The tickle of curiosity. The gasp of discovery. Fingers running across the keyboard.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Body Guard and Close Protection Specialist: Information for Writers with Rock Higgins


Fiona - Hi Rock, Would you please introduce yourself
            to my readers, and tell us how you spend your
            days and about your credentials? They are pretty

Rock - My full time job is as an Executive Protection
           Operator (Bodyguard) I work a 7 day on 7 day off
           rotation for an international businessman and his
            family. As I oversee 20 guys, it's pretty busy as we
            travel worldwide. So it is either working, planning
            or training plus much more. 

            My Certified Anti-Terrorism Specialist
            qualifications not only helps my full time role, 
            but when I work for myself. 
            I train businesses in anti-terrorism
            procedures. I also teach civilians, law
            enforcement, military and bodyguards in close
            quarter combat and now, of course, the writing.

Fiona - I have your book. Can you tell me about the impetus to write Meditations of a Modern Warrior.
            Whom did you want to reach?
Amazon Kindle Link

Rock - It didn't start out as a book. I had been doing a newsletter and had so many people asking for back
            issues. Someone said I should put it into a book form, and so I did. 
            The book is really for anyone regardless of  age, experience with violence/dangerous environment,
            or employment. Over 90% of being secure is mental, so the book mostly informs people how to
            look at themselves, their environment, and generally how they live or should live to be secure. It's
            getting the average person to take on the correct mind-set.

Fiona - Authors, if you are writing a a plot line that includes a safety detail, this is a great resource book for
            you. It includes all kinds of possible plot twists that Rock is preparing professionals to face. It will
            help you understand thought process and preparation as well as write those awesome combat

            Rock, let's pretend just that. I am writing a plot line where I have a heroine who needs protection
            because she is a daughter of an executive worth mega bucks. What do you tell her about what life
            will be like with close protection? 

Rock - Well I have been in that position so this is first-hand knowledge. As a young person, they don't
            want you there, and if I was in there shoes I would not want anyone cramping my style either. It is a
            master and slave relationship and a lot of give and take to build up trust. Depending on the threat,
            high medium or low risk, the environment that the daughter lives in and travels to, and also the people
            with whom she associates are going to impact how the operation is handled. 

            The more space you can give them when it is safe, the closer you can get when the situation changes.
            They are the masters (Employers) but when the shit hits the fan, it is a role reversal if they want to
             live or remain unharmed. Through the work of building trust, they learn to recognize from the
             bodyguard the signs of trouble and know how to behave and obey orders when command of the
             situation falls firmly onto the bodyguard. And they effectively become the slave. I use the code word
             'Harden Up' as an indicator from me to them that it's going serious, and they have a Pre-text fast
             dial to me with the same code word to get me running.

Fiona - "Harden up" - I LOVE that! Okay lets talk things going serious, can you give me an instance when
            you would say "harden up"? And another instance when the Principal would text you the "harden up"

Rock - I work as either an IBG (Individual Bodyguard) or as a team leader in charge of a team. 
            As an IBG, I am giving orders to my boss. As a team leader I am giving orders to my team. 
            As an IBG, unless there is a direct threat, it will be the opportunist who attacks. 
            Unarmed, edged or blunt trauma weapons or firearms. On my command of "Harden up," I need to
            simultaneously move the principal out of harms way and take on threat. 

            You can see this on the website under close protection and the latest blog post gives a bit more
            detail. (BLOG LINK to Rock Higgins Blog Article on this subject) With a team the nearest person
            to the threat gives the order to "Harden up," he takes on the threat while the team evacs the principal.

Fiona - And the text message?

Rock - For example in Moscow, you know you are in a nice place when doormen (bouncers) have AKs
           and chest riggs. A family friend's party, at the venue we don't know any of other guests, so there
           may be an indirect threat. Then a family friend turns up with three SUV type vehicles. Eight uniformed
           soldiers in urban camo de-bus and go into all round defense with AKs, and the family friend gets out
           and goes into the venue. As we are in the venue but not close, that is when the txt message comes in

Fiona - What do you call the person you are protecting is there a specific term?

Rock - Officially they are known as the Principal, actually known as the Boss

Fiona - What if it's not the principal? What if it's his wife or kid?

Rock - Kids get called by their name, wives or husbands Mr. or Mrs. surname.

Fiona - Can you tell me some of the criteria that would put someone in a low
             medium of high risk category?

Rock - Some risk criteria:

Low risk
* City / town being visited is relatively free from crime. 
* Emergency services in place with fast effective response
* There is no direct threat to family member. 
* Normal close protection security procedures in place 
Link to V.I.P.A. Website

Medium risk -
*City / town being visited has normal / average 
  crime rate. 
* Emergency services in place are slow or only
   respond to certain crimes /emergencies. 
* Terrorists have been active in the area in the
* No direct threat against family member. 
* Opportunist attack is more prevalent. 
* Contingency plans to be put into place. 

High risk
* Crime is higher than normal. 
* Opportunist attack at higher rate with foreign
   nationals targeted. 
* Unsafe or no-go areas in area visited.
* Direct threat against family member. 
* Terrorists active within the last year. 
* Emergency services slow, lack moral, equipment, 
  or are unable to cope with crime levels. 
* Contingency plans to be implemented

 Extreme Risk -
* These are personal risk assessments which are
   combined with a country risk level to give a more
   in-depth picture of threats faced.

Fiona - Has one of your young people (or older
            people for that matter) ever tried to ditch

Rock - Young people trying to do runner. Yes that
            happens a  lot of the times, especially where
            boyfriends were concerned.

Fiona - Hahaha Can you blame them?

Rock - Nope, but it's a right pain in the backside

Fiona - I bet - Do you have a "talk" with the boy?

Rock - Yes once the guys knew who we were and what we did, they usually were on side. But there
             have been some fantastic escape plans that I am sure prisoners of war would be proud of.

Fiona - LOL I actually clapped my hands when I read your last answer. Can you tell us a story?

Rock - Without giving too much away... 
            We could not figure out how one young
            person was getting out of a secure building, 
            we even actually made a joke about how
            they were getting out that in fact was true. 
            I was asked to load some luggage for a
            family friend into a car, a suitcase which I
            struggled to lift. I got another to help me and
            as we were putting the case into the boot I
            said wouldn't it be funny if such and such
            was in here. Well it turned out that was how
            they were getting out of the building. The
            next time I was asked, I opened the case
            before it left the building, and a head and
            shoulders popped out. Although serious, I
            couldn't help but laugh at how ingenious they were.

           I could actually write a book on all of the funny stories without giving any operational details away,
           maybe in the future.

Fiona - You should! Very cool that you are living what we are writing.

 Fiona - Rock, can you describe your favorite scar and tell us the story behind it?

Rock - That has got me stumped. Through all of my military career, my security work and all of the insane
            contact sports I play, I am pretty scar-less. I do though have a dislocated little finger that is out of
            shape from playing rugby and every time I look at it, I laugh as I remember it was snapped in half 
            and bent backwards. At the time, I let out a very girl-y high-pitched squeal which I am to this day
            embarrassed about.

Fiona - I'd pay good money for a video of that!

Rock - There is no video of me squealing, and I think I would say no there is no video of me squealing even
            if there was LOL.

Fiona  - Rock, thank you for the pleasure of your company and for sharing all of this wonderful information. 

Readers, you can catch up with Rock through:
Linkedin - Paul 'Rock' Higgins CMAS, SAC Dip
Facebook - Paul 'Rock' Higgins CMAS, SAC dip
Website -

Thank you so much for stopping by. And thank you for your support. When you buy my books, you make it possible for me to continue to bring you helpful articles and keep ThrillWriting free and accessible to all.

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