Armed security guads transporting a client

7 Things You Probably Didn’t Know about Armed Bodyguards

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Armed bodyguards have become an increasingly common sight in recent decades. Rising concerns about terrorism, kidnappings, and active shooters have inspired many politicians, celebrities, and corporate leaders to invest in executive protection for themselves and their families. These professionals help to provide critical peace of mind and personal security for some of the most well-known personalities in the world. Still, the profession itself remains a source of mystery for most people. For example, here are seven things you probably didn’t know about the bodyguard profession.

7 Facts You Need to Know

Most Armed Bodyguards Don’t Want to Have to Use Force

First, not all bodyguards are armed. Some work in environments where guns would be out of place or unnecessary. Still, both unarmed and armed bodyguards share one thing in common: they would rather not have to use force. A true professional is focused on preventing circumstances where force becomes necessary. When danger is present, the bodyguard’s first goal is to protect his client and get him or her out of the area as quickly and safely as possible. While fighting or drawing a weapon can sometimes be necessary, it is always viewed as a last resort.

Armed bodyguard removing a gun from his holster

There’s No Real Glamor Involved

Since bodyguards are routinely seen with celebrities, professional athletes, and other well-known personalities, it’s easy to assume that they live lives of glamor. The reality is something else entirely. Executive protection professionals are not there to hobnob with the rich and famous; instead, their focus is on identifying potential threats and protecting clients.

And while some movies and television shows might give the impression that clients and bodyguards ‘hang out’ together in social settings, real life rarely mimics those portrayals. The reality is that armed bodyguards are trained to maintain professional distance from their clients. Moreover, they have other things on their mind. After all, while the client is interacting with friends, engaged in a meeting, or enjoying a party, that bodyguard is busy monitoring the surroundings looking for any potential threat.

Some People View Bodyguards as a Status Symbol

In recent years, armed security has become something of a status symbol in certain parts of the population. There’s even been an increase in people hiring bodyguards to provide protection when they’re vacationing abroad.  Some hire executive protection due to real fears about kidnappings or terrorism, while others do it because they have the means and figure that it is better to be safe than sorry.

They’re Not Just for Celebrities

Executive protection is most noticeable when it’s providing protection for celebrities, politicians, and other notable personalities. However, many companies now hire armed bodyguards to protect CEOs and other executive-level officials. In other words, executive protection isn’t just for the rich and famous. It’s for anyone whose life or safety might be in jeopardy during travels or in any public setting.

A Good Bodyguard Can Increase a Client’s Productivity

The best bodyguards can dramatically increase their clients’ productivity, enabling them to more efficiently navigate their day. They’re trained to identify the best entrances and exits to avoid risk for their clients and are adept at figuring out the best time of day for travel or appearances. They also tend to arrange for smooth entrances to events and sites before they arrive, saving time and unnecessary exposure. Those and other efforts can help clients save time, which means that they can accomplish more in a day than they otherwise would.

Size Isn’t Everything

If your image of an armed bodyguard is something akin to an NFL lineman, think again. While many armed guards are large, imposing men, many others are average-sized men and women who blend into their surroundings. The fact is that clients have many different needs. Some require large guards because they want that intimidating, physical presence at an event or site. Other clients prefer their executive protection specialists to be less conspicuous.

Regardless of physical size, all executive protection professionals share a few traits in common:

  • A competent, professional demeanor that inspires confidence in those around them
  • Excellent situational awareness and the ability to quickly identify and assess potential threats
  • Quick decision-making skills, enabling them to rapidly arrive at the correct response to any serious situation
  • Rapid response capability, and the physical skills required to stop threats before they manifest
  • Good organizational skills and the ability to both plan strategies and adjust tactics in response to changing circumstances

Not All ‘Bodyguards’ Are Professionals

Bodyguards are not all created equal. In fact, there’s a huge difference between professional executive protection agents and some who call themselves “bodyguards.” Many sports stars, musicians, and other celebrities often surround themselves with former friends or family members, who serve as security. Unfortunately, members of that type of entourage rarely – if ever – have the professional training needed to properly address risks and emerging threat.

True professionals are trained to identify risks, respond to threats, and provide full-service protection for their charges. Many executive protection services use protocols that are as serious and far-reaching as those employed by well-known organizations like the Secret Service. When people hire an armed bodyguard, that is the level of protection they are expecting. That’s also why so many armed bodyguards prefer terms like “executive protection” and “close protection” to the bodyguard label. They want everyone to understand right away that they are competent, highly-trained professionals.

Contact International Security Services Today

That latter description aptly fits the professionals at International Security Services – New York City’s dedicated security experts. Our team is made up of more than just armed bodyguards; they’re true, seasoned pros with years of experience in providing the best executive protection in NYC. Our NYC-recognized instructors train our own security guards and armed bodyguards to ensure that we field only the best protection specialists in the industry, enabling us to provide consistently high-quality security services that safeguard both life and property. If you are thinking about becoming a New York City bodyguard, or simply want to hire executive protection for yourself or your company, contact us today for a consultation and quote.

Armed bodyguard target practicing

George Kozhar

George Kozhar

George Kozhar is a respected security professional, licensed private investigator, and founder of International Security Services (ISS) - New York City’s dedicated security experts since 1999. Mr. Kozhar and his team provide a full array of private and business investigative services in the U.S. and overseas, VIP executive protection, armed and unarmed security guard services and training, and Fire and Life Safety Director training through the company’s Fire Science Institute.