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ferretray
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Posted: 1/10/2011 7:42:27 AM EST
Any folks here train at ESI? AAR?
Shake-N-BakeInEffect
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Posted: 1/11/2011 5:29:56 AM EST
Yea, I'm a grad from all three courses, (EP, PSD, PI). What are you lookin for exactly? Just the shooting or the overall courses?
ferretray
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Posted: 1/11/2011 11:14:27 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/11/2011 11:15:56 AM EST by ferretray]
Originally Posted By Shake-N-BakeInEffect:
Yea, I'm a grad from all three courses, (EP, PSD, PI). What are you lookin for exactly? Just the shooting or the overall courses?

I'm looking at the EP credential course for starters. I've been in the security field for some time now and would like to improve my skillset and marketability. I aim to qualify for the initial credential.
If you could share an AAR ref. your experience @ ESI and what it's done for your career I sure would be thankful.

Rob_Pincus
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Posted: 1/12/2011 7:46:34 PM EST
Hey Ferret, I've gone through ESI's Exec Protect and their Protective Intelligence residency programs... both 2+ weeks long and both very worthwhile. I also taught for them during a few sessions many years ago.

They probably have the most comprehensive EP training for low-profile assignments and low to medium threat clients available. When you take into the account the correspondence coursework, the volume of material is huge and the topics covered are more than you get from any other course that I am aware of. In an industry where people have the audacity to give "Executive Protection Certifications" from 2 or 3 day courses, the ESI Program stands pretty tall. Google my name and theirs and you should find some articles I wrote for S.W.A.T. Magazine that are complete AARs on different aspects of their program from back when I was going through as a student.

-RJP
ferretray
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Posted: 1/13/2011 4:51:25 PM EST
Originally Posted By Rob_Pincus:
Hey Ferret, I've gone through ESI's Exec Protect and their Protective Intelligence residency programs... both 2+ weeks long and both very worthwhile. I also taught for them during a few sessions many years ago.

They probably have the most comprehensive EP training for low-profile assignments and low to medium threat clients available. When you take into the account the correspondence coursework, the volume of material is huge and the topics covered are more than you get from any other course that I am aware of. In an industry where people have the audacity to give "Executive Protection Certifications" from 2 or 3 day courses, the ESI Program stands pretty tall. Google my name and theirs and you should find some articles I wrote for S.W.A.T. Magazine that are complete AARs on different aspects of their program from back when I was going through as a student.

-RJP


Howdy Sir. Thanks for taking the time to post.
I look forward to the learning opportunities available at ESI. Should be able to start the process soon.
Semper Fi

Shake-N-BakeInEffect
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Posted: 1/14/2011 7:27:29 AM EST
Hey Rob, good to see a post from you. I am currently putting together an AAR from the 28 day EP program, will be posted soon.

- Z
Shake-N-BakeInEffect
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Posted: 1/27/2011 11:17:39 AM EST
Review of Executive Security International’s Executive Protection Program
Background:I was a student at Executive Security International (ESI) in the August/September 28 day Executive Protection (EP) program in 2009. I also attended the Personal Security Detail (PSD) program as well as the Protective Intelligence (PI) Course and am currently a firearms instructor for both the EP and PSD programs.
Program:I participated in the 28 day EP program, which offers the same credentials as the 15 day Resident Training (RT) and Distance Education (DE) program. I will mainly address the 28 day program, though one should be aware that both programs exist. The 15 day RT/DE program is also a viable route for someone trying to enter the field of EP. At ESI, this program requires nine DE courses that fit into that specific curriculum as well as the 15 day RT where you will be taught and evaluated. More information on this program can be found at www.esi-lifeforce.com.
Students:The students’ backgrounds were not as typical as I had expected in this course. I, along with several others, came from a military background. There were a handful of ex-law enforcement officers, people currently involved in the protection industry, a South African who had been working PSD’s in Iraq, a college student, and a couple of gents who had never dealt with security, tactics, or weapons who decided they wanted a life changing experience. The student body was diverse to say the least!
Sign Up:The sign up process was extremely easy for this course. I contacted ESI at 888-718-3105 and was able to sign up right away. I was instructed that I would receive a series of e-mails from Fonda Delcamp (Vice President of ESI) with information on a packing list, lodging, and what specialty items I may need.

DAY 1:All the 28 day students met up at the designated location in the hotel we were staying at (though you are not required to stay there) in Grand Junction, CO. We were immediately greeted by Fonda and given our entrance packet. The packet consisted of the standard release agreements and emergency contact information/medical releases. After we received our uniforms (which run a little small, I suggest getting one size above normal…….or don’t eat food!) we were briefed by Mr. Bob Duggan. Mr. Duggan is the founder of ESI, as well as a master in several arts. His experience is extremely impressive as well as colorful… Mr. Duggan gave us the introduction to ESI as well as ground rules for the course along with some war stories from those who didn’t follow the rules. Some were far more entertaining than others…..follow the rules.

DAY 2-13:ESI teaches intelligence based protection, meaning stopping the assault on principle BEFORE it happens. Class began promptly at 08:00 a.m. The next two weeks consisted of almost all bookwork, and there is a lot of it. (NOTE: All instructor names presented here are pseudonyms that are being used for privacy reasons.) We started with Bill Watson with a module on Estate Security. Though the topic is a bit dry, there is a lot of information there, and work in the industry long enough, you’re going to run into a job that requires it. I must remind you that this course is not training bodyguards, they are training protection specialists. It’s not all about diving in front of bullets or covering and evacuating a client. This is the kind of stuff that will separate the specialist from the bodyguard.
We spent two days on estate security and all aspects of it. I must add, one of Bill’s specialties is handwriting analysis. If you get the chance to spend some time after class with him there is definitely value added in hearing and seeing what he can do with it. The next day brought one of my favorite animated characters, H. Reginald Marshal. Harry is a certified expert in his field, all things legal, and having done case studies on some of his work, is a true professional. We spent the next three day talking about Cal-OSHA and workplace violence. At the time I’m not sure I truly appreciated what I was learning, but as it turns out my first gig after ESI was an emergency workplace violence project. I packed my clothes, body armor, guns, and Harry’s class notes. It proved quite useful!!! Harry also taught about the “Legal Principles and Applications in the Use-of-Force for Protection Operations.” I know it’s a mouthful, and so was the class! There is a lot of great information you NEED to know on what you can and cannot do in the protection industry.
Next came Michael S. Douglas, owner of a well known intelligence and training company, and the best man I know when it comes to all things explosive. We spent the next few days with Michael learning about different assassinations throughout the world as well as overpressures, bombs, explosions, initiators, etc. If it blew up, we learned about it. There is so much great information in that class it’ll make your head spin. Michael also spoke about combating those same things that go boom, to include screening, searching, and what to look for. Note: This is not a bomb making/bomb defusing class. It is a familiarization to the anatomy of what bombs are/do. We also had a great block of instruction on intelligence, both gathering and understanding.
After all of that we moved onto ethical issues associated with the protection industry as well as types of clients we could expect to run into in our time. Following that came the beginning of the meat and potatoes, protective details and their make ups. We learned about everything from the two man detail up to the 19 man Presidential detail. Realistically, unless you are going to be working with the Secret Service, you will most likely not see a detail this large. The next block of instruction, and one of the most important in my opinion, was Advance Operations. These are all the operations you do before the detail/event actually happens. This consists of everything from routes, parking places, lodging, all the way down to the location of the bathrooms. I have been the “advance guy” many times and you learn quick that the key to advances is checklists!!! Advance work is a MUST!!! Many situations, very bad situations, could have been avoided by proper advance work. “Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.” Words to live by.
Though I do not remember the actual date, we also participated in and were certified in CPR/AED operations. This was the standard Red Cross Class, but it is a must in this industry. The class was taught by Michelle Holyoak, a local paramedic in Grand Junction who has been with the school for several years.

DAY 14-28:About this time came the students who had done the DE courses. They joined the class in the morning which brought the class size to around 30. This was a large class but it was handled very well by ESI. Over the next few days Mr. Duggan instructed us on facial cues, recognizing an attack, and detecting deception when speaking to individuals. These classes, though not physically demanding, were definitely intense. We spent hours reviewing photographs and videos trying to pick up on micro-expressions and identifying assaults on principles before they happened. Again, though these tools are not usually stressed in other courses, they have proved to be worth their weight in gold. To truly prevent the attack you must understand how it is going to happen, as well as what happens BEFORE the attack.
We were soon joined by Clint Rogers and Dutch Clark, a dynamic duo of instructors. Both have diverse backgrounds in the protection world to include government and private sector operations. We were also joined by Bill Watson and Ken O’Connor with a couple others who have been around the industry for some time. The next several days not only gave us the practical skills to operate in this industry, but also evaluated us to see if we really had what it takes. Without going into detail, don’t want to ruin it for future students, we were handed a situation as a team and asked if there was an issue. The next week was filled with late nights, surveillance, counter-surveillance, and racking our brains playing the “what if” game in our room.
Throughout those days we ran protective details, advances, weapons disarms, and what we dubbed as “Walk-Abouts.” Walk-abouts, for my non-Australian friends, was a drill where we would literally walk around town with our instructor/principle and operate as a protective detail. We were constantly on edge, wondering who was watching, who knew who we were, what we were doing, and realizing how hard it is to look normal! We practiced attacks on principle over and over. We rehearsed every position in the detail until we could operate as any member of the team with our eyes closed. As the time went on, our team really began to gel with each other to a point where we could rely on everyone to do the right thing. As Clint would say, “You’re just going to work. Nothin crazy about it.” And we did. We prepared as much as we could and then, we just went to work.
After testing was done, we all needed a beer, but training wasn’t over yet. Next came range time! The night before the range, Tom Caruso (Head Shooting Instructor) introduced himself and gave us a brief on what we could expect over the next few days at the range. The best way I can describe the shooting program is a “Zero to Hero” program as Tom calls it. There were several students in the class that were not shooters, and even more students who thought they were shooters or couldn’t stop talking about how good they were with a gun……..until range time came. As this is a point for many on this forum, I will try to delve deeply into ESI’s EP shooting program.

RANGE TIME:I ran my Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm full size with my surefire X300 mounted for the class. I was using a Phantom Light Compatible belt mounted holster from Raven Concealment and Blade-Tech mag holders. I am a huge fan of this configuration, though I have since changed my mag holders to Raven Concealment as well due to retention issues. Ammunition was supplied by ESI (you have the option to buy through them). It was remanufactured Ultramax 125g. Of the 646 rounds I fired I had two light primer strikes throughout the course which we deduced were ammunition issues, not weapon issues. Yes, the round count is low, but it has a lot to do with the shooter and the situations. I have since seen people expend 1200 or more rounds in this class. Do not be discouraged by the round count, it has it’s purpose.
Day one began with a safety brief as well as introduction to weapons handling and the principles of marksmanship. The morning was spent getting familiar with our firearms, working dry-fire drills and testing everyone’s groups at distance. We were given the Level 3 shooting test, 18rds at 20 yds on an 8 inch plate. Once a student passed that, it was down to the next range to work the fundamentals. It must be said, there are some people that don’t pass the Level 3 test right away. The instructors will work with you on your fundamentals as long as is needed.
The rest of day one was filled with little blocks of instruction on draw stroke, speed reloads, sights, and triggers. It must be said that ESI has a very different methodology of doing reloads than what most may be used too. No matter what (slide lock or not) the shooter power strokes the gun after a reload. This goes for all reloads, speed and tactical. The theory behind it is that you are 100% sure there is a round in the chamber. Yes, they do know that they are losing a round. Take it if you want, throw it away if you don’t. Just don’t be “that guy” that gets all pissy and wants to prove how awesome he thinks he is. Remember, we go to courses to learn that specific schools/instructors technique.
Day two began with more lecture and instruction on using/carrying a gun in the context of the armed protection specialist. After about 30 minutes, we headed onto the range for some trigger time. The type of training at the range is typically a “Round Robin” or circuit. This is nice because it generally limits the number on people on each individual range to between five and 10. We spent day two working draw strokes, use of cover/concealment, shooting while moving (forward and backward), and reloads. After lunch we received a brief on drawing from concealment and proper use of concealment. From then on, the entire course was shot from concealment.
Day three began with a lecture and again quickly moved to some trigger time. The morning consisted of transitioning from target to target and trying to increase speed from the holster. We also worked on malfunction clearance (failure to fire and double feed). These began to set the pace for the beginning of test day. We also participated in something known as the “Africa” Drill. I will not explain it here, but it is based on a real world encounter of a good friend and colleague. We also began working structure clearing (NOT dynamic entry). This was a good block of instruction on cornering and clearing as well as situational awareness.
After lunch we began introduction to the ESI shooting tests. The tests were no secret. To pass Level 2, a shooter had to pass the infamous plate test. This consisted of three stages. The first was to draw and engage one steel plate at a certain distance. You would do this three times at different distances. The second stage required the shooter to draw and engage three targets (all eight inch plates) at different distances. Finally, the third stage required the engagement of five plates at different distances. Hitting the plates isn’t the issue; it’s hitting them in time! Completion of that test made you eligible for the Level 1 shooter qualification.
The next test was known as the “3 on 1” where the shooter would be required to engage three silhouettes within 180dregrees, at different distances. Again, hits are not the issue, time is! It must be said that none of the tests are ridiculously hard, but they all require a good balance of speed and precision. The next test was the cornering and clearing test. All of these tests were exactly like the real tests that would happen the next afternoon.
We then moved to the malfunction clearance test. This test required the shooter to clear a double feed and re-engage a target in a set amount of time while still achieving accurate hits. “Fast is fine, accuracy is final.”(Wyatt Earp) Get the hits. The final test was a full protective detail test. This test actually takes place on day five with a practice run on day four. Two shooters would have to engage three targets each while the rest of the detail performed their duties. There is a lot that goes into this drill/test. You will learn every position, and more importantly, perform/be tested on every position.
Day four had more practice and then after lunch, test time. If you failed any test, or wanted to better your score, you were allowed to retest the next morning. Be aware, it is your last score that counts, not your best score. So whatever you shot on your last attempt was what you ended up with. Don’t let your ego get in the way of passing this course.
After all the testing is done on day five there is a closing ceremony and the announcement of “Top Gun” (highest scoring shooter). Again, with respect to the ceremony, I will not explain it here. Later that night came the formal and official award/graduation ceremony. This was a dinner hosted by ESI at the hotel. Though it is a formal ceremony, it is still a good time to say goodbye and have some fun with your classmates. I must say, some of the people I met there have become some of my closest friends, both instructors and students. I have been on details with them and trained with them since then and we always seem to reminisce. The networking is also amazing! If they are serious in the protection business, they probably have people from ESI filling their ranks. Frankly put, if they’ve never heard of ESI, you may want to check out their credentials a bit more. Do not misunderstand me; there are several excellent programs and companies out there. There are ESI grads all over the world. I have run into grads on details, both in the U.S. and abroad. I have yet to work with an organization, both operations and training, which had not heard of ESI or worked with ESI grads.
In conclusion, ESI is by far the leader in intelligence based protective operations. It is the full package, from estate security to weapons manipulation, you won’t find a more inclusive and extensive package for your hard earned money. For more information about the programs or to possibly enroll in a class, please contact Brandon Delcamp (VP of marketing) at brandon@esi-lifeforce.com or call him at 1-888-718-3105. Brandon will be more than happy to help you out with whatever you need and answer any questions you may have.

NOTE: This review was written and posted with the expressed permission of Executive Security International. All instructor names have been changed for privacy reasons.
CAsoldier
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Posted: 1/29/2011 6:03:09 PM EST
Holy crap! If I read that website right my GI bill will pay for the 4 week course! I know what I'm doing next summer semester.
You are what you do, when it counts. -The Masao
ferretray
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Posted: 1/31/2011 2:42:15 AM EST
Originally Posted By Shake-N-BakeInEffect:
Review of Executive Security International’s Executive Protection Program
Background:I was a student at Executive Security International (ESI) in the August/September 28 day Executive Protection (EP) program in 2009. I also attended the Personal Security Detail (PSD) program as well as the Protective Intelligence (PI) Course and am currently a firearms instructor for both the EP and PSD programs.
Program:I participated in the 28 day EP program, which offers the same credentials as the 15 day Resident Training (RT) and Distance Education (DE) program. I will mainly address the 28 day program, though one should be aware that both programs exist. The 15 day RT/DE program is also a viable route for someone trying to enter the field of EP. At ESI, this program requires nine DE courses that fit into that specific curriculum as well as the 15 day RT where you will be taught and evaluated. More information on this program can be found at www.esi-lifeforce.com.
Students:The students’ backgrounds were not as typical as I had expected in this course. I, along with several others, came from a military background. There were a handful of ex-law enforcement officers, people currently involved in the protection industry, a South African who had been working PSD’s in Iraq, a college student, and a couple of gents who had never dealt with security, tactics, or weapons who decided they wanted a life changing experience. The student body was diverse to say the least!
Sign Up:The sign up process was extremely easy for this course. I contacted ESI at 888-718-3105 and was able to sign up right away. I was instructed that I would receive a series of e-mails from Fonda Delcamp (Vice President of ESI) with information on a packing list, lodging, and what specialty items I may need.

DAY 1:All the 28 day students met up at the designated location in the hotel we were staying at (though you are not required to stay there) in Grand Junction, CO. We were immediately greeted by Fonda and given our entrance packet. The packet consisted of the standard release agreements and emergency contact information/medical releases. After we received our uniforms (which run a little small, I suggest getting one size above normal…….or don’t eat food!) we were briefed by Mr. Bob Duggan. Mr. Duggan is the founder of ESI, as well as a master in several arts. His experience is extremely impressive as well as colorful… Mr. Duggan gave us the introduction to ESI as well as ground rules for the course along with some war stories from those who didn’t follow the rules. Some were far more entertaining than others…..follow the rules.

DAY 2-13:ESI teaches intelligence based protection, meaning stopping the assault on principle BEFORE it happens. Class began promptly at 08:00 a.m. The next two weeks consisted of almost all bookwork, and there is a lot of it. (NOTE: All instructor names presented here are pseudonyms that are being used for privacy reasons.) We started with Bill Watson with a module on Estate Security. Though the topic is a bit dry, there is a lot of information there, and work in the industry long enough, you’re going to run into a job that requires it. I must remind you that this course is not training bodyguards, they are training protection specialists. It’s not all about diving in front of bullets or covering and evacuating a client. This is the kind of stuff that will separate the specialist from the bodyguard.
We spent two days on estate security and all aspects of it. I must add, one of Bill’s specialties is handwriting analysis. If you get the chance to spend some time after class with him there is definitely value added in hearing and seeing what he can do with it. The next day brought one of my favorite animated characters, H. Reginald Marshal. Harry is a certified expert in his field, all things legal, and having done case studies on some of his work, is a true professional. We spent the next three day talking about Cal-OSHA and workplace violence. At the time I’m not sure I truly appreciated what I was learning, but as it turns out my first gig after ESI was an emergency workplace violence project. I packed my clothes, body armor, guns, and Harry’s class notes. It proved quite useful!!! Harry also taught about the “Legal Principles and Applications in the Use-of-Force for Protection Operations.” I know it’s a mouthful, and so was the class! There is a lot of great information you NEED to know on what you can and cannot do in the protection industry.
Next came Michael S. Douglas, owner of a well known intelligence and training company, and the best man I know when it comes to all things explosive. We spent the next few days with Michael learning about different assassinations throughout the world as well as overpressures, bombs, explosions, initiators, etc. If it blew up, we learned about it. There is so much great information in that class it’ll make your head spin. Michael also spoke about combating those same things that go boom, to include screening, searching, and what to look for. Note: This is not a bomb making/bomb defusing class. It is a familiarization to the anatomy of what bombs are/do. We also had a great block of instruction on intelligence, both gathering and understanding.
After all of that we moved onto ethical issues associated with the protection industry as well as types of clients we could expect to run into in our time. Following that came the beginning of the meat and potatoes, protective details and their make ups. We learned about everything from the two man detail up to the 19 man Presidential detail. Realistically, unless you are going to be working with the Secret Service, you will most likely not see a detail this large. The next block of instruction, and one of the most important in my opinion, was Advance Operations. These are all the operations you do before the detail/event actually happens. This consists of everything from routes, parking places, lodging, all the way down to the location of the bathrooms. I have been the “advance guy” many times and you learn quick that the key to advances is checklists!!! Advance work is a MUST!!! Many situations, very bad situations, could have been avoided by proper advance work. “Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.” Words to live by.
Though I do not remember the actual date, we also participated in and were certified in CPR/AED operations. This was the standard Red Cross Class, but it is a must in this industry. The class was taught by Michelle Holyoak, a local paramedic in Grand Junction who has been with the school for several years.

DAY 14-28:About this time came the students who had done the DE courses. They joined the class in the morning which brought the class size to around 30. This was a large class but it was handled very well by ESI. Over the next few days Mr. Duggan instructed us on facial cues, recognizing an attack, and detecting deception when speaking to individuals. These classes, though not physically demanding, were definitely intense. We spent hours reviewing photographs and videos trying to pick up on micro-expressions and identifying assaults on principles before they happened. Again, though these tools are not usually stressed in other courses, they have proved to be worth their weight in gold. To truly prevent the attack you must understand how it is going to happen, as well as what happens BEFORE the attack.
We were soon joined by Clint Rogers and Dutch Clark, a dynamic duo of instructors. Both have diverse backgrounds in the protection world to include government and private sector operations. We were also joined by Bill Watson and Ken O’Connor with a couple others who have been around the industry for some time. The next several days not only gave us the practical skills to operate in this industry, but also evaluated us to see if we really had what it takes. Without going into detail, don’t want to ruin it for future students, we were handed a situation as a team and asked if there was an issue. The next week was filled with late nights, surveillance, counter-surveillance, and racking our brains playing the “what if” game in our room.
Throughout those days we ran protective details, advances, weapons disarms, and what we dubbed as “Walk-Abouts.” Walk-abouts, for my non-Australian friends, was a drill where we would literally walk around town with our instructor/principle and operate as a protective detail. We were constantly on edge, wondering who was watching, who knew who we were, what we were doing, and realizing how hard it is to look normal! We practiced attacks on principle over and over. We rehearsed every position in the detail until we could operate as any member of the team with our eyes closed. As the time went on, our team really began to gel with each other to a point where we could rely on everyone to do the right thing. As Clint would say, “You’re just going to work. Nothin crazy about it.” And we did. We prepared as much as we could and then, we just went to work.
After testing was done, we all needed a beer, but training wasn’t over yet. Next came range time! The night before the range, Tom Caruso (Head Shooting Instructor) introduced himself and gave us a brief on what we could expect over the next few days at the range. The best way I can describe the shooting program is a “Zero to Hero” program as Tom calls it. There were several students in the class that were not shooters, and even more students who thought they were shooters or couldn’t stop talking about how good they were with a gun……..until range time came. As this is a point for many on this forum, I will try to delve deeply into ESI’s EP shooting program.

RANGE TIME:I ran my Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm full size with my surefire X300 mounted for the class. I was using a Phantom Light Compatible belt mounted holster from Raven Concealment and Blade-Tech mag holders. I am a huge fan of this configuration, though I have since changed my mag holders to Raven Concealment as well due to retention issues. Ammunition was supplied by ESI (you have the option to buy through them). It was remanufactured Ultramax 125g. Of the 646 rounds I fired I had two light primer strikes throughout the course which we deduced were ammunition issues, not weapon issues. Yes, the round count is low, but it has a lot to do with the shooter and the situations. I have since seen people expend 1200 or more rounds in this class. Do not be discouraged by the round count, it has it’s purpose.
Day one began with a safety brief as well as introduction to weapons handling and the principles of marksmanship. The morning was spent getting familiar with our firearms, working dry-fire drills and testing everyone’s groups at distance. We were given the Level 3 shooting test, 18rds at 20 yds on an 8 inch plate. Once a student passed that, it was down to the next range to work the fundamentals. It must be said, there are some people that don’t pass the Level 3 test right away. The instructors will work with you on your fundamentals as long as is needed.
The rest of day one was filled with little blocks of instruction on draw stroke, speed reloads, sights, and triggers. It must be said that ESI has a very different methodology of doing reloads than what most may be used too. No matter what (slide lock or not) the shooter power strokes the gun after a reload. This goes for all reloads, speed and tactical. The theory behind it is that you are 100% sure there is a round in the chamber. Yes, they do know that they are losing a round. Take it if you want, throw it away if you don’t. Just don’t be “that guy” that gets all pissy and wants to prove how awesome he thinks he is. Remember, we go to courses to learn that specific schools/instructors technique.
Day two began with more lecture and instruction on using/carrying a gun in the context of the armed protection specialist. After about 30 minutes, we headed onto the range for some trigger time. The type of training at the range is typically a “Round Robin” or circuit. This is nice because it generally limits the number on people on each individual range to between five and 10. We spent day two working draw strokes, use of cover/concealment, shooting while moving (forward and backward), and reloads. After lunch we received a brief on drawing from concealment and proper use of concealment. From then on, the entire course was shot from concealment.
Day three began with a lecture and again quickly moved to some trigger time. The morning consisted of transitioning from target to target and trying to increase speed from the holster. We also worked on malfunction clearance (failure to fire and double feed). These began to set the pace for the beginning of test day. We also participated in something known as the “Africa” Drill. I will not explain it here, but it is based on a real world encounter of a good friend and colleague. We also began working structure clearing (NOT dynamic entry). This was a good block of instruction on cornering and clearing as well as situational awareness.
After lunch we began introduction to the ESI shooting tests. The tests were no secret. To pass Level 2, a shooter had to pass the infamous plate test. This consisted of three stages. The first was to draw and engage one steel plate at a certain distance. You would do this three times at different distances. The second stage required the shooter to draw and engage three targets (all eight inch plates) at different distances. Finally, the third stage required the engagement of five plates at different distances. Hitting the plates isn’t the issue; it’s hitting them in time! Completion of that test made you eligible for the Level 1 shooter qualification.
The next test was known as the “3 on 1” where the shooter would be required to engage three silhouettes within 180dregrees, at different distances. Again, hits are not the issue, time is! It must be said that none of the tests are ridiculously hard, but they all require a good balance of speed and precision. The next test was the cornering and clearing test. All of these tests were exactly like the real tests that would happen the next afternoon.
We then moved to the malfunction clearance test. This test required the shooter to clear a double feed and re-engage a target in a set amount of time while still achieving accurate hits. “Fast is fine, accuracy is final.”(Wyatt Earp) Get the hits. The final test was a full protective detail test. This test actually takes place on day five with a practice run on day four. Two shooters would have to engage three targets each while the rest of the detail performed their duties. There is a lot that goes into this drill/test. You will learn every position, and more importantly, perform/be tested on every position.
Day four had more practice and then after lunch, test time. If you failed any test, or wanted to better your score, you were allowed to retest the next morning. Be aware, it is your last score that counts, not your best score. So whatever you shot on your last attempt was what you ended up with. Don’t let your ego get in the way of passing this course.
After all the testing is done on day five there is a closing ceremony and the announcement of “Top Gun” (highest scoring shooter). Again, with respect to the ceremony, I will not explain it here. Later that night came the formal and official award/graduation ceremony. This was a dinner hosted by ESI at the hotel. Though it is a formal ceremony, it is still a good time to say goodbye and have some fun with your classmates. I must say, some of the people I met there have become some of my closest friends, both instructors and students. I have been on details with them and trained with them since then and we always seem to reminisce. The networking is also amazing! If they are serious in the protection business, they probably have people from ESI filling their ranks. Frankly put, if they’ve never heard of ESI, you may want to check out their credentials a bit more. Do not misunderstand me; there are several excellent programs and companies out there. There are ESI grads all over the world. I have run into grads on details, both in the U.S. and abroad. I have yet to work with an organization, both operations and training, which had not heard of ESI or worked with ESI grads.
In conclusion, ESI is by far the leader in intelligence based protective operations. It is the full package, from estate security to weapons manipulation, you won’t find a more inclusive and extensive package for your hard earned money. For more information about the programs or to possibly enroll in a class, please contact Brandon Delcamp (VP of marketing) at brandon@esi-lifeforce.com or call him at 1-888-718-3105. Brandon will be more than happy to help you out with whatever you need and answer any questions you may have.

NOTE: This review was written and posted with the expressed permission of Executive Security International. All instructor names have been changed for privacy reasons.


Howdy S&B. I sure appreciate you sharing a well-done AAR. Could you give a ballpark figure on cost (Not including transport to & from) of the program, lodging, etc.,.
I'll most likely want to complete the DE/15 day resident program.
Thanks and Semper Fi, Ray
Shake-N-BakeInEffect
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Posted: 2/2/2011 10:28:51 AM EST
Glad you enjoyed the AAR. As far as cost goes, it was approximately $8,500.00 for the training and lodging. The 15 day DE/RT is approximately $7,700.00 for the DE, RT, and hotel. Food really depends on the student. There is a Safeway very close that you can get groceries. There are also several restaurants within walking distance. You can definitely eat on the cheap if you so choose.
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Posted: 2/3/2011 4:23:05 PM EST
$8,500? ESI may be off the table. I'll have to look hard for some loan/grant money.
Has the time and effort you put into your ESI experience helped your career in a tangible fashion?
Thanks again S&B for taking the time to respond to my questions. You've been a great help.
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Posted: 2/4/2011 8:38:22 AM EST
No worries, glad I can help. It has been worth the investment. The issue has been more the industry recently than the training. The EP/PSD industry is definitely hurting due to the economy. Think of it like this, ESI will set you apart from other applicants by leaps and bounds. You will have not just formal training, but extensive, highly credible, and highly respected formal training. Does this mean after ESI you should never take another training course? Absolutely not. If you put everything you have into your training and education, as with anything else, you can set yourself apart from others, and ESI can help. ESI has been good to me. I have made great friends, a term I don't use loosely, received great job offers, and been given an opportunity to show what I can do. I once received an emergency job based solely on the fact that I was an ESI grad. Does that mean just because you are a grad you will be handed jobs? No, but it sure won't hurt your chances. I am also aware of some employers that will ONLY hire ESI grads, with credentials. Like I said, it doesn't hurt. I hope this helps.
ferretray
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Posted: 2/5/2011 4:24:28 PM EST
Originally Posted By Shake-N-BakeInEffect:
No worries, glad I can help. It has been worth the investment. The issue has been more the industry recently than the training. The EP/PSD industry is definitely hurting due to the economy. Think of it like this, ESI will set you apart from other applicants by leaps and bounds. You will have not just formal training, but extensive, highly credible, and highly respected formal training. Does this mean after ESI you should never take another training course? Absolutely not. If you put everything you have into your training and education, as with anything else, you can set yourself apart from others, and ESI can help. ESI has been good to me. I have made great friends, a term I don't use loosely, received great job offers, and been given an opportunity to show what I can do. I once received an emergency job based solely on the fact that I was an ESI grad. Does that mean just because you are a grad you will be handed jobs? No, but it sure won't hurt your chances. I am also aware of some employers that will ONLY hire ESI grads, with credentials. Like I said, it doesn't hurt. I hope this helps.


I'll be busting my ass trying to accrue the needed funds. It may take a couple of years before I can attend the resident training. Hope to start the distance ed. within the year.
Thanks very much for taking the time to pass on your insights and experience. Your info. has been invaluable.