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.