(photos by Brian Murphy, ODNI Public Affairs)
Protective agents are the first line of defense for senior leaders such as Director Of National Intelligence Dan Coats.
Charles Cash, a course instructor, monitors activity during weapons qualification.


Protective agent course students signal they are ready for the start of the next training exercise.
Shell casings bounce around the interior of the vehicle as a student fires rounds downrange during a training exercise.

“More than being a professional wrestler with an earpiece, you need to be able to think on your feet and make decisions on the fly. You need to constantly evaluate a situation, decide on a course of action and execute.”

- Samuel T., protective agent

Protective agent course students face a number of complex scenarios during combatives training.


A course instructor ricochets a round off of the hood of a vehicle and hits a target downrange.
Former DNI James Clapper sat down with Protective Agents Course students last November to share his personal experiences while under their protection.


A Protective Agents Course student loads ammunition during a day of weapons qualification.

“What I want to dispel right off the bat is that you need to be Special Forces or a former Navy SEAL to do this job. Don’t get me wrong, we have a lot of officers with those characteristics. However that, in my opinion, doesn’t automatically make for the ideal protective agent. We need men and women with great judgment and decision-making abilities.”

- Kevin Wong, deputy chief of Directors’ Protective Staff

Charlie Cash records scores during weapons qualification.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Office of the DNI

Office of the DNI

The DNI oversees the U.S. Intelligence Community and serves as principal adviser to the President on intelligence issues related to national security.