Close protection is a highly specialized form of protective force, which is tasked to protect the lives and the properties of others. It can also be known as bodyguard, security guard, guarded escort, or private security specialist. Not to be mistaken with an ambulance service. A close protection (bodyguard) is a kind of security officer, public servant, or military member who guards a single individual or a small group of individuals usually high-profile public figures, celebrities, or wealthy individuals.
As the name suggests, bodyguards must be physically fit. They need to have good stamina, strong arms, solid leg muscles, as well as good reflexes and agility. Bodyguards also need to be knowledgeable, skilled, trained, and able to react immediately in any volatile situations. A professionally trained bodyguard is one of the most effective close protection agents because he/she could potentially take out an attacker in a few seconds using just a few physical moves.
There are many different professional organizations that train, mentor, and support close protection operatives. Some of these include the FBI, the US Coast Guard, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Peace Officers Association, the National Association of Criminal Investigators, the National Professional Security Officers Association, and the National Security Agency. These organizations have stringent requirements for their members to undergo before they are allowed to become bodyguards or guards. Besides passing several tests, operatives of these organizations must undergo extensive training to learn about surveillance and concealment techniques, crisis management, first aid procedures, personal safety, weapon usage, physical tactics, as well as vehicle operations and emergency procedures.