Category Archives: firearms

10 Tips for Protectors Involved in Touring

 

  1. Learn the value of a durable suitcase and a portable steamer.  If you are on the road for any duration of time, your suitcase is going to take a beating.    Additionally, unless you are a seasoned packer, what’s inside the case may not be “ready to wear,” when it’s time to hit the ground running.  Of course if you’re lucky, the nicer hotels may do your ironing for you at no charge, but it pays to be prepared for the worst.
  2. 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.
  3. Be careful what you eat, especially in a foreign country.  The exotic dishes shown on the food channel might look tempting but they may come at a cost, if you don’t have a ironclad stomach.  Running back and fourth to the airplane lavatory is not fun, and let’s not even discuss tour bus facilities (let’s just say, that’s a good way to loose allies quickly).
  4. Always pack your own luggage and know what you’re carrying!  TSA security does not care who you work for, you hold it, you own it.   Also, for those of us in the profession who carry firearms, we also know the additional hassle of trying to check one in prior to boarding, so give yourself some extra time.
  5. Remember: Reporters are not your friends. Say something and you might be (mis)quoted, so if you find yourself in a situation where you are corned by you, it’s best to point them to the client’s publicist or someone in else in management.  With that said, contrary to popular belief, the worst person to be “heavy handed” to is the media. You might not get mentioned by name, but overly aggressive actions could cast your client (and therefore your potential future earnings) in a bad light.
  6. Avoid Groupies.  Bad things can happen to good people.  Meet an unscrupulous person who’s intent on scoring a payday by putting you or your client in a compromising position, and you could end up in the papers, or worst, the back of a police car.
  7. 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 just before something happens.  Tour life means lots of travel, more convenient access to fast (junk) food, and long day and nights.  Staying fit is a vital part of the equation if you are going to do it for the long haul.
  8. Don’t get caught “flat footed.”  There is a routine to tour life, I mean when you think about it; it’s the same show, over and over.  After the 100th viewing you probably can even do the dancer’s chorography yourself. However, with that comes the creeping monster of complacency, and before you know it, instead of being in the wings with a close eye on your client, you are at catering getting a second helping of that delicious apple pie.  And while nothing has happened until now, that’s just the time when Murphy’s Law strikes.  Stay in the moment
  9. If you are assigned to protect the client, you cannot delegate YOUR responsibility.   Sure there may be event security, law enforcement, ushers and production staff, but at the end of the day, if your role is to ensure the safety and security of the client, you are responsible for 360 degrees of total coverage, everyone else might make your life easier, but the buck stops with you.
  10. Remember why you are there. This is an important one.  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 the 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, the Protector who was distracted to notice.

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ICON Academy Executive Protection Training Dates


Celebrity & VIP Protection Course :  (5 Days) August 1 – 5, 2012 

A five-day course of practical theory and hands-on training in the world of Celebrity & VIP Protection including the fundamentals of Close Protection.  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 megastar 50 Cent, the class covers not only tactics but marketing & career search.

 

“Although the program is called Celebrity Protection the content and instruction covers all aspects of the protection industry. Elijah and his team of instructors meet one of the most important criteria of the business – instructors who do or have done what they are teaching, and can teach.”  Tony Scotti, President Tony Scotti Driving 

 

 

Advanced Executive Protection Course:  (10 Days) August 6- 15, 2012  

This intensive 10-day class is an excellent tool for Operators sharpening their skills with a focus on conducting close protection assignments with a potential high threat level. Work with experienced professionals who are not teaching “theory” put practical applications developed from many years of doing the job.  Taught by Instructors  in private security working globally in a number of high-risk environments including Iraq, Afghanistan, Europe, Southeast Asia, South and Central America.

If you are interested in learning more about any of the above Close Protection related courses from Icon Services Corporation, including our special financing options, click HERE.  

We stand behind the quality of our teaching methods and can also put you in contact with previous Alumni to talk about their past experiences.  

Group & back-to-back course discounts apply.

 

ICON Academy Scholarship Program: 1 Students Experience

 

To the Icon Scholarship Selection Committee:

First and foremost I would like to say thanks and express my sincere gratitude for the opportunity that allowed me to be awarded the ICON Academy Scholarship for the Celebrity / VIP Protection Training course of first quarter 2012. The wisdom and expertise the instructors imparted along with the lessons learned during the course will go with me throughout my career.

After being asked to work security at my church I had an instant interest and desire to learn more about the security industry. Later as I began my research into the steps necessary to begin a career in Executive Protection, I have to admit, I became a bit disheartened after seeing that the training courses were very expensive. It is for this reason that I was shocked to see that ICON offered a scholarship program; to my knowledge, no other company out there has a scholarship program –at least none that I could find during my research.

Realizing that this was my opportunity, I completed and turned in all the necessary documents to fulfill the requirements, including what I would later be an important part, namely the section on how I would use skills obtained in the course to better the industry and my community.  Once the deadline was reached, my family and I were extremely excited to learn that I had been awarded the scholarship.

The CPC training course was challenging both mentally and physically but after coming out on the other side I can truly say it was all worth it and I would not trade that experience for anything. The instructors challenged us to take an active role in our development and to think outside of the box where security is concerned. Each instructor brought their own unique style and feel to the training from real life experiences that let us see things in different perspectives, not just teaching scenarios from a book.  My education is in no way complete, and I have additional courses already on the books but this jumpstart was instrumental both financially and motivationally.

To Elijah and all the staff at ICON: Thank you for giving back and offering a scholarship that levels the playing field, giving individuals the opportunity to obtain top notch training at, in my opinion, one of the best companies around.  ICON has given me a chance to achieve my dream and anyone who has a genuine desire to learn but not sure where to begin, you have my strongest encouragement to research the program.

~ Uriah Riley

ICON CPC, Course Graduate, January 2012

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Click on the highlighted link to learn more or apply for the ICON Academy Scholarship Program.

Next Dates

Celebrity & VIP Protection:  April 25 – 29, 2012 (Financing & Scholarships Available)

Advanced Executive Protection (High Risk): April 30 – May 9th, 2012 (Financing & Scholarships Available)

Student Experiences After ICON Executive Protection Training

 

“When I consider what the primary difference was which made my ICON experience a greater value and overall experience to my previous training, I believe it is due to the fact the ICON course was  student-centric.  In other words, the course was designed to create and support an environment in which the students actively contributed to their own learning.  To create a course such as this, ICON put in significant time and effort to design and implement experiences which were designed to rapidly transition from the classroom to the real world”.

Donna Angevine

ICON CPC, AEP Course Graduate, January 2012

“I think that reality based training with stress is the best way to learn.  Sitting in a classroom can only teach somebody so much.  Putting people under stress and forcing them to think then act, then reviewing their actions is a much more effective way to learn and you and your staff taught me a lot.  Each member of your staff is a true professional and an effective teacher.”

Jimmy Menzoian

ICON CPC, AEP Course Graduate, January 2012

 

“In my 15 day journey, a total mental and physical transformation took place. During training, I was introduced to hand-to-hand combat, defensive tactics, and firearm training that was in addition to other tactical and dynamic instruction.  One advantage that ICON has over other Executive Protection courses is the top notch instructors who present up-to-date real life experience in the EP industry.   ICON has given me a great head start into the Executive Protection industry”.

Michael Brown

ICON CPC, AEP Course Graduate, January 2012

 

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Next Dates

Celebrity & VIP Protection:  Aug 1-5, 2012 (Financing & Scholarships Available)

Advanced Executive Protection (High Risk): Aug 6-15, 2012 (Financing & Scholarships Available)

To learn more about the ICON Academy Executive Protection Training Course click on the link.

 

 

The New ICON Advanced Executive Protection Course Graduates

 

Congratulating the new graduates of the ICON Advanced Executive Protection Training Course.  Long hours, challenging assignments a few surprises, and the ever present  mantra “drill, drill, drill”.

Thanks for giving 100%! Your efforts showed!

 

Next course:  April 30 – May 9th, 2012  Special Financing & Scholarship Opportunities Available.  For more information click HERE.

Top 10 Bodyguard Related Movies

Presenting my very biased list for Top 10 Bodyguard Movies of all time. This is an unscientific study with the only criteria being that they have an element of Executive Protection included (and of course that they get a lot of play in my DVD).

1. Star Wars

 You have to look at #1 on my list with 2 things in mind.  1. Obi-Wan was Luke’s bodyguard!)  And 2. I’m a huge Star Wars fan so anytime I can relate that to Executive Protection i’m going to slide it in!

2.. Man on Fire

The gold standard as far as i’m concerned.

3. Custodio (The Minder)

Foreign film but i’m so glad I tracked it down after I got the recommendation.

4. The Bodyguard 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_pbUVhW_rY&feature=related.

Yeah it’s Cliché, but it’s a good movie

5. Way of the Gun

People either love or hate this one, but it’s one of my personal favs.  The elevator scene won me over (but why did they think leaving her alone was a good idea???)

6. Shogun Assassin

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McCrQGGyy4g

Classic.

7. Guarding Tess

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdk6lhSRRRQ

I had stayed away from this movie for years as I thought it was going to be a comedy that just poked fun at the profession without knowing anything about it.  However I saw it for the first time just a short while ago and I loved it. It actually gave a good snapshot of the frustration and give and take that goes into working long term with a client.  (with a humors slant of course)

8. Heat

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdJAfv9hzk4&feature=related

Not even sure if there are any BG’s in it, but it still makes list.  The Bank Robbery scene. ’nuff said.

9. Ronin

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3ZJj_DScJc

Too many scenes to mention but the coffee cup ambush and the introduction (not to mention the REAL car chase sequences) get this one regular rotation in my DVD.

10. In the Line of Fire

Clint and John both in their prime.

Honorable Mention:

The Unit

While it won’t make the official list as it’s television, the good episodes reached a high standard and had some pretty dynamic storytelling.

 

So that’s my list.  Agree? Disagree?  Which ones did I miss?

 

 

An Open Letter Regarding the ICON Bodyguard Scholarship Program

 

To the ICON Selection Committee:

I am writing to express my sincere gratitude to all responsible parties for making the Icon Academy Training Scholarship possible.  I was thrilled to learn of my selection for this honor and I am deeply appreciative of your support.  The Icon Celebrity & VIP Protection Course that I attended was truly a learning experience that I intend to use to further my career in the Executive Protection Industry.

I’m currently a law enforcement officer with over fifteen years of experience which has included serving on SWAT, the Gang Unit, the Street Crime Unit, as well as being assigned to the Housing Authority Unit. I can honestly say that being a law enforcement officer does not instantly qualify one to be a bodyguard. While the overall intentions of both an officer and bodyguard are to protect, the methods of protection differ, in some cases dramatically.

During my training at ICON, the CEO, Elijah Shaw touched on different subjects such as the profiles of a celebrity, the challenges one would face in the industry, and of course the responsibilities of a bodyguard.  One of the things I enjoyed was that the classroom time was never strictly lectures; we also participated in a variety of drills and exercises that ensured we understood the subject matter. Also during class, we were being pushed physically by several of the instructors, including Justin Newcomb, a champion Mixed Martial Arts fighter who I now know to be a quiet and reserved pillar in the industry.  Justin Johnson, another talented instructor who is also active in the operational side of the industry, (an important point) provided extensive firearms training during the course that imparted me with some valuable tools.

The week was also filled with some very prominent guest instructors who are very recognizable names in the industry such as Tony Scotti of Tony Scotti’s Vehicle Dynamic’s Institute and Mark “Six” James, of Panther Protection Services. Both were gracious enough to offer their expertise and answer off-the-subject questions during breaks.  I would certainly suggest future students research these individuals so they can fully appreciate what their presence and participation says about the program.

The last part of the training concluded with our participation in a real life Security Detail (one of several running simultaneously). I had the honor of being chosen to be team leader, and responsible for an actual celebrity VIP, T*** D***, of VH1 reality show, “Scream Queens” from the moment her plane arrived in the city.  The assignment was a learning experience in which me and my team were able to take our classroom training and apply it in the most hands on way possible.  Everything that Mr. Shaw and the other instructors introduced in class became reality.   In short they capped an already impressive course with the best illustration I could think of involving understanding what it takes to be bodyguard on a Celebrity security detail.    

In closing, I would highly recommend this course to anyone looking to get in the industry or advance their current skills. I would like to thank the Selection Committee for making the opportunity possible.   While I am not sure if anything like this scholarship program currently exists elsewhere in the industry, it makes perfect sense that it would be found at ICON as they appear to be innovators.  Please thank Mr. Shaw, who I found to be a humble individual whose reputation preceded him, along with the staff, guest instructors, and VH1’s, T*** D***.    I promise you I will continue along this path to success in the Executive Protection field and eventually give something back to others.  I see myself doing this both as a Professional Bodyguard and as well as an Alumnus who will donate towards the ICON Academy scholarship providing a rare opportunity for a future student like myself.

Sincerely,

Curtis Greene

ICON 2011 ALUMNI

2012 ICON Academy Executive Protection Training Dates

 

Celebrity & VIP Protection Course :  (5 Days) January 11-15, 2012  **HELD FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ARIZONA**

A five-day course of practical theory and hands-on training in the world of Celebrity & VIP Protection including the fundamentals of Close Protection.  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 megastar 50 Cent, the class covers not only tactics but marketing & career search, and social media techniques like buying facebook views to increase your business rating.

Advanced Executive Protection Course:  (10 Days) January 16-25, 2012 **HELD FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ARIZONA**

This intensive 10-day class is an excellent tool for Operators sharpening their skills with a focus on conducting close protection assignments with a potential high threat level. Work with experienced professionals who are not teaching “theory” put practical applications developed from many years of doing the job.  Taught by Instructors  in private security working globally in a number of high-risk environments including Iraq, Afghanistan, Europe, Southeast Asia, South and Central America.

 

If you are interested in learning more about any of the above Close Protection related courses from Icon Services Corporation, including our special financing options, click HERE.  

We stand behind the quality of our teaching methods and can also put you in contact with previous Alumni to talk about their past experiences.  Group & back-to-back course discounts apply.

 

 

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 Bodyguard Course Recap

 

ICON is proud to announce the successful completion of our October 5-day ICON Celebrity & VIP Protection Course!  Thank you to the 17 students that attended, making the commitment of both time and resources to achieve their individual goals of succeeding in the Executive Protection Industry.  

Like past courses, we packed the schedule with as much information, tactics, scenarios and drills as we are able to in an effort to maximize the students limited time spent with us.  In addition,this session, we were happy to have two “thought leaders” in the industry as guest instructors, namely Security Driving Guru, Tony Scotti of Tony Scotti’s Vehicle Dynamic’s Institute and Mark “Six” James of Panther Protection Services.  Both Tony and Mark brought decades of hands-on experience from their perspective fields and everyone, from the instructors on down, were very happy to have them at the Academy.  As one previous Alumni put it, having the opportunity to hear Mr. Scotti speak on the role Armored Cars play in VIP Protection, or “6”discuss the anatomy of the shooting of Former President Reagan from both the attacker and the protectors viewpoint, was worth the price of attendance alone.

 

Next course, January 11-15, 2012.  

To sign up for future classes, which now feature scholarship and special finance options, click HERE.

 

“I recognized the enormous benefits in training internationally with like minded professionals in our field.  Having instructors and presenters that actively work within the industry and who are willing to share their wealth of practical information, transposed to world class training that was both interesting & informative, with a focus on the real aspects of the work.  I will not hesitate to recommend the course to my friends and colleagues in the industry.”  ~ Chris Feretopoulos from Melbourne, Australia on why he choose to attend the course.