bodyguard – What You Should Know When Looking for Personal Protection

As a former personal protection operative and present business/career coach, I have had the opportunity to be on both sides of the fence, so to speak, in regards to being hired as- and hiring personal protection.

Any executive or other businessmen looking for a protection should take certain things into consideration, unknown to most people.

A. If a bodyguard is needed in a certain area, so is local knowledge. Do not fall into the trap of solely hiring someone from your own backyard, if you are going to a foreign country. Hire a local security specialist to assist your own security on site. Language, geography and culture can be vital.

B. Having a single certificate from a so-called bodyguard organization or bodyguard school does NOT make a specialist – no matter the school reputation. Background schooling, military experience (or other “hard” professions), past jobs and cognitive capacity all add to the equation. The same goes with other occupations. Former special forces is NOT spelled b.o.d.y.g.u.a.r.d., neither is police, CIA or FBI.

C. Anyone claiming to be a bodyguard should be able to arrange logistics, do a research based risk assessment, know first aid w. CPR, handle weapons and hand-to-hand combat and educate their clients on the same subjects. The list goes on, depending on clients work environment.

D. If your Protection ask for special equipment when going abroad, negotiate within reason and supply the stuff. If you are going to Iraq to negotiate a $ 2-20 mil. Contract and already spent some $ 25 000 on travel expenses, you’d feel more than stupid, suddenly lying in a bodybag because you saved $2 000 not buying an adequate scope for your protections rifle or what have you. Actually you’d just feel dead. They do not ask these things for fun. There’s no fun in carrying lots of stuff in a hostile (and extremely hot) country.

E. When you hire someone for protection, give them a contract and a reasonable salary. Within these terms lies the concept of loyalty. If you put some sort of education on as a topping, they will keep with you next time you need them. This is important as you’ll use a fair amount of time adjusting to your protections working style, and they to yours. If this is not the case, then you don’t need them!

I strongly recommend that you travel to the security company’s site and visit them. It will provide you with a clear view of the professionalism they entail. Ask about the equipment they use, as well as the training they conduct. If possible have your secretary or someone else ask around in your own company or any similar, where you know that they use bodyguards. The do’s and don’ts should be shared. It is advantageous to know which security company NOT to use.

Permits and licenses should be checked. Not only the local ones, but also the requirements for the destination. Be advised that if you work in a global enterprise with a well-branded name, you actually may be able to obtain a temporary weapon’s permit, where the security company cannot. Politics rule.

Consider taking a course in “hostage survival” or “hostile environment survival”. Hopefully you will never use the knowledge, but on the other hand; be prepared.

IF you take any of these courses, be sure that your security officer know the basics. He may never have heard of the course.

The normal travel precautions, like getting addresses for your local embassy and other friendly embassies, establishing alternate safe routes out of the country, having enough cash to bribe your way to safety and knowing the culture’s customs & holidays, should be followed.

Have a pleasant and safe journey.


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