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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.


Curtis Greene


Scholarships for Bodyguards


VIP offers Training Scholarship to Bodyguards Doing Good

4 full Scholarships to training academy offered annually

ST. PAUL, MN – August 1, 2011 – ICON Services Corporation a full service agency specializing in Celebrity, VIP & Executive Protection has partnered with an existing client to provide scholarships for their recognized bodyguard training programs.  The division, dubbed the ICON Academy was designed by ICON CEO Elijah Shaw, as a way to teach realistic training in the areas of close protection work that is more “hands on” than “abstract theory.”

The Angel Scholarship will be awarded based on the criteria of leadership abilities, contributions to community, individual character and financial needs.  Among other qualifications, the applicant must submit an 800 word essay on how they would positively influence the industry, as well as, log documented hours volunteering on a charitable project of their choice.

The scholarship benefactors, who have chosen to remain anonymous, believe in the value of quality training from a recognized program.  “As someone who has used personal security for some time now, it’s apparent that anyone can say they do the work, but those with a passion for protecting others should be recognized. Society rewards unscrupulous bodyguards for writing “tell all” books; however, I know there are individuals that live by a code of professionalism and I want to support them in their endeavors.”  Said one of the award benefactors.

About ICON Services Corporation

Established in 1998, ICON Services Corporation offers a full slate of services, including celebrity, VIP and executive protection internationally.  Having been voted as was one of the Top 20 Executive Protection Schools in the world by BodyguardCareers.com, the Minnesota-based ICON Academy has attracted students from all over the globe including Canada, South Africa & Australia.  The diverse roster is also proud to include former members of the United States Secret Service and the US Special Forces community among its alumni.


For more information, click HERE or call 651.695.8778