How to Observe & Avoid Threats against the Principal

Executive SurveillanceBy Doc Rogers

The most successful bodyguards keep their principals away from any known or possible threats through avoidance, staying alert at all times and being aware of their environment.  Threat prevention methods against your principal place a significant importance on observation skills; keeping a constant state of vigilance, noticing suspicious actions of others, anticipating and avoiding possible danger at long, medium and short range.

Executive Surveillance

Executive surveillance is a term used to describe a specially planned, organized and goal-oriented activity to detect the absence or presence of potential threats in your general area. The difference between executive surveillance and ordinary protective observation is that surveillance follows an objective for keeping your principal safe through a detailed observation plan that follows a precise method. The disciplines for executive surveillance described below are for bodyguards working solo or on a team. The development of disciplines for executive surveillance is an easy skill to acquire and should become an essential part of your “radar and warning device” to avoid threats before they have a change to occur. These techniques are novel, and executive protection specialists and corporate executives should absorb their safety merits for threat avoidance. 

Categorizing the Severity of the Threat

The process is about categorizing the severity of threats in the area to determine a response. This includes: 1) Watching for people loitering in the area, 2) Obtain ongoing assessment of information in the area; this information provides an immediate threat feedback loop, 3) Keeping aware of people watching you and your principal, 4) Being keenly aware of groups of three or more persons on “triangulation surveillance” (surveillance from three or more location viewpoints relative to your location utilizing three or more surveyors), 5) Avoiding strangers getting too close to your principal, 6) Avoiding vehicles getting too close to your location while on foot (one car distance away is considered too close),  7) Seeing if there are any trends or patterns occurring in the area, 8) Formulating an immediate response plan for certain situations in advance, 9) Preparing to retreat to a prearranged safe haven and 10) Arriving at the designated location in a safe and controlled manner.

Executive Surveillance Techniques

Bodyguards should use the following threat prevention surveillance techniques; start purposefully observing the immediate area in a systematic manner. Before you can accurately assess when someone is a potential threat, you need to have a recognized standard of what is considered safe and normal. Observe what the normal behavior is for the people and activities within the area. After you know what is normal, look for people who are demonstrating wrong behavior. 

Close Distance

Begin with the areas closest to your principal, keeping your awareness focused 360 degrees. Close risks represent the highest threat and give you less reaction time. Your executive surveillance should be within arm’s reach up to 20 feet away. Assess the area. Don’t just take a casual look around; make a mental list of everything you see. Don’t simply skim over the area. Be protective of the immediate area around you. If an individual suddenly enters your immediate (intimate) zone, react instantaneously. Here are distances you should gage:

Individual Distances

This does not apply to all culture-specific or country-specific locations and is used for executive orientation only:

Intimate Distance

The intimate distance is from 0 inches to 18 inches. This is a private zone for lovers, close friends and children holding on to their parents.

Personal Distance

The personal distance is from 1.5 feet to 4 feet. This is a comfortable zone for talking at a party. The individual is kept at arms’ length.

Social Distance

The social distance is from 4 feet to 5 feet. You are most likely to transact interpersonal business – talking to a client within this zone.

Moderate Distance

After the immediate areas have been checked, it’s time to move your executive surveillance to a moderate distance. Moderate risks represent the second highest threat to an executive as they give you only a moderate reaction time. Keep your awareness focused 360 degrees. Your executive surveillance should be within 20 feet to half a city block away.

Far Distance

After the moderate areas have been checked, you should start scrutinizing far distance surveillance. Far distance risks give you more time to develop a plan of action. Again, keep your awareness focused 360 degrees. Your awareness should be within half a city block to a full block away or further.

Repeat the Surveillance Cycle

After each distance has been observed you should monitor each area for potential risks with overlapping intervals of close, moderate and far awareness. You should make a mental note of any changes to any areas of interest and immediately place them under suspicion and alert the rest of the team. Keep safe and God speed.

About Doc Rogers: He is the author of best seller Corporate Executive Protection – A Manual for Inspiring Corporate Bodyguards and the newly released eBook entitled How to Build Your Own Executive Protection Business.  Doc is president and CEO of International Corporate Executive Protection Ltd., has earned a Ph.D. in Security Administration from Southwest University, is a Certified Protection Specialist from Executive Security International, a decorated former veteran police officer and is SE Asia’s leading expert on executive protection and corporate security.



How To Break Into The Executive Protection Industry

Executive ProtectionExecutive Protection


Breaking in the executive protection industry can be difficult and challenging. Fresh graduates from executive protection academies believe all they need is an executive protection diploma to become successful in the industry. Landing contracts and obtaining work in the executive protection business is a skill. This article is going to show you the techniques you need to land contracts and get hired in the executive protection trade.


Selecting a career in the executive protection industry is exciting. However, fresh out of the academy rookies have the perception that the job provides glamour, recognition and fortune and bodyguards live an electrifying, fashionable and jet set lifestyles. In reality the industry involves a lot of hard work, dedication, time-critical decisions and long hours. Rest assured there is plenty of work in this industry if you have the determination, commitment and are prepared to put in the focused efforts required.


In order to succeed in the industry you need to know how it functions and how and where to find executive protection contracts and employment opportunities. The majority of executive protection contracts are short assignments of one to two weeks duration. Permanent executive protection positions are difficult to obtain, but not impossible. This is because executive protection personnel who have permanent positions don’t give them up easily. Most of the contracts within the industry are based on being a vendor or sub-contractor for executive protection firms as well as corporate executive protection units (EPUs). Although the executive protection industry is global in nature, it’s still relatively small. Networking, word of mouth, reputation and credibility are heavily relied upon to get assignments. To get onboard as a vendor with executive protection companies and corporate EPUs you must fit the profile of a professionally trained, discreet, team player.


You have to be well-organized and pay attention to detail. As a bodyguard you must be able to give orders and follow orders, work long and irregular hours without complaining and be able to provide top-notch, internationally accepted bodyguard techniques. This means performing your protective duties discreetly, adroitly and with complete assurance.


On some assignments your position on the team may vary. One week you may be on the close protection team, the next week you may be on the principal’s baggage security team riding in fright elevators and in luggage deliver trucks. After that you may be assigned on the halls and walls detail guarding a hotel suite while the principal sleeps. Remember you are being tested on all aspects of the bodyguard trade when you first begin. Do not complain about any position. Gladly accept all positions and learn every facet of the job, because your professional behavior is also being tested at this stage of your career.


The most popular way of entering the executive protection industry is by starting out as a halls and walls agent and to advance from there. If you take the halls and walls position seriously and act professional you may find yourself on the close protection team guarding the principal sooner than you expected. However, close protection positions are attainable typically on the basis of executive protection experience, training and qualifications. This is why you must be continuously developing your executive protection skill levels. Training is your fast track up the executive protection ladder and will propel you to where you want to be. You need to take a long-term interest in your executive protection career development. Keep Safe & God Speed.

Doc Rogers







Bodyguards to Protect Lindsey Vonn

Bodyguards to Protect Vonn

Bodyguards to Protect Vonn

Bodyguards to Protect Lindsey Vonn

Associated Press |

With attention on her personal life intensifying, Lindsey Vonn will be surrounded by bodyguards at the Alpine skiing world championships. An average of 30,000 fans per race are expected in this small Alpine village during the 13-day championships, which start Tuesday with the women’s super-G and end Feb. 17.

”There’s going to be an incredible amount of people here in Schladming, and it’s a very small space,” Vonn said Sunday at a news conference arranged by the U.S. team.

She said Red Bull, her sponsor, has hired bodyguards ”to make sure I can get in and out and not have any difficulty, but I don’t expect there to be any problems. But it’s better to be safe than sorry.” Vonn’s divorce from her husband of more than four years, Thomas, was completed last month.

There has been online chatter about an alleged relationship between Vonn and Tiger Woods. She was asked by a local TV reporter whether the golfer would be coming to watch her ski. ”Oh, my god! I don’t know,” Vonn replied. ”You should ask him.” The reporter than asked again, ”in the name of Schladming.” ”I have no idea. I have no idea,” Vonn said, repeating herself with a big smile and giggles.

Vonn recently left the circuit for nearly a month to recover from an intestinal illness. She has won two races since she returned last month. ”I actually don’t know what’s going on in the U.S. as far as media pertaining to these world championships,” Vonn said. ”I haven’t really been going online very much. I’ve just been focusing on preparing for world championships.”


Bodyguards Do You Know The Art And Science Of The Trade?


Bodyguards Working

Bodyguards Do You Know The Art And Science Of The Trade?

By Doc Rogers

As bodyguards we work with clients to create a safer and more comfortable lifestyle, which can be a complicated task at times.  It looks simple on paper. Meet client at airport, transport client to hotel, deliver client to first meeting, etc.  But there are a lot of variables involved. 

Each operational area is different and each client has a different temperament.  To make things simpler, it’s best to use a mixture of art and science. To be able work the art and science of bodyguarding you must have the science down pat.  This includes a full knowledge of the trade, familiarity of arrival and departure procedures, knowing your operational area inside and out, as well as the strengths and capabilities of your support personnel.

Here are just a few examples of using the art of bodyguarding.  When on solo-bodyguard assignments use ‘force multipliers’ such as trusted airport meet and greet personnel who escort clients within the tightly controlled airside areas of the airport (customs and passport) directly to your location. It may be difficult for your client to get from airside to the passenger arrival area alone.

Your client may be tired from the flight and you don’t want him or her standing in long lines. Utilize the same procedure upon departure; express security screening, check-in, escorts through passport control and priority boarding gate or lounge.  Also you can setup and provide vetted dedicated baggage handlers at the hotel and airport. 

Your security driver should be under strict SOP (standard operational procedures) to arrive one hour early each day.  To have a cooler filled with clean ice and assorted beverages (bottled water, Coke, Diet Coke and 7-UP) obtained from the hotel concierge desk and placed in the client vehicle. These step-up-step procedures should be provided during the advance phase.

These simple combinations of features make your bodyguard service more effective by knowing who will be within close proximity to your client ahead of time and knowing they will follow an exact set of rules and procedures while performing their support services.  This relieves your mind so you can concentrate and devote your full attention to providing the best bodyguard services possible. 

When you work with other successful bodyguards who have mastered the art and science of the trade it’s because of all the things he or she has done day-after-day has added up to produce that level of success.

Remember, no one is forcing you to do anything. It takes time and considerable effort to setup airport facilitation arrangements and coordinating airport security requirements, etc.  But to perfect the art you need well-defined goals and effectively pursue them.  Knowing it is one thing. Acting on it is something else.

The bodyguard industry survives on utilizing a combination of art and science. Those bodyguards who only provide the science will be struggling and same goes for those who only provide the art.  With the art of bodyguarding it’s important to experiment and try new things.

Learn to utilize the art of being resourceful as well as keeping true to your bodyguard SOPs; blending your bodyguard skills and personal attention you provide to the principal. Don’t be limited in your thinking as it will ultimately benefit your career. Execute your plan. Keep safe and God speed.

Doc Rogers is the author of Corporate Executive Protection – A Manual for Inspiring Corporate Bodyguards and president and CEO of International Corporate Executive Protection Ltd. Doc has earned a Ph.D. in Security Administration from Southwest University and he is SE Asia’s leading expert on executive protection and corporate security.

Bodyguard Training in Florida

Bodyguard Training

Bodyguard Training in Florida

Bodyguard Training in Florida: Interested in Bodyguard Training in Florida? The S2 Safety and Intelligence Institute has been in operation since early 1982, and in that time span the school has trained thousands of security, law enforcement and Executive Protection Specialist. Located in Florida, the S2 Institute offers a well-rounded course taught by world class trainers and instructors that approach the topics they teach with real world experience, sophistication and personal insight into many of the faucets that encompass today’s well-rounded Executive Protection Specialist. For additional information on Bodyguard Training in Florida, and the S2 Institute please call Phone: 1-727-461-0066

Things to consider before you start your Bodyguard Training in Florida:

• You should be at least 18 years old.

• Clean record.

• Mentally sound.

• Physically fit.

• Good eyesight & hearing.

• Excellent communication skills.

• Be a citizen or legal resident alien of the U.S. or have been granted authority to work in the U.S. by the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Additional information on Bodyguard Training in Florida is listed below. Licensing is overseen by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Licensing. Contact Information: Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Licensing, Box 6687, Tallahassee FL 32314 Phone 1-850-487-0482 Web Site: Check Investigator License: Handbook State Law: http://…com/3d935

Remember there is more to being a BODYGUARD than pushing people out of the way or having an weapons permit. Research and preparation aimed at identifying potential threats and contingency plans supersedes the need for big bouncer like bodyguards. Executive protection professionals receive training in skills such as defensive driving, emergency medical response and physical fitness. They know how to prepare for important events ahead of time and counter threats. And they act and dress like their protection subjects.

Overall, what’s expected is everything it takes to make the life of your client safer. Anticipating needs is a big one— being able to look at a situation and determine what can go wrong and make sure it doesn’t; or knowing how to fix a problem once it occurs.

I look forward to sharing in your success–I know you will find, as I have, that you are on a career path that is both interesting and profitable. But it all starts with your Bodyguard Training in Florida.

Harlan (Hucky) Austin