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Duties of the Protection Specialist in Correlation of a Walking Formation

Walking Formations:

Escorting a client on foot can take many different forms. Walking formations may be adjusted based on the client's wishes, manpower, threat level, whether the client is alone or with guests, and the nature of the detail you are working on - overt, low profile, or covert.

You must rehearse walking formations in training. But, in the real world, it is never perfect. You and your team must “fill and flow” to close gaps in coverage to the best of the team’s ability. It does not have to look like a synchronized ballet, just focus on the key objective which is the security circle or bubble.

Situational Awareness:

While walking in a formation, the protection specialist should be constantly surveilling the area; scanning his sector from right to left, left to right, heaven and earth to look for “people, places, and things”. Include your own team and client to gauge spacing of the formation and direction changes.


Quickly scan each individual in a respective sector using human behavior recognition techniques. Observe facial expressions and body language that might key you into a subject’s intent. Observe clothing that might conceal possible weapons.


Always be scanning for the next location. Push out to clear dead space or cover another agent. Search hallways and doorways which could present a threat. Position yourself in advance to hold the door, elevator, etc.


Scan for potential obstacles or hazards - traffic, curbs or any potential object your client or team might trip on. Take note of anything that is out of the ordinary in the environment you are working and communicate to your team.


As you’re moving in formation, rehearse “what if” scenarios and know which direction to move the client in the event of an attack on principal. Know how to quickly move to the nearest safe room or improvised safe haven as designated by the Advance agent. Scan for objects or places that can be used for cover or concealment if gunfire erupts. Other considerations may include solutions for escorting a client’s wife or children who may not respond or move as quickly.

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