The Army concept of personal security is based on the principle of “defense in depth.” Coordination and flexibility are the watchwords to organizing a defense in depth. A series of protective cordons is established around the principal. The cordons are designed to prevent an attack or absorb its shock to such an extent that the results will not be tragic.

Defense in Depth

They control the space above, below, and on all sides of the principal. Movement control within these cordons is normally established by an identification system. The system may use personal recognition, passes, badges, or even unobtrusive lapel pins.

Principals have a responsibility to contribute to the success of the mission by respecting the purpose of the mission and the responsibility of the detail assigned to carry it out. The education of the principals to this responsibility is critical to the overall success of missions.

The Detail Leader establishes a close working relationship with the principal’s staff and the project and protocol officer of the host agency. He obtains detailed itineraries, biographical sketches, protocol information, and any other protective type information.

Protective Formation

The Personal Security Officer is responsible for the close-in security of the principal and normally accompanies him whenever he is away from his residence. To ensure continuity, unity of effort, and control, the PSO is usually the only point of contact between the members of the PS detail and the principal and his staff. The PSO and the DL may be the same person.

The relationship between the Principal and the PS detail has a professional and definitive basis. Principals should be encouraged to recognize and respect the professional distance kept by the detail.

On larger PS details, a Shift Leader is designated for a given protective team. He works for the PSO and is responsible for his shift of personnel. The Shift Leader position is useful where there are sufficient PS personnel assigned to a mission to warrant three eight-hour shifts.

The mission of the Advance Team is to precede the principal and conduct on-site security surveys. The team effects necessary security coordination, making all security arrangements. When the PSO arrives at each location to be visited a member of the advance team meets him and provides information concerning local security arrangements. When appropriate, the advance team provides the PSO with details of the visit, including maps, sketches, names of people involved, telephone numbers, and so forth.

For more information: FM 19-10 Military Police Law and Order Operations