A primary function of any competent security firm is the organic capability to train the staff of the client. “Staff” is a multifaceted word and can include yacht crews, domestic staff, or even local nationals in austere and hostile locations.
Having said that, there is a timeless phrase that states, “those that can, do, while those who can’t, teach”. To defuse that particular scenario, all our operational personnel routinely rotate through training assignments to maintain currency and to provide cutting edge input to students. Additionally, CASS Global is committed to providing world-class trainers who have a wealth of experience in working with diverse groups of individuals.
Training is only partially based on subject matter knowledge. We all know individuals who are extremely well versed in any given area who could not pass on that information in order to save their lives; they have zero command presence in the classroom. Others can be poor communicators or suffer from abysmal body language. Lack of ability to connect with the student body accounts for yet more failures. The list goes on.
Another concern, as discussed earlier, is the operational experience of the instructor. For a majority of mediocre firms, experience is a relative phrase.
CASS Global has always believed the best way to do business is to train hard in order to operate easy. Therefore, the best vehicle to accrue the best instructors is to cull them from the most challenging training assignments. That usually involves austere environments, foreign students who may or may not be well educated, and training which can be dangerous. In other words, if we can train third world nationals (Kenyans in this case) drawn from dozens of different tribes each with their own dialect, in the intricacies of live ammunition, close range ambushes at night, we can probably handle any given project for a commercial client.
As can be imagined, the margin for errors diminishes rapidly when one is teaching in the arid stretches of Northern Kenya. The level of skill required to successfully interact with well armed “students” places additional responsibility squarely on the shoulders of the instructors. Power Point does not work here and the focus must be directed towards “performance oriented, hands-on” style teaching methodologies. As an aside, have discovered this is also the best way to instruct yacht staff, household staff, etc.
Any competent instructor must clearly be able to do the following, regardless of location, time, or quality of student. Think of it as the intangible prerequisites needed to be a trainer with CASS Global.
Be clearly supportive of the student receiving the training. The trainee realizes he can make mistakes in training (which is why training exists) so that he does not make them in the real world.
Be prepared to back him up as the event moves forward. By sharing risks/workload you are clearly stating that you are in fact tacitly confirming his competence regarding the task at hand.
A sound teacher is a patient one, willing to go the extra mile with students who have perhaps not received the same level of education as the instructor based on location, budget, or government policies. You must, before all things, clearly demonstrate that you care about the welfare of your charges and their overall mission success.
Self-confidence, bearing, and a positive attitude are all force multipliers in the teaching world. Those who believe they can generally do. When we train with enthusiasm for the task at hand and the belief we are making a difference the students become infected with the same level of drive and motivation creating an apex learning experience.
By coexisting alongside the students, the instructor clearly demonstrates he is willing to accept the same living conditions (and challenges by inference) as the students. This eliminates the “us/them” mindset, transitioning it into the homogeneous “We”. Once the element begins to work as a collective entity, the pace and intensity of training is able to accelerate rapidly.
Command presence is a must for training. Not every student is the embodiment of perfection and we must have the mental authority to provide strong guidance. This is especially true when students are carrying live ammunition.
The final result when you do it correctly. Mutual trust, confidence, and a strong sense of loyalty that is blind to all discriminators such as nationality, religion, and ethnicity. The long-term goal of ongoing communication, the establishment of support networks, and success for all parties can be established via the foundation of solid mentoring.
The author of this piece, surrounded by his troops for a year long rotation in Kenya. Once the level of trust was achieved using the guidelines mentioned above, the students collective performance was spectacular. Many of the men pictured here went on to invade southern Somalia as part of the task force tapped to destroy Al-Queda linked terror cells.
Additionally, a number of individuals went on to participate in the storming of the Westgate shopping mall, helping to end the terrorist attack which sadly resulted in the death of so many.
Training is a never-ending process where all parties should aspire to the next level of professionalism. For that to occur, the most recent training must incorporate all the material presented above. CASS Global takes great pride (and self satisfaction) in the knowledge that our security training programs, custom developed for each client, are indeed some of the best in the world.
CASS Global Training. Where it all starts.