Category Archives: Executive Protection

Executive Protection Video Interview

A direct link to the interview series with Conde Nast Portfolio Magazine on the World of Security and the differences associated with Executive Protection, Celebrity Security and High Risk Overseas Details.

And if you hadn’t seen it before, you can check out the companion article here.

Bodyguard Training Course Round Up

Celebrity Bodyguard Course Grads

Just wanted to take a moment to thank the staff and students that participated in the May Celebrity Protection Course by Icon Services Corporation, in conjunction with Trojan Securities International. The 5 day course was a diverse and interesting mix of established operators and newcomers alike that covered a wide variety of topics from how to identify — and market to, potential clients, to the proper actions (and reactions) for dealing with stalkers and other threats.

I was impressed by the level on participation that all parties brought to the training. Despite the fatigue, changing weather and injuries (there were a couple) plus the many curve balls the instructors threw at the students, it looks like everyone took away something useful that will help them in their careers in Executive Protection.

For more information on the Icon Trojan Celebrity Protection Course click here.

p.s., the photo is from the last day when the students get the opportunity to shoot a variety of weapons that are used in the more high risk details.

ICON CEO, Elijah Shaw, Featured In Inc. Magazine

I thought it was great when Inc. Magazine decided they wanted to do a profile piece on me as the CEO of Icon. When they told me it was entitled “Things I Can’t Live Without” and was, well, about things I couldn’t live without, I wasn’t sure what that was going. It turned out to be a fun interview where I got asked (and answered) some questions that usually never come up. With Executive Protection It’s a serious business we do, but it’s not all about dark shades and threat assessments. Letting the world (and particularly BUSINESS EXECUTIVES who are readers of Inc. Magazine) know that we are real people too, goes a long way in promoting our profession to the outside world.

So if your interested, pick up the April Issue of Inc. Magazine or click here.

How To Hire A Bodyguard

How to Hire a Bodyguard

from wikiHow – The How to Manual That You Can Edit


  1. Understand that “Personal Security Officer” is a professional service, so keep your expectations realistic. Look for “Executive Protection” specialists who, like the “Secret Service”, are proactive, clean cut, intelligent, articulate, educated professionals. Contrast these specialists with the stereotypical 400 pound thugs working for Britney Spears or Madonna. These “bodyguards” are actually working as bouncers or bounty hunters and lack specialized training.
  2. Look on the Internet for your state’s private security company regulations and learn the name of the required license for “Bodyguard” or “Personal Protection Officer” or something closely related. The candidates will need this license in order to work for you. That said, do not assume that a “Bodyguard” license from any state is in and of itself a good indicator. These licenses have names like Personal Protection Officer (PPO) or Personal Protection Specialist (PPS) and are probably required for the individual to work for you but most are acquired with very little training that anyone can get if they have a “Security Guard” license and $100 to pay for the course.
  3. Ensure your selected candidates are graduates of a Government Protective service or Executive Protection course, United States Secret Service, US Dept. of State’s Diplomatic Security Service, Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), US Army Military Police School (USAMPS), US Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID), US Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), US Air Force Office of Special Investigations (OSI), British Special Air Service (SAS) or graduates from one of the few, recognized and respected civilian executive protection courses. As a second choice, consider “Executive Protection/Protective Services/Corporate Security” personnel from a Fortune 500 corporation like Microsoft, Dell, Boeing, IBM, etc., with direct (not limited or collateral) experience.
  4. Get a photocopy of the applicant’s driver’s license, Social Security card and copies of any professional certificates.
  5. Get a background check on the web and pay for a simple criminal history check.
  6. Have every candidate sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement before discussing your needs.
  7. Look for specific experience, and ask for examples of how the candidate has demonstrated proficiency in skills including, but not limited to, the following:[1]
      • choreography (knowing how to stand, walk and get out of a car with a principal)
      • conducting advance work to prepare for trips and events ahead of time
      • effective countermeasures to deal with an attack or security threat when it materializes
      • proficiency with home alarm and access control systems (visit this site for professional security solutions for your office and home)
      • familiarity with armored vehicles
      • firearms training.
  8. Ask the candidate about “big name” people s/he has protected. If s/he gives you a list of names that would likely be ok. However if they start revealing personal information it may be possible they are violating the non-disclosure and confidentiality statements they agreed to. At the same time, do not accept the response “I can’t tell you for reasons of privacy.” Good bodyguards are very careful about divulging information about former clients or protects, and will find a way for you to verify their claims without violating confidentiality agreements.


  • The person you hire should be able to blend in seamlessly, rather than stand out like a sore thumb, like the stereotypical bodyguard does. Can this person dress and act like you and the people around you?[1]
  • Look for these traits in your candidates:


  • Be very wary of any website or brochure that has images of SWAT Personnel, Ninjas, Samurai, “Secret Agents” or has guns on every page.
  • If your search leads you to a Private Investigator, inquire as to where they received their formal Executive Protection training and the names of at least two of their clients or client representatives if confidentiality is imperative and their actual charge does not want to disclose her/his identity.

~ Pretty accurate for the most part with very good points about doing your due diligence before hiring a protective agent.

Tour Security: How To Survive In 10 Easy Steps



  1. Learn the value of a durable suitcase and a portable steamer.If you are on the road for any duration of time, the case is going to take a beating and what’s packed in it usually will never be “ready to wear”.Of course if your lucky, the nicer hotels may do your ironing for you at no charge.
  2. Remember: Reporters are not your friends (most times). Say something and you might be (mis)quoted, so its best to point them to a publicist or someone else in the camp.  With that said, the worst person to be rude to is the media. You might not even get mentioned by name, but it could cast your client (and therefore potential future earnings) in a bad light.
  3. For over the road travel try and purchase polo shirts in bulk.  While some guys do the “white Tee” look, I lean more towards the black polo tops.You can pretty much find them at Foot Lockers everywhere. Inexpensive, quick to throw on (and fits well over a bulletproof vest if necessary).
  4. Be careful what you eat, especially in a foreign country.  Running back and fourth to an airplane lavatory is not fun. And let’s not even discuss tour bus facilities.
  5. Always pack your own luggage!TSA security does not care who you work for. Also, for those of us who carry firearms, we also know the additional hassle of trying to check one in prior to boarding, so give yourself extra time.
  6. Make sure you take advantage of all the frequent flier programs.   An insider secret is that while outside parties usually make the arrangements and pay for the bodyguards travel, in most cases the actual traveler gets the mileage credit.  A worldwide tour (provided your not flying private) could easily mean a few free roundtrip tickets when you finally do get some downtime.
  7. Learn to tip (even if it’s with your own money).  It’s going to make your job smoother with the public. Be it a restaurant host, a hotel bellman or a club bouncer you need to pull in for some additional backup, tipping will make the process of having your VIP truly treated like one go a lot easier.
  8. Avoid Groupies.  ‘Nuff said.
  9. Find the hotel gym, not the hotel bar.In theory Close Protection Agents are on call, so you don’t want to be pounding a few down when something happens.
  10. This is the most important one:Remember why you are there.Sure a tour means seeing new and exciting people, places and things, but the role of the Executive Protection Agent is to be the first line of defense in protecting your client from harm.Often in a tour setting you might find yourself playing several different positions just to make it all run smoother, but no one in our profession wants to be known as the person who was on the scene when something goes bad and couldn’t fix the problem. Or worse yet, was too distracted to notice. Learn more about tour specifics.