I am a recent graduate of the Jan-Feb classof 2013 at CASS. I have never worked harder both mentally and physically for 29 days. The experience I received while training with the instructors and my fellow classmates was the most rewarding experiences of my life. The training I received exceeded all my expectations and everything that is explained on the website does indeed occur during your training. When I first arrived and met my fellow classmates I was a little apprehensive. Their were 5 of us and I wondered how we would all work together as a team. We had a very strong class and I am still in awe at how we all bonded and worked together. I can honestly say that I now have 8 lifelong friends and know that if I ever need anything, anyone of them will be their for me and I am including the instructors as well.
I learned more about myself during the 29 days there than in the 35 years I have been aliIve. The food was absolutely fantastic and our culture hour every night at dinner was one of the highlights of the course. It was the one hour a day where we just relaxed and had some of the best discussions i have ever had. The long nights in the TOC were also some of the most memorable as well. Their were times when I thought to myself, what's the big deal, why are they getting so pissed about something so small. Everything is done for a reason and everything is a test. I will never forget to pay attention to the details.
The firearms training given at CASS is the best you can receive from any protection training out there. We eached pushed a few thousand rounds down range during our training. We started with .22 pistols moving on to 9mm's and also trained with shotguns and long guns. Our live fire scenarios were intense and I know that they have prepared me for my work on future teams. The strength of our class allowed us to do more advanced training in our live fire drills.
The surveillance and counter surveillance training was tough and intense but was very rewarding. Going into it I thought it would be one of the easier parts of the training and man was I wrong. Everything I was taught, I put into practice and was able to do quite well and know for a fact I will use all I was taught in the future. The part I haven't discussed was the the different documents that have to be prepared for different part of an operation. The site survey's, advances, and operation orders are all very mentally challenging. I did my homework and studied up before I arrived, but had no idea of the depth that these reports go into. The instructions we received will definitely prepare us for future work.
I would like to talk about the few negative comments about this school. I truly believe that these negative comments were from people who either didn't have what it took to graduate or from people who aren't fit to work in this field. They clearly state that graduation doesn't guarantee employment. Even after graduation, you still need to work as hard as you did training to sell yourself to future employers. You get from this program what you put in it. The instructors will go above and beyond to help as long as you are willing to put in the work.
Finally to Shawn, Olga and Sean, I would like to say thank you and tell you how truly grateful I am to all of you for the instructions, the lessons and the advice you gave me during my training. I would also like to thank you for the personal counsel given throughout the entire course. I look forward to seeing you all in the future.
I applied to CASS because there was no guarantee that I would get accepted. And If I were to get accepted, there was no guarantee that I would graduate. Which meant to me that they had an integrity of standards that they were not willing to compromise. I wanted my training to mean something beyond the piece of paper that the certificate is printed on. I wanted to know if I could make the cut with a school that believes in their training methods as strongly as CASS does.
From the moment I read their website I knew they were the real deal. The tone was straight forward, no fluff, and no BS. Their graduate testimonies were in depth and struck me as honest. Then I received the nearly 70 page CASS syllabus describing the school, the training methods, their beliefs in their training methods (as well as other schools training methods). It struck me as very thorough, very intense and very honest. Throughout the syllabus they stated, essentially: This is who we are, how we do things and what we expect, If this is not what you are looking for do not apply here. I thought that was fair and I applied.
In my conversations with Shawn throughout the nearly month long application process (I spoke with him 3 times for an hour or 2) he explained again their training methods and what I was potentially getting myself into. He also answered every one of my questions with honesty and without hesitation.
Before I left for my training I wondered to myself if the school would live up to it's billing. It did and more.
There have been times in my life when I've ventured into something new and felt immediately that I had my bearings and would have it mastered in no time at all. This was not the case when I arrived at CASS. From the first morning of training up until the very end of the 29 days I was swimming with all my might to make it to the shore.
There was not a word on the CASS website, in the CASS syllabus, nor any word Shawn spoke over the phone to me that was not absolutely true, and then some. I've never been pushed, nor pushed myself so hard in my life. The pace and intensity with which they approached every aspect of the training and day to day living was beyond what I expected and initially was a challenge to adapt to. When I first got there, I thought, I don't if I can make it 29 days. After 29 days, I thought, where in the hell did the time go, and I don't know if I want to go back to the life I had before.
I've never been pushed so hard, mentally, physically and emotionally all at once. I had to dig deep, and when I did I was rewarded for it.
There were also a lot of good times, and I really bonded with all of the people there. My favorite time of the day was dinner hour, where we all sat with a big spread of great food (think salmon, ribs, pork tenderloin, beef shoulder) and got to know each other over a few glasses of wine. It was very nice. And I miss that already.
The CASS staff showed up everyday ready to give %110 of themselves. And they expected that in return from you. And if you didn't give it they let you know. If you can give them your best they'll support you in anyway shape or form you need them to.
The day that they shook my hand and told me that I graduated was one of the better days of my life. I got more from CASS than training and a certificate, I got something intangible that no one can take from me.
I attended this course and would like to add my input. I am a fairly recent graduate, March of 2012, and had a very gratifying experience.
First of all, I was extensively interviewed prior to the beginning of the course and knew exactly what I was getting into. CASS doesn’t take everybody and, apparently, there is still a lot of confusion about what the industry is really all about.
My course started with 6 people. One quit the FIRST DAY. How you can quit something the first day is beyond me, especially when all students get the same briefing. My phone interview alone was well over an hour and Shawn was very forthcoming and very thorough. I think part of the issue is that most people who attend this course seriously underestimate the intensity of the course and assume it is a pay and pass and get your certificate kind of thing. I worked hard to prepare but the intensity of the course still surprised me. I think I might have gotten 15-16 hours sleep the first 7 days I was there!
I think CASS gets a lot of negative comments on the web because they are the only ones who are prepared to fail you if you underperform; but, that was one of the things that convinced me to choose CASS. They have standards, and they have the integrity to enforce them. I guess the other side of the coin is that it actually means something if you do make it.
. Of the six that started only three finished the course. They say at CASS that if you don’t know who you are at the beginning of the course, you will know by the end. They also say that when you enter the course to leave your ego at the door. Right on both counts!!
I know this might sound strange to anybody reading this, but the truth is that it was one of the best things I have ever done, and if you actually listen and pay attention it is an excellent course with superb training. The ones who didn’t make it, and quit, either didn’t take it seriously enough to prepare properly for the course or were just too lazy to work for it. And CASS called them out; because they have standards in an industry where most people don’t.
I have an Associate’s degree, a Bachelor’s degree, and a Doctorate and I teach at the college level. I was a police officer for 15 years and spent 21 years in the U.S. Army National Guard, where 6 of those years were spent in an Airborne Special Forces unit. The rest of my military time was spent as a Combat Medic with one tour in Iraq. My point is this; I know elite training when I see it and this was some of the best training that I have ever received. Both of my instructors were in Special Operations while in the Army and I consider myself fortunate because they cared enough to push me HARD and not accept substandard performance. Remember, we are talking about putting a potential graduate in life or death situations where one’s life or the life of a team mate is dependent upon the ability to get the job done without hesitation! I think CASS does an excellent job at preparing their graduates for those types of situations but more importantly, they teach you how to STAY OUT OF THOSE SITUATIONS; because like Shawn said a million times throughout the course, "If you end up in a fire-fight you have already lost so avoid them at all costs!"
I think the greatest strength of CASS is that they will accept nothing less than 100% effort. They will spend hours working with you if you care and really want it, but they have no time for half-hearted efforts. The instructors at CASS want to make sure that CASS graduates are prepared to be an integral and professional part of a team, and not a liability.
I knew what I wanted, was motivated and prepared to work hard, and got what I aimed for. I know if I can do it, you can too; but don’t underestimate the program because it is not for the weak nor fainthearted. But neither is the industry. For me, it was one of the best choices of my life.
Would advise anyone who reads this to simply do a google search on Center for Advanced Security Studies. It is listed under the bodyguard school.com domain, it is a florida company called "Flashpoint International" out of a Daytona Beach PO Box-(Who you make the check to) and it is a joke.
I recently went through the course and heard all the stories of the guys who supposedly went on to work in foreign lands etc making big dollars-all lies. They had a couple of "graduates" go show some slides in barbados and thats it. They have had nothing to do with anyone getting a solid job anywhere. They had some guys do some static guard stuff in afghanistan a few years ago and thats it.
This sean guy is not only a little weasel he acts like he is james bond. He told me and others so much bull on the phone about the "school" and it is nothing but him, and another guy wasting our time.
Since wasting my money on this crap course I did my homework and found all the blogs and testimonials that were not written by sean. The closeprotectionworld has him figured out really well. Lots of post from former associates, employees, and students who didnt get edited by sean.
Before you waste your time and waste most of your money, do your homework. Dont be afraid to ask the tough hard questions when trying to find a school to go to.
I am an active duty Federal Police Officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and I attended the month long course in January of 2012. It was, in all contexts, one of the most in depth, intense, and professionally run programs I have ever had the privilege to participate in.
First of all, children or adults who resemble children in their manners and attitudes, are not welcome. The average age of our class was 46.6 years of age and there was a huge amount of life experience in the program. We had business owners, a person who was starting a security company, former military to include Special Forces, along with a mixed bag of other candidates. CASS does not tolerate the lazy, the dumb, or the arrogant. We lost our first student long before the half way mark and the truth is he didn’t deserve to be there as he was dragging the rest of us down.
The course is configured to instill both discipline and teamwork. Having said that, it can be hysterically funny and is still the source of an enormous number of fond memories.
You will work your rear end off, and beware of Shawn when he says “Let’s go for a run and a swim!”
The learning environment itself is perfect for the program. The accommodations are basic, the classrooms are extremely well equipped and the food is divine.
Of my classmates who graduated, I know that they have partaken in Operations in Columbia, Canada, and the Caribbean basin. Others have guarded jewelry in transit while yet another is working as head of security for a major NFL team. So for them, although the course isn’t easy, it has certainly paid off in terms of lucrative salaries and interesting careers. It has certainly improved my professional performance on the job in that I have learned how to “read” the environment I operate in much better than I did before. The live fire exercises also number among the most intense I have ever had the pleasure to participate in.
Based upon my personal experience, I would highly endorse CASS if one is interested in becoming a true professional in the security industry. Graduation requires maturity, a high learning curve, determination, and finally a lot of good old fashioned hard work. Having said that, I had a great time, even through the challenging parts. The problem with my program were with the individuals who were not prepared to rise to the necessary levels in order to successfully pass the program. CASS is not shy about weeding out the sub standards but the flip side is a much greater chance of employment for the survivors. My class has done phenomenally well and we’ve only been on the street for a few months!
Lastly, I would like to attest to something else that nobody talks about. I have made friends for life, especially among my fellow students who I continue to stay in touch with on a routine basis. The same holds true for the cadre, whom I also continue to stay in touch with. I most certainly be visiting for a couple of days the next time I find myself in Florida.
My name is James and I attended the school in question in 2003, nearly a decade ago. My experience was a very positive one. Although the course is very challenging and not everybody makes it, I was treated to both personal and professional courtesy. The course, in all areas, exceeded my expectations. I also found there was a great deal learned just by interacting with the staff, of whom Shawn was one of the three on my course.
I am from Chicago, and upon graduation had requested, if possible, a domestic, US based assignment. About 3 months later I got a phone call from Shawn and was indeed placed for a long term assignment in the Chicago area. It started as a Surveillance mission which then transformed into a Protection based mission. I personally found that all the skills I was taught were utilized.
I kept that job for nearly 4 years, at which point I was able to successfully transfer to a company which has sent me all over the world, from Mexico so South East Asia.
Throughout that time, I continued to maintain contact with CASS.
I was sufficiently impressed by the overall level of professionalism that I eventually sent my only son through the identical program. At the time he was not overly interested in the Military and preferred to work in the Private Sector.
Once again, CASS delivered. Upon graduation, my boy was deployed to Kosovo for a year. Following his time in the Balkans and based upon his performance there, he was, like me, able to jump up to a well know company which deploys PSD teams worldwide. This is where he spent the next three years and has now accrued sufficient money to pay off his home.
The story should end there but it doesn’t. As of late, my son has decided to join the active duty military, and had narrowed it down to a few options. This was based on his exposure to the military after being sent overseas and working alongside them so many times.
I called Shawn and visited the ranch, and he promptly agreed to talk to my son and make several suggestions, based upon his experience. My son will now be joining the PJ’s a fact which makes all of us happy.
So based on my experience, spread over a decade, I have nothing but good things to say based upon my interaction both with the CASS and the people who work inside of it. It has been a powerful and positive influence for both of us and we highly, highly recommend the program. Just understand that you will earn it.
Easiest 5 star recommedantation I ever gave in my life.
I am with the Criminal Investigation Division of the Barbados Police Force. I was trained in April by 4 members of the aforementioned school. They spent a month with us training in Surveillance, Counter-Surveillance, and Emergency Management.
At all times we found them extraordinarily professional, and they certainly exceeded the standards we expected.
Although it is not for me to pass judgement on their US based training, I met personally the individuals named above and found them to be extraordinarily professional.
Since they were chosen and vetted carefully to work with us I would assume their professional competence is of similar caliber in the United States,
I paid over 7 thousand dollars to attend training for what was sold to me as a way to get into the world of being a bodyguard. I researched the web and found nothing but great reviews about the training in Florida. When I arrived it was nothing more than a couple of former army guys in a 2 story house doing basic military training. I passed the course and awaited for my big job I was promised ahead of training when they wanted my money. It never happened.
I did further research on the blogs and found I was not the only one. The place has been ripping people off for years with a promise of getting work that never comes.
The Canadian guy named Sean owns the house and his wife acts like a client and does some of the worthless classes. Things you do are basic and stupid and when I called around to companies that hire security guards etc, they laughed.
The company is a total paper company. It is under bodyguardschool.com but you write the check out to flashpoint international and get referred to the center for advanced security studies. All owned by this Sean guy who is just laughing at how many stupid people believe in going to the course. we actually had people walk out on the first day when they saw how stupid the place was but he would not give a refund citing "New York" office would not allow. What a total and complete rip off!!
The testimonials are even written by him as he has written a book as well. The whole website is fantasy land and he owns several other sites that complement each other to further continue the scam.
Stay Clear of this place!