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Act of ValUe in executive protection

I encourage everyone in this blog to register and interact in and on the various social media pages where the topics really delve into the real issues and topics that enhance, encourage and effect this industry. Yesterday’s blog took the place of an already scheduled blog because of a topic that I was reading and interacting on. I felt that I needed to strike while the iron was hot. Today’s blog is a continuation in that same vain.

I used today’s title to draw the attention of what is important and what has happened. I will opine that there are many factors that have shifted the perception of what we are PROPERLY trained [term used loosely] to do and what many have been lured to. Our core principles are basic: Professional, Ethical, proactive personnel protection at the highest levels. In a nutshell that is it. We [BPI & MTMS] use the word “personnel” because that encompasses all persons and not just one person. It does not matter if you are doing close-in, special event, EP for High threat personnel, or protection in high threat environments, the core basics are always the same. The common denominator in every scenario is the specialist. Where it all goes awry is the specialists training and personal perception of what he/she is and how they deliver the goods. What scares me is this allure for the aggressive mindset of protection. I often caution myself about bringing this phenomenon up often but I am even seeing specialists that have great EP training and mindset getting sucked into this vortex. In a nutshell they are drawn by the glorified reputation or impression of the operator with the plate carrier with 4 double mag pouch carriers, the slung M4 and other pouches hanging like bulbs from a human Christmas tree. “I need to get some of that” is the voice they hear repeating in their brain. The attraction is so powerful, they feel that their initial training is sufficient to carry them into these environments. Even if you take a “High threat” course here in the US, you are technically not qualified unless the course is WPPS certified. One of our recent graduates from The MTMS course just finished a month long WPPS course and guess what? He hasn’t been called up yet.

What I have seen is that the need for the adrenaline fix starts to transcend into their basic protection principles here in permissive environments. They read posts from legitimate operators who have done it at the highest levels and it causes them to lose their “Act of Value” [what they are trained to do] and start to believe they can perform the same non-permissive “Acts of valor” as those they romanticize. This flawed leap is further problematic as they read stories, watch videos, and YES even watch movies that feed that adrenaline fix. The story written by Frank Gallagher was a great synopsis of a real life event, that when read, can become an adventure for the adrenaline junkie. Before you know it, the specialist that just completed his first EP school is now PSD in their minds. I love the movies, “Blackhawk Down” and “Act of Valor” too and I get an unbearable gravitational pull to throw my kit on and go to the range. But I keep everything in perspective. I’m never going to deploy a diversionary device [politically correct term used for flash bangs], sling my M4 and kit here in the US. The fact 90+% of our work will be in CONUS with a suit and moon beam [flashlight] and possibly a gun and blade-Possibly. There is much more Valor in knowing your real VALUE.

I implore the leaders and experts to kindly guide these misguided personalities that are rising in our midst. Now is the time that we need to protect our own and get them back in line.

5 comments

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  1. Chad Duke

    Eric-

    Well spoken. This goes back to one of our originial topics of conversation of why I very much look forward to attending The MTMS when possible. The MTMS focuses on the skills utilized on a daily basis as opposed to the add-on’s. We all need the add-on’s (driving, defensive tactics, shooting ect) but those shouldn’t be apart of a core EP School ciriculum. I continually work on those skills but am careful to stay in reality. In my humble opinion when proper mindset is the focus, everything will fall into place because the agent will revert back to that training as opposed to the add-on stuff that most clients will never see. Of all the details I’ve worked the one common theme that fosters a happy and safe principal is mindset.
    -Chad Duke

    1. Eric Konohia

      Very wise words and well put.

  2. No Chow

    Again Eric, great topic. I admit, in my early days in EP, I had the adrenaline filled dreams of going to the sand box and getting busy. And yes, I own a M4, plate carrier, plates, numerous molle gear, lots of mags, holsters, 5.11’s and other assorted Tacti-cool gear. As my scope and experience in EP has broadened, my desire to “get busy” OCONUS has dwindled. I attribute a lot of that to working with you and Minister, and also getting to know some solid specialist who have been there and done that. The “glory” ain’t what it’s cracked up to be. I’d rather shift my gaze towards traveling with a client to permissive environments overseas. Staying a week or month in Europe or some resort area outside the US looks a lot more appealing than living in a shipping container in the desert. That’s my take on it now.

    1. Eric Konohia

      No Chow,
      Your honest reply says volumes to the specialist you are. You keep that gear cause you will need it soon once we roll out the next BPI service platform. And that’s on the DL so keep it quiet before I get too many inquiries.

    2. No Chow

      Trust me Eric, I’ve spent too much time putting my kit together, it ain’t going no where. And it is still growing, just at a modified, more realistic pace now.

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