Executive Security Protection Terms You Should Know

If you’ve just hired an executive security service for your corporate executives and one of their staffers refers to another staffer as an “ass clown,” it may be time to look for another service.Executive security Protection


An ass clown, in executive service lingo, is someone that takes foolish actions. In a worst-case scenario, this foolishness could put one of your top people at serious risk.

You also might not want any “cherries” on the team. Again, in the world of executive protection, a cherry refers to a new trainee, such as a new bodyguard or someone recently hired to perform risk evaluations. Best let the cherries grow with another executive service, not the one you’ve hired for your top people.

Here are some other executive security protection terms you might want to be aware of:

Principal(s). The first thing the new executive security service will want to know is who the principals are in your organization. The principals are the people they will be protecting.

Booted and suited. Your top people are professionals and likely to be dressed well, reflecting their position in your company. They may not feel that comfortable around a security worker in a T-shirt and shorts – unless that is requested. You want them booted and suited, dressed in suit and tie, polished shoes, looking professional, and ready for work.

Ghosts. A ghost is not necessarily booted and suited. A ghost is typically someone undercover. He or she may dress like any other attendee at a ball game, for instance, checking out security concerns, or shopping in a grocery store, looking for shoplifters.

WTA.  If the ghost uncovers a concern or worse, a threat that must be brought to your attention, they may formalize it by preparing a WTA. A Written Threat Assessment will outline any concerns they have uncovered so that decisions and actions can be taken to eliminate the threat.

Spook.  Spooks are often spying… but for you. View them as intelligence officers, looking into people or situations that could threaten one or several of your top people.

Bugout. In the military, a person that does bugouts is commonly called a “prepper.” When you hire a new executive protection security service, one of their first actions might be a “bugout.” This means they are doing a client evaluation. View the “bugs” as potential threats. They may do more bugouts in the future, for instance, whenever your top people travel.

Stint.  Talking about travel, if your executive security firm accompanies your top people when traveling, especially overseas, it’s referred to as a stint. Before COVID, Apple Computer had flights going back and forth to China every day. Accompanying the Apple people were executive security personnel. It was their stint – duty – to make sure the Apple staff were safe throughout the trip.

Operational arena. Using our Apple example again, the operational arena refers to the specific area the Apple people will be visiting, working, or staying while in China. As part of the stint, the executive protection service may have already checked out the operational arena to ensure it’s safe. An operational arena may also be referred to as a “venue.”

Murphy’s Law. Yup, this is part of executive protection service lingo, and it means just what you think it means: what can go wrong, will go wrong. However, if the firm has done their homework, things should go right.

TOS.  When you get your bill at the end of the month, the executive security service may list TOS charges. This does not refer to Take Out Service if they had to purchase food while accompanying your top people. Instead, TOS refers to Time on Station. For instance, they may have been asked to stay on duty longer than usual or covered in their contract.

Finally, you know your security team has earned their weight in gold if they report they have found and deactivated a VBIED. A Vehicle Borne Explosive Device is typically a car bomb, designed to be triggered when the car is started or driven.

For more information on what we have done to protect our executive clients, visit our Case Studies page.

As always, we value your feedback, which helps us shape our perspective on recent events, security, and the services we offer.

Stay safe,

Johnathan Tal
Chief Executive Officer
TAL Global
O: 1-408-993-1300

© TAL Global, 2019