During the introductions at the beginning of the first day, I could not believe the amount of experience and expertise possessed by the majority of my fellow students, consisting of men and women coming from the U.S. and abroad (e.g., China, the Philippines, and Canada) – active and retired law enforcement officers, active, ex-, and retired military personnel, including combat veterans, overseas security contractors, secretary of state and governor protection detail members and leaders, fortune 500 and fortune 50 corporate executive protectors, corporate and family security team operators, asset protection team member, private security company owners, a new hire with Diplomatic Security Service, and a well known principal protection book author with decades of security experience. With the experience possessed my classmates coupled with the incredible experience possessed by our instructors, I knew I was about to learn more than I ever had in either 7 days or 100 hours, and that I did! On your EPI website you talk about the network that one establishes just by attending your 7-day course and becoming a Nine Lives Associates member – if I had any doubt about this being true, my doubt would have been squashed after the student and instructor introductions – i.e., within the first 30 minutes of the course!
Even though I have always thought the field of protection to be intriguing and that protectors provide a very important role in our society, other than reading a few books on protection before coming to your course I knew next to nothing about what was involved with providing protection, or the realities of working in the field. Because of my previous, relatively limited background associated with the majority of the numerous topics that were presented throughout the 7 days, it is difficult for me to comment on them other than to say that each seemed very relevant and important, current, and a number were very “eye-opening.” Each module allowed for open discussions, which were very informative and were very much appreciated and enjoyed by me. Even though the days (/nights) were long and fast-paced, for me the majority of all the covered topics and exercises were extremely interesting, which was not due to the content alone, but the truly talented, highly skilled and experienced operators that brought their significant experience, knowledge, passion, as well as humor to the classroom and field to ensure we each learned the material, and enjoyed the learning experience.