My first protection detail was 30 August 1974. I was a second-year Marine Option Midshipman at Ohio State who “volunteered” to protect then-President Gerald R. Ford as he gave the commencement address at graduation. While it was an eye-opening and life-changing experience for me, the two-hour orientation provided by the US Secret Service hardly prepared me for a career that I knew I desperately wanted to pursue.
I changed my college major from engineering to criminology and fought my way into the police academy only to find that Central Ohio was not the Mecca for protection details. Neither was there much in the way of professional training in protection work because EPI and ESI hadn’t taken off just yet. So, if one wasn’t in the Secret Service or Army CID, one’s education came from magazines, television, movies, and a variety of other sources which had little reliability and even less practicality.