What’s your background?

The infamous question…

The beginning of most executive protection conversations…

From this one question alone many agents try to understand, position and posture against one another. This one question qualifies and disqualifies individuals in the minds of fellow agents all the time in this game… But does it really matter all that much?

While we love to be around our own kin, myself included;

“I personally love working with fellow Marines because they have the most discipline, best work ethic and they actually follow orders accurately.” 😉 It has become painfully apparent to me that our past is just part of what makes us good at what we do. Yes I know the places we come from do make us who we are and yes, I will always think I’m better than you because I’m an 0351, Marine Corps Infantry Assaultman with two deployments, combat action ribbon etc. hopefully by now you’re starting to realize that I’m kind of joking… Somewhat.lol

However what I’ve noticed is simply that while it is very true that our pasts play a large part in our performance on the job and into the ideologies that drive our personalities; all too often I’ve met other professionals that in spite of their illustrious, respectable and high-speed past accolades, presently perform very poorly in their current state. Where you come from is very important but what’s more important is who you are today, followed by who you are preparing to be tomorrow. The good old days were good and I’m not taking anything away from the honor of those memories. However I am dealing with the reality that I need men to the left and right of me who can perform now and if we as practitioners can’t deliver that than we are a joke. We are not truly “worth our salt,” as some would say.

I think it is simply one of the most tragic and dishonoring things a man can do when representing and proudly proclaiming where he comes from, to let his edge be dull in the site of others. All too often however, veterans and former death dealers show up asking me what my background is while I’m totally sure that they are barely physically able to keep up with the game if we have to kick things into fourth gear and even if they are physically fit, are they tactically proficient? When’s the last time you went to the range and what was the quality of your regimen? We carry guns every day for a living… There’s nothing about that which should not be taken very seriously.

I’m writing this post and sending this message in order to encourage every operator out there who’s proud of where they came from and the crucibles that forged the warrior edge they now wield to simply honor the good old days by keeping their edge sharp. Keep it razor-sharp until you choose to step out of the game or the game might retire you… Heaven forbid.

The best part is simply that most of what we do has very little to do with our tactical backgrounds and much more to do with our social dynamics, observational / people skills and emotional intelligence. Yet still we asked the question and the answer does matter but it doesn’t matter as much as some of us think it does in my personal opinion.

“One mind – many weapons”


Empowerment Strategist Byron Rodgers brings you Finding Meaning After The Military


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