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  • Writer's pictureSam Wilks

Combat Training for Security Officers: Necessity or Overkill?


How prepared is too prepared? For security officers, the debate around combat training sits at this intersection, a conundrum that delves deep into the philosophy of protection, ethics, and the nature of potential threats. Combat training, with its raw intensity and martial undertones, presents both a promise of enhanced capability and a potential for misuse.

Imagine, for a moment, a security officer as both a sword and a shield. The shield represents protection, defense, and the preservation of peace. The sword, on the other hand, embodies offensive capability, readiness to confront, and if necessary, to strike.

Combat training essentially sharpens this sword. But the pivotal question remains: In a profession where the primary mandate is to guard and protect, how often does the need to wield this sword arise?

To understand the place of combat training, one must first map the landscape of threats that security personnel might encounter. While Hollywood might paint a picture of constant action and confrontation, the reality is often more nuanced. Most threats can be diffused through communication, situational awareness, and non-violent intervention. However, there exist a sliver of scenarios where the threat escalates to a level where physical intervention becomes inevitable.

In such cases, combat training can mean the difference between life and death, success and failure. It equips the security officer with the tools to neutralize the threat swiftly and efficiently, minimizing harm to themselves and those they protect.

Yet, with great power comes great responsibility. (Spiderman reference, LOL) The skills acquired through combat training are potent, and their misuse can lead to severe consequences. Hence, the ethical dimension of this training is paramount.

It's not just about learning to strike; it's about understanding when not to. It's about recognizing the immense responsibility that comes with such capability and exercising it with restraint, discernment, and respect for the sanctity of life.

Engaging in combat, even if it's in the line of duty, leaves an indelible mark on the psyche. The act of confronting, subduing, or harming another human being carries with it a weight that can manifest in stress, trauma, or even guilt.

Therefore, if combat training is to be incorporated, it cannot stand alone. It must be complemented with psychological training, ensuring that security officers are equipped to process, understand, and cope with the ramifications of their actions.

Incorporating combat training also impacts the perception of security officers. While it improves their capabilities, it can also change how the general public, their coworkers, and even themselves view them. There's a risk of being perceived as militarized or aggressive, potentially straining community relations and trust. The balance is delicate. It's about ensuring preparedness without compromising the foundational principles of protection, service, and community engagement.

Combat training for security officers sits at the crossroads of necessity and overkill. Its value is undeniable in certain high-risk scenarios, yet its universal application remains a topic of debate.


In my perspective, the path forward is one of discernment. It's about tailoring training to the specific needs of the role, ensuring that officers are equipped to handle the threats they are most likely to encounter, but also instilling in them the ethics, restraint, and psychological tools to wield their skills judiciously.

At the heart of the security profession lies a sacred trust—a commitment to safeguard lives and ensure peace. Whether armed with a shield, a sword, or both, the true measure of a security officer's strength lies in their wisdom, integrity, and unwavering dedication to their noble calling.


From the author.


The opinions and statements are those of Sam Wilks and do not necessarily represent whom Sam Consults or contracts to. Sam Wilks is a skilled and experienced Security Consultant with almost 3 decades of expertise in the fields of Real estate, Security, and the hospitality/gaming industry. His knowledge and practical experience have made him a valuable asset to many organizations looking to enhance their security measures and provide a safe and secure environment for their clients and staff.

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