Body For Hire: The Complete Bodyguard Training Series” by Hawk East, Inc. is a video and text program on the basics of executive protection. The instructors Tom Carter, Jr., Roger Hair, Rick Reynolds, Dave Bartram, and Bill Thompson all have a wealth of knowledge and they share quite a bit in this program. For the individual who wants to know more about the field of executive protection, this would be a good place to start. For someone who took a course from Hawk East, this is a good refresher to have. I also want to say right up front that I like that Roger Hair put a dedication in memory of Tom Carter, Jr. in the case. I was familiar with Carter’s work and remember when he was killed in Iraq in 2004. I respect him, his knowledge, and his service to our country.
The first part of this review will focus on the three-volume DVD set. I’ll point out a few of my complaints regarding these DVDs first, and then get on to what I liked about them, and there is much more good than negative, and the negative as you’ll see is all about the production values not content.
These DVDs were first recorded on VHS and then transferred to DVD. Most of us that watch DVDs are accustomed to fancy menu pages, being able to skip to certain parts of the program, and so forth. You don’t get that with this program, and that is my biggest complaint. There is a ton of information here, and it would be more user friendly if you had a menu and could skip right to the topic you want to watch. So even though they are DVDs, it is like watching a VHS tape with no menus, scene selection, etc.
Enough with that, you get the point. Now on to the good, and there’s a lot. The instructors do a very good job of close protection bodyguard presenting a lot of information for those who wish to learn about executive protection. They present well and the audio and picture is clear. Most important, other than some equipment that might be outdated, the information they present is sound and valuable. I’ll now go through the three volumes individually with what they contain.
The first disc, volume 1, is almost entirely in the classroom. The only portion of this volume not in the classroom is a short segment with Rick Reynolds outside searching a vehicle. With that said, they did a good job of filming and editing the classroom material with different views of the speakers and cut-aways to the students so you were not just looking at the same scene then entire time. Now to the good stuff, the contents of the classroom instruction.
Roger Hair, Tom Carter Jr. and Rick Reynolds are all very knowledgeable on the subject matter and they dispel many myths about the executive protection field with their training. They are not there to create knuckle dragging bone crushers, but rather educated, articulate, motivated professionals that are willing to take on the responsibility of keeping clients safe. I like that they point out that 90% of the job is advance work and keeping clients away from threats.
This is a basic course, but as Carter says, “Basics are important.” During the equipment selection portion, things such as how you dress, weapons, holsters, body armor, briefcases, and sunglasses are discussed. Some of the gear and equipment discussed in this program may be outdated. To dismiss the series because of this would be foolhardy, since the reasons behind the equipment are still valuable to know. Basic terminology is discussed. Again, this is a basic course and some people will not be familiar with these terms, so I’m glad they were included.