Men and women who operate in the protective detail industry do so for a handful of reasons; the biggest reason being the money. All of the reasons aside from the aforementioned can be set aside (momentarily) so long as the money remains significant. Whoever is running the project most certainly should realize, the “product” of his company is in fact those human beings escorting their clients to and from their appointed places of duty. Any true business would know that the perception of your company’s image is the product produced in and of itself.
Choosing the right product:
Choosing the right individual to man your contract is the key to a successful contract. Although many individuals could be quite charismatic and energetic, those should not be characteristics to solely base the appointment of your employees. Ideally you would want to have a say in who is allowed, “ Boots on ground.” Many corporate entities think of the selection process as a matter of a systematic procedure. In doing so they may neglect to afford the staff on the ground the right to approve or deny tentatively “in bound” personnel. The client is required to approve all inbound personnel, however considering their responsibilities in country this may fall under the more “menial” tasks in their day to days, allowing discrepancies in the process to occur.
An individual’s DD 214 should be analyzed and crosschecked with his/her résumé. You’re looking for integrity and quality. Any relevant job experience should be validated through Verification of Employment letters (VOE’s). All certificates should be investigated and verified as well. It is all too easy to forge documents in this day and age of technology.
The certification course prior to deployment should incorporate at minimum motorcade operations, weapons handling and manipulation, weapons safety, rules of use of force, escalation of use of force, communications to include proper radio etiquette and procedures, searching and detention techniques close quarters battle, battlefield medical care, and of course all the other contractually/position required courses (i.e. walking formations and actions on enemy contact procedures for mobile/personal security). Instructors should consider themselves as the gatekeepers to the company, saving it from the potential embarrassment that a less than qualified employee can cause. A “No exceptions to sub par performance” attitude is absolutely necessary. It is imperative to remember human lives are at stake and quantity should never be placed above quality. The proper screening of an individual’s pressure management skills, temperament, training and tactical sense will save the company from future headaches such as law suits, legal fees, fines, un-intended travel costs and possible loss of contract.