You will find that agents come from all walks of life within the executive protection industry, some with graduate degrees and others with many years of experience, but the vast majority of Executive Protection Agents only work part-time while maintaining steady jobs in law enforcement or other industries. However, there are a select few who have made executive protection their full-time career by investing tens of thousands of dollars gaining the proper training and education to reach the top of the industry. Being a career EP Agent myself, I understand what it takes to be a top performer in the industry. I would like to share with you what sets an “Exclusive” agent apart from the rest. A reputable EP Agent will have graduated from a recognized training academy and continue to maintain proficiency in the main pillars that make him/her efficient at what he/she does.
The first of these pillars is the proficient use of firearms. As most assignments call for agents to be armed, it is absolutely necessary for an EP Agent to hold the applicable state concealed carry weapon permit and be able to operate their weapon at the expert level. As obvious as this may sound, marksmanship is a perishable sill, thus long hours at the range is necessary to maintain this skill. Having worked alongside many other agents, I have found that a typical EP Agent will go to the range one to two times a year to ensure their weapon is in proper working order. It goes without saying that the accuracy of those who shoot at least once a month is far superior to those who do not. I always recommend that when searching for a security company ask the question “how often do you require your agents to qualify at the range?” If their answer is less than 4 times a year, keep looking.
The second pillar, and one of the most important, is medical knowledge. Most all EP Agents are CPR and First Aid certified but top agents have obtained their EMT certifications. To put it into perspective, Alpine Protective Solutions’ ratio of having to respond to medical emergencies vs. brandishing a firearm in the line of duty is 80:1, per year. Having the knowledge to handle simple medical issues such as a person choking to complex trauma wounds is absolutely necessary. While on assignment, I have come to the aid of many who needed my assistance, from a laceration on the leg of the estate gardener caused by a slip of the chain saw, to the mild heart attack of my client’s father. In this line of work, it is common for the leading security companies to advertise that they will have one EMT certified agent on shift at all times.
A third pillar is martial arts knowledge. Every successful EP Agent regularly studies one or more martial arts disciplines. Krav Maga has become popular as it is the most practical martial arts discipline in relation to the job requirements when things turn physical between an EP Agent and a human threat. The more an agent is exposed to unarmed defensive tactics such as Krav Maga, the more composed and effective he/she will be during stressful situations.
The fourth and final pillar is having excellent situational awareness. In the security service industry, the only thing constant is change. This includes industry trends, current events, country threat levels, equipment and security operation regulations and laws. A good agent understands the importance of changing events and will continuously conduct research in order to remain up to date and prepared for any security threat.
In summary, the best EP Agents are those who devote their time to maintaining proficiency in marksmanship, medical knowledge, martial arts and are constantly aware of what is going on around them. When reviewing biographies of agents potentially assigned to your client, be sure to note if the agent is EMT certified, a CCW holder, and proficient in martial arts. If the agent does not possess these traits, at minimum, I strongly recommend you do not welcome this individual into the home and business of your client.