Shhhhhh........Can you keep a secret?
Ok the title might have tricked you a bit because this is a discussion on operational security and just plain old professionalism in the protection field. I just didn't want to name it as such. Now this may hurt some people's feelings but first and foremost this is about your conduct as an agent and no one else's. What? What does that mean? I know that some protection agents get caught on camera, they don't want to, it just happens. This is not about you. I know that sometimes the principal may insist you get in the picture with them depending on your relationship. It is what it is. This is also not about you. This is about those annoying protectors who must tell people what they're doing. Who they are protecting. Yada, yada, yada. It is overt conduct to say look at me.
The number one enemy of a protector is that dang social media. It sometimes will specify your location, you need to show pictures, you must prove yourself to the world right? What do they say? Show me a picture or it didn't happen. Ummmmm......well it didn't happen shhhh......it's my secret. My favorite facebook post. "This is my office for the week." Hmmmmmm.......I am conducting intelligence on your principal. Sometimes my best bet is to look at the protectors. Look at this conversation, but insert a picture of the agent for good measure.
Agent: This is my office for the week (Insert picture of agent)
Friend: Lucky, where's that at? (Oh Oh)
Agent: Private airfield at XYZ airport.
Friend: That's awesome do you have any openings?
Insurgent: Check, information received.
Let's discuss the boredom banter. Man this job is boring. I am going to talk to the pretty ladies at the front desk, or restaurant, or concert, etc.
Agent: Hangs out in the area of the pretty ladies.
Pretty lady: So what's it like doing security? (Score, she wants me)
Agent: Well it can be boring sometimes. (Puffing out chest)
Pretty lady: Where are you going next? (making small talk, maybe)
Agent: We're going to XYZ location.
OK let's discuss this. There is no reason to socialize when you're doing a protection detail. Your job is to protect. Unless you're working a covert detail in which case they shouldn't even know why you are there. In a covert capacity this conversation would never take place. Now before you get on me about why is it a guy talking to a lady and not the other way around. Well in my experience lady agents are much more professional and don't get caught up in flirtatious banter.
I was observing a training class for a large sporting venue. The supervisor who supervises staff who works close to the athletes, entertainers, etc. made it very clear. No photographs and no autographs or you will not work here anymore. Seem harsh? Very appropriate. No sneaking friends or family in or you will not work here. If they talk to you be polite and have a conversation. Do not seek them out. Do not wander. Watching a locker room, dressing room, etc. is very important. Wandering to talk to a buddy out of boredom or to see what's going on is undisciplined and exposes the principal(s) to great risk. Do not look at the concert or event. Your job is to watch the crowd. Do not take photographs or post pictures or information on social media.
You may hear things. Conversations are not for you to expose no matter how cool, funny, "juicy", or dramatic they might be. The principal's are human too. They have human emotions and beliefs. Do not speak to them unless spoken to. Be professional in all contacts or you may be looking for another job maybe even another career. Don't ever complain to the principal, I call it whining. This is usually done in hopes to change a circumstance. Don't do it, it is not professional. If it is worth the complaint find another profession.
So this was hard hitting. It is a great profession. The true professionals know it is a job. Remember you can see some pretty cool places and do some pretty cool things but this is the principal's life not yours. Sometimes they eat lavishly and you're eating a bagged sandwich. They're in the luxurious suite and you're guarding the door to the suite. Maybe you're guarding the cars in the parking lot. Make no mistake every assignment is important and every assignment is necessary.
Let me know what you think. Sign up to get notified of my blogs. If there are any discussions or blog posts you want to see please let me know. Remember Always Safe Always Vigilant.