During the time that I worked as a security guard on the Gold Coast, I met guards who were working as bodyguards, or in close personal protection services. Although I met them, they didn’t socialise with other security guards; they tended to be more secretive.
Bodyguards, or close personal protection guards, are the elite of security services. Some have previously been ordinary security guards, but a large number of them have a military background. There are many invaluable skills learned in the military to equip bodyguards for their work; particularly in picking up that sixth sense to what is happening around them.
Personal bodyguards are generally big in stature and very fit physically. They are quite vigilant in working out to maintain that fitness. The guys I met would work out 2 or 3 times a day when they were not working, and they would look for opportunities to improve their skills every day. I didn’t really get to know them that well, but we had a mutual respect I guess. They never talked that much, even to themselves.
They are armed with guns, but their arms are hidden. They are extremely well trained with firearms. If you want to be a serious security professional, you need to learn how to operate firearms effectively and you need to keep that training current. I have never liked guns personally, and since my security career was only really ever a part time job to help fund my education, I never had the will to take those sorts of courses and get that kind of training.
Another part of their training is in emergency response; sensing what is happening around them is heavily emphasised. They are proactive and can cover their target instantly, even if it is with their own bodies. They are paid good money to provide such protection. I never actually witnessed an attack, but I saw plenty of drills. I used to think while I was watching these if potential attackers knew who they were taking on. Sometimes there were multiple bodyguards. One or two surrounding the principal and maybe 2 or 3 more blending in with the rest of the crowd, so if an attack occurred, the attackers would be being watched by (sleeper) bodyguards who would come in out of nowhere and take them out.
We security guards mostly came into contact with bodyguards at large events. We wore uniforms, but the personal protection services always wore suits and had headsets. Once we saw a number of them milling about, we would know that there was a VIP around, even if we didn’t recognise the person. They were always aloof towards us which didn’t bother me one bit.
One observation I made was that I don’t believe I saw a bodyguard over the age of 40. I think that maybe if you want to be a serious close protection professional, you probably only have 20 years to make your career. I guess then they can teach it to others, but I certainly didn’t see anyone who I though was over 40 operating as a bodyguard (you get a few security guards).
Majid (not his real name) is a Jordanian national living and studying in Australia and working as a security guard, Sydney.