- Artillery Cannoneer
- Marine Security Battalion
I served seven rewarding years in the Marine Corps, four as an artillery cannoneer and three in the U.S. Embassy Marine Security Battalion. Like many Marines ending their enlistment I considered law enforcement as an option. Thanks to a fellow Marine at the American Embassy in Berlin, however, I also considered GDBA. I still remember the sergeant handing me a GDBA application. “Consider this as an option,” he said. When I responded that I still had several years left in my tour, the sergeant simply remarked, “Hey, you never know where this [application] will lead.” At the time, I certainly didn’t know where it would lead. Now, fifteen years into my GDBA career, I can finally tell you.
I left the Marine Corps because I felt it would eventually stifle my ambition. As an enlisted Marine grows in seniority, the Corps’ powerful bureaucracy chokes him with an unending diet of paper work and staff positions. Regardless of his tactical expertise and desire to remain a “field Marine,” the Corps pushes this once energetic Marine (i.e. me) into a constraining box that restricts that Marine’s control over his own career. I eventually left the Corps seeking room to maneuver outside this career-limiting box. At Gavin de Becker & Associates I found my maneuvering space.
My career plan at GDBA was simple: Take the attributes I learned in the Marine Corps (self discipline and a strong sense of duty) and glue them to my career ambitions. Ready with my plan, I dove into my career head first and upon impact propelled myself higher than I ever thought possible. Within eight months at GDBA, I was promoted to detail leader — traveling with clients and making game changing tactical and personnel decisions. Less than a decade later I would be a regional director, responsible for over one hundred field agents and for the safety of the world’s most famous public figures. A few years after that, I was promoted to my current position as Deputy Director for GDBA’s entire Protective Security Division, leading hundreds of agents worldwide. Only through GDBA’s merit-based culture was this level of success even possible.
Unlike in the military or careers in government where seniority matters, at GDBA seniority matters little. Ask yourself this: Who is a better asset for the firm — a junior security agent with a positive attitude and a willingness to learn, or a mediocre agent with five years more experience? At GDBA performance is never measured in years served, it’s measured in results.
Just as GDBA’s meritocracy rewards hard work, it also rewards innovation. After successfully earning my EMT license, I began to re-vamp all medical training and certification standards. Additionally, I updated our first-aid equipment and emergency procedures. In the process, upper management named me GDBA’s Chief Medical Instructor. Beginning with an idea to improve our medical program, I created an entirely new position at our firm! This act is unheard of within the bureaucratic depths of law enforcement and the military. Yet at GDBA—where merit reigns—my stock continued to rise.
Though a Deputy Director, I still spend time in the field protecting the world’s most famous and important public figures. At this point, I have protected clients in over a dozen countries. Since I began at GDBA, the firm has grown six fold in size. And our growth and high standards will only continue as long as energetic and innovative individuals continue to make GDBA their career choice.
To those considering leaving the military I say this: Don’t be afraid to get out! If you are bursting with determination and ambition, then cut the cord from “mother green” and attack your goals with energy and determination. When you come up for air, I hope you find yourself a part of the GDBA family.