What does it take to be a bodyguard?
The occupation of being a bodyguard is a position of trust and confidence – you have to protect your client against any threats on his life. Apart from this you must also protect his persona and his confidential information. Most bodyguards are law enforcers, or those people who have had military training. However, military training is not really a necessity when it comes to this job. The most important trait one must possess is the willingness to lay your life for the welfare of your client.
An able bodyguard must be able to protect his client from assassination threats. Confidential information must also be kept secure at all times. The ability to do these would definitely require a lot of combined skills. Unlike what typical movies portray, the job requires more than just a classy suit. A potential bodyguard would require training in weaponry, strategic driving skills, as well as evasive action.
Why is it that most bodyguards are former law enforcers, or those who had prior military training? This is probably because of the exposure of the latter to perilous situations. Because of this experience, they are better adapted to possible situations which a bodyguard could face. Their exposure to weapons and combat training is also a definite advantage.
However, even non-military or law enforcement personnel can become bodyguards. What must be remembered is that in this occupation, combat expertise is not the end all. It might be an advantage, but being a bodyguard requires an understanding of a multitude of other things. In normal situations, no combat is involved but what would be at work is the bodyguard’s keen perception and awareness while serving as an armed escort of his client.
The most important aspect of being a bodyguard is a proper frame of mind for the job. Are you ready to take a bullet for your client? Are you willing to lay down your life on the line professionally? If your answer to both is yes, then you already somehow possess the most aptitude important in order to become a bodyguard.
A good bodyguard needs to have an even temper. Having a short fuse can literally cost lives in this industry. He/she must also be able to make decisions fast, on his feet because there comes a time when occasion calls for this and this, more often than in any other industry. One should also be able to take responsibility for one’s decisions and actions because let’s face it, if an individual cannot own a decision and take responsibility for it, he has no business being in charge of another person’s life.
And that is what the bodyguard industry is all about, lives. The vetting process for bodyguards is rigorous for this reason. Background checks are done, tests of one’s physical stamina as well as decision making ability, because there is an element of trust here. There is the placing of one’s life in the hands of another which brings about feelings of vulnerability and of lack of control. The bodyguard’s role therefore, in addition to that of protection, includes reassurance. By his demeanor, his posture, his words, his manner and his actions; the bodyguard must be able to put his/her clients at ease.
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