So, You Want To Be A Bodyguard?
There is no ideal type of person that makes the best bodyguards or close protection operatives. Qualities that will aid you in the close protection business are common sense, flexibility, discipline, a sense of humor and the ability to communicate with people from all backgrounds.
A lot of people’s view of a bodyguard is a big martial arts expert who will, out of a sense of duty for his client, take a bullet or beat someone up. That’s complete bullshit and the Hollywood image! The real role of the bodyguard is to identify and prevent any situations that could be potentially dangerous to themselves or their client.
People, including a lot of people in the close protection industry, seem to think they are just there to react to problems when they occur. Unarmed combat and shooting skills are only part of what you need to know. If you plan your operations properly and take the necessary precautions you will, hopefully, never have to apply your shooting or unarmed combat skills. When you consider all the things in the world that can harm you or your client the threat from a shooting is not at the top of the list.
You must learn to identify all threats in your everyday life; the most important person you will ever protect is yourself. Do a threat assessment on yourself and work out what threats you are under, and make plans to minimize them. Apply what you have learned about residential security to your home, etc. etc. You can never stop learning in the close protection business. When you think you know it all, it is time for you to leave the business and do something else, you will also be doing the rest of us a favor.
You need to keep an open mind and respect other people’s experience. You never know when or where you might learn something new. Some people who work in the close protection industry seem to believe that they have a special authority to do as they want and push people around, I have seen this... All civil bodyguards are no different from anyone else and must work under the regulations of the law the same as all other civilians. Basics rule: You must always respect the law and co-operate with law enforcement agencies.
Operational experience is a necessity and can only be gained by working in as many different environments as possible. Experience can be gained from all aspects of the security industry and will help you in the close protection industry and also help you to get your first job.
Very few people work as full-time operational bodyguards (operational does not mean just being a trainer or instructor) for various reasons. The majority of bodyguards are freelance and work on a short-term contract basis and do have quiet times. When you have a quiet time, you will still have to earn a living. Being skilled to work in another sector of the security industry will be advantageous to you and your bank account.
Most operational bodyguards when not on close protection jobs work as investigators, surveillance personnel, hotel security, functions/event security or door supervisors. A lot of people leave the close protection industry to get a regular job after a year or two, as they get fed up with the long anti-social hours and irregular payments that are all part of the close protection industry.
All the above-mentioned sectors are good areas to work in when not working as a bodyguard. They are skill sets you can use and places you are likely to visit and work in when you are on close protection details, so you should learn as much about them as possible.
The mindset of a bodyguard should be that of a problem solver who is not afraid to fail. You must be able and willing to adapt to difficult situations as they arise. You must be strong enough to be able to admit when you are wrong and take advice from others. You must also be willing to experiment with new and unconventional ideas to perfect your procedures.
If you want a job where you are jumping in and out of cars and saving damsels in distress, then being a bodyguard is not the job for you. If you have a lot of patience, discipline, take pride in what you do and are willing to work hard and live hard to achieve your goals, this just might be the business for you.
Books on Amazon
Close Protection: Luxury & Hostile Environments
This book is relevant for bodyguards, investigators & those working in hostile environments.
Kindle @ https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CNSKXJF
Paper Back @ https://www.amazon.com/dp/1980900388