|(This series of postings courtesy of K. Fitzgibbons)|
PROTECTIVE SERVICES 'SPECIFIC' TRAINING : Firstly be advised that just because you're a current or former : SEAL ; DELTA ; LEO ; Black Belt/Ninja ; Trained Shooter ; or Sniper... it does not mean you are qualified to do THIS job.
Keep the following in mind:
- just because you can storm a beach doesn't make you an expert in protective services
- just because you can kill a terrorist doesn't mean can prevent your client from being killed
- just because you can Protect & Serve a community doesn't mean you know how protect a single client
- just because you can protect yourself doesn't mean you can protect someone else
- and just because you can shoot someone doesn't mean you can prevent someone from shooting your client.
Don’t get me wrong, some of the best operators in this field are from the above mentioned groups... but not because they are SEALS, DELTA, LEO's, MA's etc... but because they are SEALS, DELTA, LEO's, MA's, with Protective Services "Specific" training and experience.
With that said, the #1 requirement in the field of Executive Protection is training. You have to know how to do the job to be successful at it.
Continual training is the key - for your personal education and building your network. Any training is a plus, and the more you have the better off you will be.
There are so many ex-LEO’s, ex-Military and ex-Government Agents who get into Executive Protection, that it is necessary for their private sector counter-parts to have at least similar (if not superior) training to compete.
It is important to mention here that the more training you have, the more likely you will be able to work into better positions. It is up to you to show initiative and start the process.
While some will, most companies are not going to train you to do this job. Why should they, there are so many people with relevant training who are willing to do the job. You must level the playing field. You must seek out quality training and often.
While we are on the subject of training. There are three types of private sector training in the Protective Services field: Big-name ; Lesser-name ; and Bad. Plain and simple.
You have the “Big Schools”, who’s names are well known and respected in the industry. If you have no practical work experience or training, then you should probably go through one of these to get the needed credibility on your resume and to begin your network.
Then you have the "Lesser-names", who don’t have the same name brand recognition as the “Big Names”, but they offer a comparable (some times better) training experience for the money. If you are looking to keep your skills fresh, need to network, or don’t have the wherewithal or desire to spend money on the “Big schools”, then this may be the way to go.
Then, sadly, we have the “Bad”. The reality is that we have far more “Bad” training than anything else in this business. And for someone who doesn’t know any better it’s very difficult to tell who the players are with out a playbook.
My recommendation is get references from prospective schools and training institutes... for example, who have they trained, and what are their numbers.
Get references from those in the industry... get their feedback. Do your homework or you will get burned.
If you are serious you will want to get at least one of the big EP schools under your belt, one of the big Driving schools under your belt, and supplement them with as many of smaller” quality” schools as you can muster.
Keep in mind that training should never stop, and you should dedicate yourself to this concept early on. This will build your resume, keep your skills fresh and develop your network.
Keep in mind that there are thousands of prospective Protection Agents who go through various training programs around the world every year. Yet only a handful of these people will be successful in making the transition into this field.
Why is that? Because they’re simply aren’t enough jobs out there to meet the demand.
Also, because most training programs don’t want to ruin the illusion of “The Bodyguard” mythology. To tell you that you may not make it in this business is counter-productive to their financial “bottom line”.
For more frank and honest insight see the next posting in this series : IMAGE PROJECTION.