may develop delusions related to anything that is within their environment. Television brings celebrities and their private lives into that environment. Combine this with a general increase in mental illness and a decrease in effective treatment for the mentally ill, and you have a situation that gets worse by the day for famous individuals, who are becoming increasingly dependent on close personal protection.

Close Protection Check List: Factors in Determining and Deterring Pursuer Behavior

Van Beuge believes the two most important factors in determining whether a celebrity unwittingly draws a stalker are: How many people know about the celebrity (how famous is he/she?) and secondly, how approachable does the celebrity appear to be?

Celebrities who are perceived as nice, friendly, approachable and non-threatening are likely to have more problems. The disordered pursuers who seek relationships with celebrities are drawn to those who seem less likely to reject them.

Van Beuge cites six types of situations where unwanted pursuit behavior may occur:

  1. An individual can be deluded in the belief that another is in love with him or her, despite evidence to the contrary (erotomania)
  2. An individual is strongly attracted to another and pursues him or her to gain attention (love obsessional)
  3. An estranged spouse or lover refuses to be rejected (rejection- based)
  4. A current spouse or lover has delusions of jealousy with respect to his or her partner
  5. Individuals in business or social relationships seek revenge for a perceived wrong (revenge-based)
  6. A serial sex offender or murderer stalking a potential victim as part of his planning process (sociopathic-based).

The Erotomaniac Stalker

According to Van Beuge, the erotomaniac stalker is the one most likely to pursue a celebrity or famous person. In their delusional state they believe that the victim is in love with them. The Erotomaniac receives what is clinically known as ego-syntonic messages from the victim. They believe they are getting personal communications directly from the celebrity when they sing a song or appear on screen.

Celebrities often receive a huge amount of fan mail and some of it comes from these types of pursuers. Van Beuge explains that while receiving threatening or inappropriate communications can be very distressing for a celebrity, only about 10% of pursuers who send inappropriate material will actually attempt an encounter with their victim. However, of those who attempt a face-to-face encounter, approximately 70% have previously written or phoned the celebrity before-hand.

Van Beuge points out that this is good news, because these individuals usually give advance notice that they are going to be a problem. So the first line of defense for the close personal protection detail is in monitoring all unsolicited mail, phone calls, e-mails, cards and gifts that are received by the client. It is crucial to identify, investigate and assess these items. There are about 40 factors that are “red flags” in communications, things considered to pre-cursors of behavior that may be dangerous to the client’s well-being.

Van Beuge explains that he reviews about 300 items a month for his clients. When there is a concern, they investigate the individual who sent the item. On a positive note, he says research shows that people who send threatening letters to a celebrity are statistically no more likely to try and approach them than those who write them love letters. It’s important to remember that behavior that is based on fantasy is very likely to escalate, so it is foolhardy as a close personal protection operative to assume that only a letter that sounds threatening should be reported to the authorities. The love letters could be problematic too—possibly more so.

Observation & Restraint Key in Close Protection

How a stalking or unwanted pursuing incident is case-managed can also impact on its level of severity. Van Beuge recommends treading very lightly at the start. He always tightens the physical protection of the client but usually investigates the pursuer in a surreptitious manner, working towards containment rather than confrontation. Confrontation, according to Van Beuge, can often incite more extreme behavior. Seeking restraining orders or reporting the activities of a stalker to authorities may escalate the risk for the victim. These courses of action can be perceived by the mentally ill stalker as a challenge which can increase their anger.

Police and Close Protection Officers

Prime Minister Julia Gillard

The goal is not about achieving a conviction for the pursuer, it’s about achieving a safe conclusion for the client. The two are often not compatible. Only a very small number of stalking cases end in violence. Stalkers usually don’t want to hurt the person they are pursuing–they want to form an attachment. According to Van Buege, it manifests as a methodical, ongoing intrusiveness, and he just keeps reading the letters and monitoring their movements. It can go on for many years, but as long as the behavior isn’t dangerous to the client, he is satisfied his team is providing appropriate close personal protection.

When violence occurs, it is usually because the pursuer realizes that their fantasy is not going to happen, resulting in cases where there may be either an explosion or implosion of violence, such as homicide or suicide.

In the course of his work as a close personal protection specialist, Van Beuge has dealt with several cases where pursuers have become suicidal. In these instances, he has liaised closely with psychotherapists and other mental health professionals, and if possible, the pursuers family, to achieve a safe solution for the offender.

The bottom line is that these individuals should never be allowed direct contact with the client, according to Van Beuge. He urges everyone in the close protection field to research and explore psychology. He believes that in order to effectively protect your client, you need to be an acute observer of human behavior. “You will never work out the solution to a problem if you don’t understand it in the first place,” he cautions.

BACK AT THE PREMIERE: Van Beuge escorts his client out of the theatre fifteen minutes before the conclusion of the event.

The publicity requirements having been satisfied at the start of the evening, Van Beuge now utilizes the anonymity of the darkness and the emergency exit to take his client to the repositioned limousine. Van Beuge and his client travel away from the theatre before the house lights have come on.

Agostino has advanced the after-party and is waiting with venue security to meet them at the rear door of the crowded nightclub. In this tightly packed environment, they will balance the client’s need to enjoy the party whilst maintaining privacy.

By the time the party is over, Van Beuge will have completed a 21-hour shift. This is the life of a close protection specialist. In four hours, he will escort his client to the film set, where he will spend another day managing his client’s safety, assessing fan mail, liaising with studio security and film safety officers and pre-planning his clients after work activities.

This article was written by John Bigelow

 

 

 

Executive Protection Specialist Is A Crucial Business. Learn Why!

Working as an Executive Protection Specialist

Working as an Executive Protection Specialist will lead you to be placed in various locations and assignments as well as being exposed to various clients.  Some clients will treat you with the utmost respect and dignity and will listen to your direction and insight, while others will talk down to you and treat you as an object they own and control. The unfortunate reality is that many clients fall into the later category.  With this said, remember that regardless of this unfortunate treatment you have to rise above the situation and always act in a professional manner.  If your feelings become hurt easily then this is not the job for you!Working as an Executive Protection Specialist

Recently, one of my associates contacted me and wanted to share with me a situation that he had recently dealt with while on the road.  My associate had been hired to protect an entertainer that is an up and coming rap artist.  After a recent show the rapper, his posse, and countless guests were partying in a small private space at a nightclub.  While the party was in full force, the local fire marshal came to the club and met with my friend.  The fire marshal explained to my friend that if anyone else came into the private space that he would start to issue citations and “shut the place down.”

Types of Executive Protection Clients

My friend advised the fire marshal that he would comply and not allow anyone else to enter the room.  Keeping true to his word, my associate was diligent in his task and ensured that no additional guests entered the party.  About 45 minutes after meeting with the fire marshal, my associate was summoned to go speak with the “rapper.” When he arrived, the “rapper” began using loud and obscene language which was then followed by the threat to fire my associate for not letting “his people” into the party.

The moral of this story (which goes hand in hand with this post on particular clients) is to always ensure that you are comfortable working for those you are protecting, be confident that this is “the right fit” for you  when it comes to Executive Protection operations.  Many individuals entering into this field believe that they have to take the first job that is offered to them; however, this is the wrong attitude to have. Working a protection detail, in many cases, is similar to marriage. In short, in a marriage both parties must learn to respect one another and must understand the others’ needs and concerns.

If one member of the relationship fails to follows these guidelines, that marriage is doomed to fail. The same holds true when working with a client.  I have known numerous cases where an executive protection specialist has “pissed” off the client for what ever reason and was terminated from employment. The executive protection specialist then faces what is labeled “blackballed” by the client who will pass on partly true and false information about the executive protection specialist , thus causing him or her a hard time in finding employment within the industry.

Think about this for a minute…before you are going to be hired by that musical pop-star or owner of a fortune 500 company to provide EP services for them, these individuals, their record labels or private investigators are in many cases going to put you thru the ringers by conducting a background check, financial check, and then will speak to references that include former co-workers, family, and friends.

So my question to you is this, why would you not look into the background of these individuals prior to accepting employment with them? Be leery and always check on who and what the individual(s) you are going to protect are about. Practice your due diligence, find out what others can tell you about a specific client, and join some of the executive protection based forums offered out there. Remember in the end, the final choice is yours and yours alone, but an educated individual who takes the time to learn about the client he or she is working for will have a much better chance to increase their longevity within the EP game.

Remember: As an executive protection specialist you are not only protecting a client but you are also protecting yourself.  As a mentor to those entering this field I applaud you to heed to what I have shared with you in this post. I want you to be successful in this career if this is the path that you wish to follow. As someone who has had the opportunity to travel these roads alone and in many cases has had to find things out the hard way I want you to know both the positive and the negative sides of this business and how cut throat clients can sometimes be.

This article was written by Nathan Seabrook

Female Bodyguards Now In High Demand

Shortage of Female Bodyguards 

David Cameron, Tony Blair, Kate Middleton, Chinese billionaire Xiao Jianhua, and the late Libyan revolutionary Muammar Gaddafi all have one thing in common. It’s not their influence on politics and business within their respective countries. Each of these political and financial leaders was protected by female bodyguards.

All too often, a stereotypical image of a bodyguard permeates the media and social conversation. The ideal bodyguard is almost always described or portrayed as a man who’s 6’5”, weighs 300 pounds, and is clad in all-black. The average person’s idea of a bodyguard matches the kind of tough guys you’ll find working as bouncers at your local nightclub. But these days, the most in-demand bodyguards look like Polly Wilton.

Wilton is a 35-year-old mom of one who might look like any other suburban mother in plainclothes. But when she’s on the clock, she’s a powerful operative. She spent years working for the Royal Military Police and the British Army, and she’s been tasked with protecting some of the latter’s most high-ranking officials. She’s proof that female bodyguards are just as capable of doing the job as anyone else. Or, today’s “typical” bodyguard might look like the women in Edemm, a Spain-based group of female bodyguards who protect survivors of domestic violence and abuse.

Female bodyguards have a place in the Executive Protection industry; they’re not on the job for us to ogle or drool over, as one ill-advised Medium article suggested. The demand for female bodyguards is increasing rapidly for several reasons.

Why leaders and celebs are choosing female bodyguards

The most immediate difference between male and female bodyguards is their size. There’s an assumption that the only way to provide adequate protection is with bulk. However, there are plenty of women proving this isn’t the case.

In an interview with The Independent, commercial bodyguard Lisa Baldwin explained why women are more suited for this line of work.

“Nine times out of ten, the people I work for want someone who can blend in,” she told the publication. “They don’t want obvious security, like the kind used by Madonna or Britney Spears. Those bodyguards, the big guys, actually draw attention to the clients and put them at more stress and risk.”

Baldwin touches on one of three main reasons female bodyguards are in high demand.

  • Blending in: Female bodyguards can easily assume the role of nanny, family member, tutor, or any role which would require someone to travel with a family or celebrity. Though they’re no less qualified, they’re unassuming. In the event of a threat, they can spring into action and catch an assailant off guard.
  • Comfort: Many situations require bodyguards to have physical contact with women, for procedures like searches or pat-downs. Female bodyguards ensure this process is comfortable and respectful for all parties involved.
  • Conflict resolution: Women are more skilled at handling conflict. They can read body language more accurately, quickly diffuse an intense situation, and focus on the needs of the person posing a threat. In a dangerous situation, a level head is mandatory for the best outcome.

For those who think female bodyguards don’t work as hard or might not be expected to do as much in the field, think again. The standards are even higher. Women in Executive Protection are expected to master 1-2 foreign languages, in addition to their native tongue, and they must secure certifications in skilled activities like scuba diving and skiing. They must be prepared for every scenario. Wilton works out every day of the week to stay in shape, alternating between yoga, running, weight lifting, and cycling.

Executive Portection

Jacquiee Davis

Executive Protection Not just a boys’ club

Female bodyguards are dispelling the myth that Executive Protection is exclusively a boys’ club. The best protection is about brains over brawn. Sheer size isn’t enough to stop a dangerous situation from becoming worse. True protection requires agile thinking, effective decision making, and many other soft skills.

So, how can women break into the industry? A series of programs and institutions have pulled together curricula that focuses specifically on the needs of women in Executive Protection. For example, the Athena Academy offers a slew of courses covering everything from child protection and urban awareness to crisis management and tactical firearms. At one point, it was tough for women to break into the business. But now, there are plenty of resources tailored to women’s needs.

In recent years, the Executive Protection industry has shifted and changed at record speed. In her interview with The Independent, Baldwin suggested women were now the highest paid operatives. The business is ripe with opportunities for female bodyguards. It just takes the proper training and dedication to get started. This is a lucrative career that promises opportunities both at home and abroad. Women are more than welcome in this security industry—they’re necessary for its success.

There are many and varied opportunities in the protection industry, it would be my pleasure to assist you in finding the best possible fit as you make your way into the world of executive protection.

 

So let’s connect soon!

Warmest Regards

Founder of Bodyguard Careers

Harlan (Hucky) Austin