You enter the limo minutes after your contracted driver, who you used several hours earlier and released, arrives back on the scene. He is a distinguished older gentlemen who you can tell is very prideful about both appearance and vehicle. Moments after you seat the Client, who is running late for an unscheduled meeting, you detect a weak scent of what may be liquor but it is overpowered by the much more noticeable smell of mouthwash.
What if anything do you do?
We discuss topics like this and more during the ICON Academy Executive Protection Training Course:. Click HERE for more information.
While it might look like a potential traffic jam waiting to happen, every vehicle in the motorcade serves a distinct purpose. The amount of resources dedicated to moving the President of the United States from place to place by the Secret Service is staggering. With that said, the security motorcade is not unique to just diplomatic arenas. You will find scaled down versions in almost every other area of Executive Protection. The unfortunate reality is that the majority of attacks occur in and around the vehicle so the rings of protection have to extend beyond just arms length.
Recently wrapped teaching at Executive Security International (ESI). The inside joke was the lack of sleep I was going off of after having had to fly there immediately following the MTV VMA’s and an (unscheduled) client charity event.
One of the things I tried to impress upon the students is that in segments of the industry, your schedule is no longer your own, it’s your clients schedule, and often you have to adapt accordingly.
The ICON Celebrity and VIP Protection Training Course is truly an essential course for anyone wanting to enter the industry of Executive Protection. A truly engaging program, from Day One, Elijah Shaw immerses his trainees in understanding the world of celebrity protection.
Through a combination of lecture, followed by hands-on drills, his teaching style is well-absorbed by
anyone willing to learn. Mr. Shaw and his staff present the course with real-world experiences,so trainees know what to expect, what not to do and not to do and more importantly how to prevent threatening situations from occurring and what to do when they do. I decided to take the course because I had an interest in becoming a bodyguard.
After researching for what seemed to be days on end, trying to find a training course that I felt would be most beneficial to me as a beginner. What’s more, the ICON course was the one of the few courses I’d seen that openly advertised and encouraged women to take their course. Although I had already been leaning toward training with ICON, just that small amount of encouragement solidified my decision. I was truly happy in my decision because since my first inquiry for information, I received a prompt response and felt welcomed.
I felt the same welcoming environment throughout the course. The course is set up to give you the essentials needed to get started in the industry. As I stated before, the course is completely immersive and drills into you the main objective: protecting the principle. The course trains you to constantly think critically about your situation and environment and how to be proactive. It trains you on how protecting isn’t always matching or one-upping force, which particularly hit home and was a challenge for me, coming from previous law enforcement training and working in private security. Most importantly, it introduces you to the demanding nature of the job and how to remain on your game through mental, physical and emotional fatigue. Remembering, “Mindset is Key.”
Overall, my experience was truly amazing. I would recommend ICON’s Celebrity and VIP Protection course to all men and women looking to get into the industry, as well as currently active protection agents. If you’re looking for real-life, in your face, no fluff training, ICON Services Corporation is where you want to begin. Coming from a law enforcement and private security background, this course instilled in me the true meaning of protection and gave me the foundation on how to build my skills to master the art of protection.
—Bryttani Tyner April 2013 CPC Alumni
To learn more about the ICON Academy Executive Protection Course, click HERE.
A brief 60 seconds review of the ICON Executive Protection Academy. Benjamin Alozie, Director of ICON Global Risk, speaks to a recent French Canadian graduate of the ICON Executive Protection Academy on his experience in the program.
As part of my continuing training, I recently attended the ICON Executive Protection Academy Celebrity & VIP protection course directed by Elijah Shaw. As I am sure others have done, I completed a great deal of research on viable programs that I felt would provide training and education in the executive protection field. Additionally, I viewed numerous video links that provided examples of the training and the instructors providing the training. As a consequence of this review, I chose ICON and applied for acceptance into the program. What followed is a training experience that will remain with me forever. The first part of the first day of class was the usual getting to know your instructors, the outline of the program and the introduction of the fellow attendees. However, what quickly followed was an intense submersion into the realities of the protection specialist, especially as it pertained to those dealing with the world of entertainment.
To say the instructors were knowledgeable would be an understatement. Each instructor was a professional and the base of knowledge provided was extensive and varied, with an obvious grounding in reality based protection operations. Many of them were awarded master degree with scholarship. Each instructor was a current operator in the field and brought their own unique perspective to the class. Each complimented the other instructors in providing a true picture of the world of executive protection in this demanding field; this was a true example of professionalism. The candor and expertise of each presenter was the cornerstone of the program and took each of us, as students, through a step-by-step process.
This ICON program is one for those seeking a clear and accurate picture of the world of celebrity protection. Each day progressed further and further in its scope ranging from the requirements for the protection specialist remaining in good physical condition to dealing with the methodology of attacks. In between these two ranges were multiple hands-on exercises that emphasized the physical and mental requirements necessary to protect the client. These techniques reinforced the necessary skills that one will be required to employ while performing protection operations.
The final group exercise was exactly what it implies, an in-depth culmination of training applications in a very “real world” protection operation. It provided the opportunity for each of the students to apply what they have learned and to obtain feedback immediately on operational preparedness and application. The experience was one that could not be replicated in the classroom and was invaluable in the learning environment.
The final individual exercise was the capstone event that provided individual assessment of the agent. The event scenarios exampled possible situations that may be applied in a single protection detail and forced the executive protection specialist to make numerous decisions affecting success or failure. The overall effect provided reinforcement of lessons learned. This capstone event fostered a positive feedback program that ensured a unique and positive learning environment.
For anyone considering an executive, VIP or celebrity protection program, I would recommend the ICON Executive Protection Academy. The real world experience, the caliber of the program and the caliber of instructors provide, in my opinion, one of the best programs available.
Rodney Andreasen, ICON Alumni
Rodney Andreasen is currently a County Emergency Management Director in the state of Florida directing emergency operations and response. He served 21 year on active duty in the United States Air Force performing numerous duties including security operations and educational training and development. He currently holds certification as a Florida Professional Emergency manager within the state of Florida and national certification as a Certified Emergency Manager. He holds masters degrees from the Naval Post Graduate School, Auburn University – Montgomery and the University of Southern Mississippi.
To learn more about the program or enroll in the ICON Academy Executive Protection Training Courses, click HERE.
Elijah Shaw of ICON Executive Protection & Harlan Austin of BodyguardCareers.com carved some time out of a busy work schedule to watch a private screening of Olympus Has Fallen, the new film from the Director of Training Day. What’s the verdict? Check out the 1-minute review on the video then meet me back here.
I can sum it up like this… The movie Die Hard, but this time in the White House. Only problem is, Die Hard did it better, much better. I tried hard to look at it like JUST A MOVIE, however, it was pretty hard to put aside the fact that it makes the United States Secret Service, DC Law Enforcement, The Capital Police, The Military –including the US Special Forces, all look like 3rd graders playing laser tag. Plus there were plot holes wide enough to drive a truck into. Wait, they did drive a truck into it. Uggh. Oh, and the Plane crashing and the Washington Monument collapsing “World Trade Tower-Style”… Uggh.
While recently attending the ICON Executive Protection Academy I found that one of the skills they stressed over and over as vital to an individual working in the protection business was to have knowledge of motor vehicles and how they work. I mean as protectors working with clients, we spend a lot of time in and around cars. When asked for their recommendation, one company name kept popping up. Tony Scotti and his Vehicle Dynamic’s Institute. With that in mind, I did some additional research and made the decision to attend as to add “more tools in the toolbox”. Fast forward to me on the road to southern New Jersey to attend Tony Scotti’s Vehicle Dynamics Institute (TSVDI) for their Protective Driving Course.
When I arrived at the track at 11:30 PM the night before the class began, I was met at the gate by the Director of the TSVDI Program, Joe Autera, who was there to greet me, make sure I got in ok, give directions to the lodging, and additional information on how to find the part of the track where lessons were going to be conducted.
Started with a few hours in the classroom, where we learned a wealth of information about cars and their handling properties. One topic was G-force and the importance of calculating it for each specific car. Another topic covered during the day was the importance of, often overlooked, tire pressure and preventative car maintenance in general. Along these lines, there were many other details about cars that I had previously known nothing about, but which turns out to be paramount to vehicle dynamics.
Then we were told we were going to be evaluated on where we were as drivers, skill-wise, so we could chart our progression as we continued through the course. A weather related note: as we walked outside to start our driving — It was raining hard and the wind was blasting. We had standing water in many parts of the training track. In my mind I thought, “Well this can’t be conducive to high performance driving”. Boy was I wrong. Thinking back, I am glad it was raining that hard as it afforded me the opportunity to learn a lot about car handling in adverse weather and see what a car is capable of in a controlled environment.
Started at 8am with a short briefing on the day’s exercises, followed by a full day of driving. When Joe tells you “we teach to a standard, not a clock”, it’s not just words. TSVDI actually does it. We got back to our rooms around 9:30 PM that day. They ran the attendees through our paces, over and over, until we got it right. And if anyone wanted a few extra runs for good measure, all you had to do was ask and it was done. We performed J-turns, backing up drills around cones, into garages, slalom, braking drills, straight in turns at high speed. You name it we did it.
Another early morning with the students finishing up a few drills, then back into the class room for a briefing on lessons learned from security driving to car jacking’s stories. We then entered the testing phase, appropriately named Carjackistan. A timed event encompassing runs on the track of the drills we had worked on over the 3 days of class, with unknown obstacles and a few surprises tossed in.
No review of any school or program can be accurately complete without also mentioning the instructors. TSVDI’s instructors are top notch. From their lead instructor (Janine Paul) on down the ranks, I have nothing but good things to say about their enthusiasm, skill, and attitude. I would highly recommend this school to anyone seeking to add security driver to their resume and I am confident that I came out of the program a much better driver than when I went in. As Mark “6” James of Panther Protective Services so aptly put it in one of his remarks on the program, “You can find different, but you can’t find better.” I agree with every word.
The latest news from Washington regarding the federal budget is grim. Cuts in government spending, according to the NY Times, could cost 700,000 civilian and military jobs through 2014. Consequently, traditional government careers, like law enforcement, are facing reduction. And it doesn’t end there: Because the federal government funds many overseas security contractors, those lucrative contracts could also begin to dry up. Fortunately, however, domestic security companies are hiring tons of candidates and providing a career alternative to law enforcement or overseas contracting work. Call them whatever you want, Bodyguards, Public Figure Protectors, or Threat Assessment experts — the opportunities are real and growing for these careers in private security.
Infographic courtesy of Ed Hinman, Director of Recruitment, Selection, and Training at Gavin de Becker & Associates, a threat assessment and executive protection firm that advises and protects the nation’s most at-risk public figures and organizations.
Last night marked the end of an era. After 6 years, my term as a member of the Board of Directors came to an end with my final board meeting at Women’s Advocates. For those of you were are not familiar, Women’s Advocatesis the United States oldest shelter for women who are victims of Domestic Abuse, providing support for the women and their children, as well as actively seeking solutions to break the cycle of violence.
I originally began my association with the organization as part of my ISC-Safety Net program. A service conceived by me to provide free security services to victims of domestic violence. While working alongside Women’s Advocates I was honored when the Executive Director asked me to consider serving on their board. After passing the selection process, I then became immersed at looking at the issue of Domestic Violence from a different angle and was recommitted to doing my part to make a change.
If you’ve ever had the opportunity to serve on an efficiently running board you know it’s a lot of work, combine that with the challenges of running ICONand of course the heavy client-related travel that i’m involved with, and you can see I had my hands full. Much respect to my fellow board members for their professionalism and attention to detail. I learned an enormous amount.
Of course just because my time as a serving board member has expired, I will still be providing support for the organization, notably in increasing awareness of Women’s Advocates – More Than A Safe Place Luncheon and Fundraiser held in Minnesota May 23, 2013 in St. Paul, Minnesota. For more information click HERE.
Additionally the ISC-Safety Net program is still in effect, with some very exciting news to be released in the upcoming months. For a bit of background on the program, catch the news coverage HERE.