Going on your first overseas bodyguard assignment, everyone asks themselves “How well will I do?” The following will assist advance team and protective team members to gain an edge when going on a foreign assignment for the first time.
The serious bodyguard studies his or her area of operation (AO) like other people read fiction novels or Hollywood gossip magazines. Obviously, the internet is the most immediate method of finding out about your overseas bodyguard AO. Don’t take the easy road and read only the glossy travel sections, tourist news or politically sanitized data about the country.
Dig deeper to create a general profile of the country for yourself. Find out about the crime, the red-light districts, the slums, political and police corruption, the traffic death rates and specific natural disasters that may occur. This is your initial education about the area. It provides a warning, gives you the preliminary on the ground guidelines to follow and should be heeded.
Start studying the road maps from your entry airport to the client’s hotel before you leave, once in country purchase an up to date map, but for now study the one’s available to you. Look for details of safe havens (embassy, hospitals, police stations, nearby alternate hotels, etc.).
Get your passport and visa squared away as soon as possible as well as your hotel booking and secure transportation. Pack as light as possible you should take only the basic necessities, be ready to live a life out of a suitcase for weeks at a time.
Serious bodyguards on their first out of the country assignments need to achieve extreme levels of performance. If you are the advance man or woman arrive at your foreign destination in an early and orderly manner. Meet up with your security driver at the airport and establish your lodgment.
Your days should be well organized, advance work planned and objectives clearly set. You are building a track record for yourself and your track record is your testifying data of performance and will secure you more assignments in the future. So be well organized and hardworking.
While performing your normal bodyguard advance duties like you would conduct back home (analyzing routes, assessing venues, hotels, safe havens, medical facilities, airports, etc.), make sure you remain low key, and conduct your advance work under a cloak of anonymity. Drawing attention to yourself working while in a foreign locale is considered a serious violation and should be avoided in this line of work.
When out and about conducting your advance work get a solid feel and a better flavor of the city. Randomly run the routes and visit the venues at various times get a feel for the city, its layout, traffic patterns and its rhythm. Making sure you avoid all potential occupational hazards.
When actually performing your bodyguard duties, dress and act like a respectable businessman or businesswoman carry yourself as a professional. Be well disciplined and professional in every sense of the word. Real overseas bodyguard assignments bore no resemblance to what the Hollywood version looks like. Keep your profile as low as possible and maintain your vigilance in the event that something unexpected happens. 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. To learn how to make a full time living as a corporate bodyguard visit the websites below for more information.