Category Archives: Contact Front Photography

A Visual Diary of The ICON Bodyguard Training Academy

Take a moment to check out  a visual diary of students and instructors of the ICON Executive Protection Training Academy. With courses specializing in Executive Protection, Celebrity Protection & Weapons Tactics.  ICON offers real world training by instructors who do the job every day, not just teach “theory” from a text book. For more information about the training courses, including the special finance and scholarship opportunities, click HERE.

 

What’s So Different About The ICON Advanced Executive Protection Course?

 

In short, everything and nothing.  Security Driving Guru, Tony Scotti recently said to me upon reviewing first hand the ICON Celebrity & VIP Protection Course , “Why don’t you just call it the “Executive Protection Course”, as all of the fundamentals are here”.  Mr. Scotti, had  a great point, and my response was that I wanted to make sure those that attended knew that in addition to those fundamentals they were also getting something at the class that had a clear distinction from what they could find anywhere else.   –An emphasis on working with Celebrities and the challenges and rewards that come with that segment of the marketplace from people that still do the work on a daily basis.  As we like to describe it; additional tools for the toolbox.

Along those lines, when we made the decision to introduce an Advanced 10 day course, I wanted to again have a distinction in the market.  This time it came in the form of not just teaching how to do everything the “right way” but also how to act (and react) when things go wrong.  the ICON Advanced Executive Protection Course puts an emphasis on operating in a hostile environment with a client and covers a multitude of disciplines including Risk Assessments, Threat Planning, Surveillance Detection, Counteraction Drills and medical life saving techniques, with several curve balls thrown in.   Having recently wrapped a course to positive reviews, I think we are again practicing our philosophy of giving great value and respect to the time and resources expended by the attending student.  Now looking forward to Tony stopping by the next one and letting me know what he thinks.

 

Learn more about ICON’s Advance Executive Protection Course by clicking HERE.

ICON Executive ProtectionTargets Make TV Debut

…and while it was only for a split second, we at ICON Services Corporation still think it was pretty cool.

It all started when I received an email from Marshall B., an ICON Alumni who was watching the A&E show Storage Wars.  Lo’ and behold, what flashes across the screen when the participants visit a Nevada Gun Range?  Thats right, the ICON VIP Protection Targets.  The Targets, created in partnership with America’s largest distributor of paper targets, were initially designed for close protection bodyguard work, honeing the shooters skills in a variety of true-to-life scenarios.  Since then they’ve expand beyond the world of Executive Protection and have made their way into ranges across the US.  In fact, the target featured in the clip, also has the distinction of being the best selling individual target in the companies line for 2011.

This is following a string of sightings that included, a S.W.A.T member who engaged the targets in a shoot house training exercise at his department.  What made it memorable is because he knew one of the models in the shoot (the hostage, who of course, remained unharmed).  In addition several weeks ago, I received a great email with one of my colleagues overseas in Afghanistan, who mentioned that while he was training with some VERY DISTINGUISHED individuals, he was happy to see the ICON Targets in use at the range.   You can find that story HERE.

If your a fan of the show, you can catch the episode HERE.  (the targets @ 21:15 mark).  Click HERE to see the full line of the ICON VIP Protection Targets.

 

ICON Executive Protection Themed Targets

A couple years ago, I commented to the instructors of  ICON Services Corporation how during the live-fire drills of our training courses I would like to use a paper target that spoke more to our industry as Executive Protection Agents.  Prior to this, we had been using some of the fairly common full-color situational targets that law-enforcement and the military shoot for practice (some of which had to have been photographed during the Reagan-Era).  While some were pretty good, none of them seemed to give me exactly what I was looking for — the scenario where I, as an Executive Protection Agent, has to suddenly pull my firearm to defend my client (as opposed to disarming a masked robber or shooting Bin Laden as many of the targets on the market portray).  As mentioned, we tried a few… then tried a few more, but I still didn’t “love ’em”.
Then inspiration struck.  If I couldn’t find what I was looking for, then I might as well create it.  Long story short, ICON was able to partner with North America’s largest distributor of paper targets to create the ICON VIP Protection Target Line.  Shot by the wonderful photographer Kiki Koralesky of Contact Front Photography, our initial series of 6 has been well received and have been met with brisk enough sales for the manufacturer to request additional targets in the future.  As they say, necessity is the mother of invention.
Fast forward to July of 2011 where I got a note from a good friend of mine working in Afghanistan that referenced the “World being a small place“.  Turns out that while setting up some training with some other VERY distinguished Operators in that area of the world, he took a look at the paper targets they are using and guess what? –Yep, ICON.   While I do keep track though the distributor of the volume of sales, and realize that it’s not just the Close Protection community using them as orders have been place with Law Enforcement and Government Institutions, it was still nice to learn that the targets were serving their purpose in such a hostile area of the world.  The intent was to give the shooter a realistic situational target and in a region of the world where the stakes are as high as it gets, taking the time to train with the line speaks volumes.

Click here to learn more about the ICON VIP Protection Target Line.

 

 

Ethics in the Executive Protection Industry

The Issue of Ethics

 

By Elijah Shaw

 

Recently on the North American Bodyguard Association’s  discussion board (found at either www.AmericanBodyguards.org) I brought up the subject of moral dilemmas and how they affect the security professional, particularly those involved heavily with close protection.  Because we wanted honest answers to the “What would you do if…” question, we even allowed participants to post their answers anonymously.  While the discussion was lively and a lot of good points were made, I had the sneaky suspicion in the back of my brain that while most answered overwhelmingly on the side of “I won’t cross the line for a client that breaks anything other than a minor law or two” I wondered if those that felt otherwise just choose to keep it to themselves? Anonymous feature or not.

There is an unavoidable reality to the situation that clients are hard to find and once you have them we traditionally do everything in our power to hold on to them and keep them happy.   A bird in the hand so to speak.  But when faced with a situation that might be at odds with our individual ethics, do we turn a blind eye to the activity, or do we hold our ground regardless of the employment consequences?  Of course by and large we all consider ourselves honorable people but the reality of life is that each of us has our own internal compass.  Additionally there’s an age old saying “it’s not what you know, it’s what you can prove.”  Does that mean that allowing a client to “get away” with something is ok as long as there is very minimal chance that it would come back to bite you?

Notice that I have not given any examples of the moral dilemmas that are the topic of this column.  That is intentional because up into this point, I wanted you, the reader, to come up with your own set of circumstances in your minds eye.  What may be a black and white to one protection agent may be a shade of grey to another.  However, for the purposes of this discussion, allow me to pose a few questions.  Answer truthfully, and since this article is not required reading for an Executive Protection oral exam (yet) the only person you have to be honest with is yourself.

 

Situation #1

 

Your client is a wealthy businessman who has always treated you fairly.  At a country club dinner you sit the next table over and hear the client and his associate engage in conversation that includes a lengthy discussion filled with degrading hate speech about a particular minority group.  Once back in the car he asks how you feel about that particular group.  What do you say?

 

Expanding on that: Would your response change if hypothetically your son were now married to a woman in that particular racial group?

 

Situation #2

 

You receive instructions from your Principal that you’re to accompany him on a two day out of town business trip.  Once there you quickly notice that your married client is actually engaged in an affair and that this trip is just a cover story.  Weeks later the Principal’s wife pulls you to the side, and with tears in her eyes tells you what she suspects and begs to know the truth.  What do you do?

 

Would you answer change if she confided that he has physically abused her and that your affirmation of the affair would be grounds for divorce so that she could finally leave him?

 

Situation #3

 

Your client is a celebrated actress and philanthropist who just donated a large sum of money to a reputable charity in a much publicized manner.  You later discover documents showing that someone in the charity has funneled the money back to the client, effectively making it a PR stunt.  Do you do anything with this information?

 

Make the charity into one working on an autism cure.  Now imagine you had a younger sibling with severe autism.  Change anything?

 

Read the full story in The Circuit – The Magazine for Bodyguards by ordering HERE.    You can also receive 1 year’s subscription to The Circuit, by  joining the North American Bodyguard Association.  Click HERE for more info.

The Executive Protection Magazine

While Blogs & Newsgroups might be the wave of the future in terms of delivering up to the minute news reporting, there is still a place for the printed page.  In the world of Executive Protection, The Circuit Magazine fills that niche offering news, tips, interviews, equipment reviews and more with all things related to the Bodyguard & Close Protection Industry.

Now on issue #10, the fine folks at the North American Bodyguard Guard Association (NABA) also with the long-standing British Bodyguard Association (BBA) produce a full-color magazine that covers the A-Z of security industry.

A subscription to the magazine comes free with membership to either of the above organizations, or you can order individually HERE.

If past issues are what you are looking for, I’d also suggest checking out BodyguardMagazines.com, where you can order, and also find a preview of the articles.

Latest issue of The Circuit Bodyguard Magazine On Sale Now

The latest issue of The Circuit – The Magazine for Bodyguards & Security Professionals is on sale now.

Order yours by clicking HERE.

The latest issue features engaging articles including the effectiveness of the surge in Afghanistan, prepping your “Go Bag’ and a great interview conducted by Harlan Austin of Bodyguard Careers with the one & only Tony Scotti.  These three alone are well worth the $8.00 usd cover price.

To preview or order previous issues of the full-color quarterly mag, click HERE.

The Alumni

Full class 2

Alumni

March 2010 ICON Celebrity & VIP Protection Course Alumni

November 2009 ICON Celebrity & VIP Protection Course Alumni

AUGUST 2009 ICON Celebrity & VIP Protection Course Alumni

April 2009 ICON Celebrity & VIP Protection Course Alumni

May 2008 ICON Celebrity & VIP Protection Course Alumni

February 2008 ICON Celebrity & VIP Protection Course Alumni

Just wanted to take a moment and recognize all the men and women who have attend the ICON Celebrity & VIP Protection Course.  The courses have been a lot of work, but have also been universally well received.  We’ve had everyone from former members of the United States Secret Service to laid off repairmen take the course, and all have left feeling that their time and funds were well respected.

Just giving a tip of the hat.

Click on the Photos to Enlarge.

Is There a Magazine for Bodyguards?

The short answer is yes.

The Circuit Magazine is THE official magazine for Bodyguards & Security Professionals (*and I’m not just saying that because i’m the US Managing Editor).

*Well maybe I am staying that because i’m the US Managing Editor, but also because it’s true!

Every quarter we (meaning the fine folks at the North American & British Bodyguard Associations) produce a full-color magazine that covers the A-Z of the industry, everything from tips on finding corporate clients to firearm reviews to lessons learned from high risk operators — The Circuit has it all.

We’ve also made it a bit easier to order current and past issues by teaming up with BodyguardMagazines.com, so If you’ve missed any, stop by the site today and complete your collection.

Learn The Bodyguard Business

Icon Services Corporation is proud to introduce our exciting 1 day seminar on Executive Protection held October 2, 2010 in Phoenix AZ.  Hosted by the North American Bodyguard Association (NABA) this class is a must for those seeking to enter the field as well as existing Operators looking to make a bigger mark in the challenging world of Executive Protection.  A fully immersive interactive class, attendees will get a whirlwind overview on the vital steps needed to successfully be a bodyguard in more than just name.

The Agenda:

  • The Business of Protection
  • Client Interactions
  • Protective Formations
  • The Advance
  • Vehicle Dynamics
  • Critical Analysis
  • And more…

The Instructor:

Taught by industry veteran, Elijah Shaw, who in addition to his corporate clients, has traveled the world as the personal bodyguard of international public figures such as musical giant Usher, Supermodel Naomi Campbell, and rap megastar50 Cent.  What sets this course apart is the instructor’s proven method of teaching not from a textbook, but speaking as a current operator with his finger on the pulse of the market.

The Benefits:

  • Free 1 year Membership to the North American Bodyguard Association
  • Professional Head shot by Contact Front Photography to market yourself
  • Access to members only job board (NABA)
  • Automatic discount on future courses held by ICON or the NABA
  • Industry useful hand outs and give-aways

The Host:

The North American Bodyguard Association (NABA) goal is to unite and support both trained and aspiring  bodyguards within North America with the larger representation of security professionals around the world via its membership and information programs.  The association is a vibrant networking and resource hub, which provides members with the opportunity to network and actively engage with their peers in the spirit of professional brotherhood.  Learn more by visiting www.AmericanBodyguards.org.

The Cost:

$220.00 investment

Attendance upon pre-approval only.  Limited seating available.  For more information contact (651) 695-8778, email training@industry-icon.com or  click HERE