The gradient scale/The 3 position/The 2 position switches

I will opine that when we work EP our alertness and stress levels associated with it flows on what i refer to as the gradient scale. What I mean is that we aren’t on zero and yet we don’t reach 10 unless there is an attack. On the gradient scale there is no clear distinction between where one number begins and the other ends, hence gradient.

When we work we stay constantly on the ready for the attack. As I’ve defined before an attack can be equated to anything from a pie thrown to a shot fired. That, for the sake of the argument, is an attack.

Prior to getting a call for a detail we pretty much reside in the zero level due to no stress associated with any detail. When the call comes in our levels rise a bit depending on the skill, experience and threat of the detail. Less skilled specialists may raise higher on the gradient scale and fluctuate anywhere between 1-3. Skilled and highly skilled specialist may not even reach 1. Another factor that affects the gradient scale (GS) is your position assigned to the detail. More experienced specialists may not even raise the GS bar if they are told they are the detail leader whereas a lesser skilled specialist may even reach 3-4.

Highly skilled specialists can lower there GS levels through meditation of some sorts or easily visualizing himself through the detail.

The detail starts! Everyones GS raises irrespective of skill level. There are many factors as to why. Some are: starting off on the right foot, the initial meet etc. Understand that this level of GS is associated with the totality of the affects on a detail.

The arrival and departure also raises GS levels and skill level will affect where they go irrespective of who is around and how dicey it may seem.

A corporate client unwittingly depends on a specialist who works within the gradient scale. A celebrity prefers a a bodyguard, who in my opinion operates on a 2 position switch. Meaning, you’re either ON or you’re OFF. There is no middle ground within Celebrity protection. Herein lies another reason they don’t buy into the EP mission set. We aren’t wired to be that way on every scenario.

In HTP or PSD protection I say there is a 3 position switch.
Position 1 they are off and no light is emitting
Position 2 where they are preparing and then go on the OP. Slightly adrenalized
Position 3 is FULL ON where there is contact. Full adrenaline dump

A position 3 for a PSD operator is the same as the gradient scale 10 for an EP specialist. But it’s my opinion there is no middle 2-9 for someone working in a non permissive environment doing HTP. And in my opinion there is no room to have someone that can’t operate on the 3 position switch in PSD. The inverse is also true. Guys that work in PSD have a hard time transitioning to a gradient scale. Corporate clients freak out on a 3 position switch specialist. Rarely is there a full “ON” moment in corporate EP unless there is an attack. I would surmise that in our worse of worse incidences we’ve only reach a 7.5 to 8.

Here’s where I’m gonna rub the schools the wrong way. I’ll start by saying this: basic EP schools are just that, BASIC. You learn the craft and the nuances associated with it. In an AOP (attack on principal) drill it is intended to simulate an attack. Here again, because you know subconsciously that you’re in a class setting where no one is intentionally going to hurt you, you never reach 10 on a GS. Likewise in more high speed courses where simunitions are used to simulate being shot (the pain is excruciating when you’re hit) you never reach a 10 nor a 3 on the 3 position switch. Why? Because its not live rounds. However, all of this training is necessary because it teaches you what, how and why you respond a certain way.

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