Updated: Jul 26, 2021
Close Protection / Bodyguard: Body-Cover & Professional Distance
The use of body-cover is another debated topic as far as close protection / bodyguard contact drills are concerned. Now, this is where the real-world and Hollywood movies collide on a major scale. The close protection industry attracts those that want a serious professional career and far too many people that wish to re-enforce their masculinity and dream of being heroes.
I have heard too many people state they would take a bullet for their clients, its their duty… Personally, I would say these people need a mental evaluation and are a risk to their own and others safety. For government employed personnel such as those protecting the Russian, UK or US Presidents etc., sure I understand this as not only are they protecting a person but also national interests. If they are wounded in the line of duty, they will be very well taken care of medically and financially. If they are killed, their families will be compensated and looked after.
This a big difference from the commercial world where if you get hurt, if you’re lucky, you might have insurance, if you can’t work hopefully you can claim some benefits. If you are seriously injured in an overseas location, hopefully those you are working for have some type of repatriation plan, if not you better have the money yourself.
If you are killed then, who cares, if the story even makes the media you will most probably be labeled a desperado that got what they deserved. Be assured the arm-chair experts will be lining up to give their opinions on how you screwed up just for their two minutes of fame. Hopefully, if you do get screwed up 1. Your client was not a total asshole all the time and 2. You were being well enough paid to compensate for the risk… If you willing to die for $25 an hour I hope the cause worthwhile because the money is not!
To provide body-cover you have to be close to the client, unlike the movies in reality a lot of clients don’t want you next to them, this is where you need to understand professional distance, something which many are clueless about.
Professional distance is the distance you are to be away from the client. Consider this; would you want someone to be within arm’s length of you always, listening to your conversations and phone calls etc. This would be annoying and a breach of anyone’s privacy and personal security to start with. Most clients want you insight, but out of earshot, especially if they are with their family, lovers or talking with business partners.
Professional distance is something that can be arranged with a client to what is comfortable with them or with some experience and common sense you can work out for yourself. If all you have ever been taught is to stand next to a client in ridged postures, then your skill set is severely lacking and if you paid to be taught this, you should seek a refund!
Another expectation that always seems to be argued by the tacticool entertainment crowd is that the clients must always have BG in front of them while being escorted. This depends on several factors such as the environment, manpower and if you know where the client is going. Its far more tactically advantageous for small teams to make maximum use of their personnel to dominate the area by using protective surveillance etc. than to rely on the myth of body cover.
Another consideration, bullets penetrate… At the time of writing this I am in South Florida, for my sins… Now, if the local gangbangers are going to do a drive-by or hit, then their weapon of choice is the “Chopper”, which is in non-Rap talk is the AK-47. The 7.65X39 round fired by the AK family of weapons will go through 3A concealable vests which, is the choice body armor for most CP personnel and then into whatever is behind them, like a client.
Some will say then you need to wear a plate carrier and higher levels or armor, sure, but you going to look stupid walking around a shopping mall, golf course, chilling in a coffee shop or restaurant while wearing it. Chances are you won’t be allowed entry to the previously mention venues and the local security and police will rightfully want to know what the hell you’re up to…
People also seem to forget that even if they are wearing plate carriers with armor that will stop a high-velocity round that their vital organs maybe covered but the rest of their bodies are not. Arms, legs and heads are expose and I will let you into a secret… A shot to the head will kill you, shots the arms and legs can immediately disable you, which means you can’t defend yourself or escape, and we all know if an artery is severed you can bleed out right… Like wise with the client as the rounds that went into you then go on into them... I have been using 7.62X39 rounds as an example because they are extremely common but 9mm FMJ also have good penetration capabilities against unarmored body parts.
So, with all considerations body cover is more for tacticool entertainment and bar talk than reality, there are far simpler and relevant tactics and techniques that can be employed to ensure the clients safety and more importantly, your safety. But you already know this right….!
Books on Amazon
Close Protection: Luxury & Hostile Environments
Kindle @ https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CNSKXJF
Paper Back @ https://www.amazon.com/dp/1980900388