Ed Hill the ultimate transformation from Sniper to CEO  

Photography by Anton Phatianov

From growing up in one of the most deprived towns in England to becoming a Royal Marines Commando sniper, turned real life special agent and prominent business owner. Meet Ed Hill – the founder and CEO of Intrepid Protection, London-based, quintessentially British specialist security services company with global outreach and a decade of successfully protecting people and their assets.

Can you share with us your journey from serving as a Royal Marine Commando Sniper to becoming the CEO of Intrepid Protection? What inspired you to transition into the private security sector?

We had recently returned from the war in Iraq, and I’d reached a crossroads in my military career.  I was offered promotion but as you climb the promotion ladder you become increasingly confined to a desk job and that didn’t appeal to me. After Iraq I had become disillusioned with the Royal Marines and realised that if I was going to leave, I had to leave now. Leaving the military after fourteen years was daunting, and after taking that drastic step I struggled to adjust to civilian life. I’m not ashamed to admit that I felt like a fish out of water and so I returned to Iraq to work as a private security contractor. This gave me a new lease of life as I was back amongst ex-military guys and although dangerous, I was doing a job that I was good at. I didn’t plan to join the private security sector but after my military career it felt like the natural transition. Whilst out in Iraq I studied and got my degree in Security & Risk Management. However, the job in Iraq was incredibly intense and after losing some friends that were killed in action I decided to return to the UK. 

After taking a short break I was approached with an offer to work on board a superyacht. This job was a two-week task and involved protecting the yacht from the threat of attack by Somali pirates. This new line of work snowballed, and I was regularly employed on several yachts transiting piracy infested waters. This gave me my first taste of the high-net-worth sector. I realised that most superyacht owners had a need for security, and they always demanded the best. With my network of former British Commandos, I could give them exactly that and so Intrepid Protection was born. Fast forward to today, Intrepid Protection has provided high end security services to several high-net-worth individuals, celebrities, and royalty. 

Intrepid Protection boasts an impressive background in elite military units. How does your experience as a Royal Marine Commando Sniper influence the strategies and methodologies employed by your company in providing protection to high-net-worth individuals and corporate entities?

The foundation to everything the Royal Marines do is enshrined in the Commando Values. From the outset, these values are instilled into every aspiring Commando from the very start of their training and are maintained throughout their career. These values along with credible front-line operational experience allows Intrepid Protection to provide a gold standard service:

Excellence – always strive to do better.

Integrity – honesty is everything. 

Self-discipline – always resist the easy option. 

Humility – respect the rights, diversity, and contribution of others. 

What sets Intrepid Protection apart from other private security firms, particularly in terms of the specialised skills and tactics derived from your military background?

There are several critical skills that we have transferred from our military background into the company but what makes us different is our front-line experience and our attention to detail. Our team has unrivalled experience in some of the world’s most hostile regions. This has proven their ability to handle stress, remain flexible, react quickly to think on their feet and make calculated decisions whilst always maintaining a calm demeanour. The attention to detail comes in our operational planning. A methodical approach is applied to each task where every operation is meticulously planned, all threats are accurately assessed, and mitigating measures are put in place. Every agent is fully briefed and knows precisely what is expected of them. 

In the realm of private security, adaptation and flexibility are paramount. How does Intrepid Protection stay ahead of evolving threats and security challenges in today’s dynamic landscape?

Our approach has always been preventative rather than reactive therefore staying abreast of potential threats is critical to our operational capability. We appreciate that every task is different, and each client will have differing security threats. Fortunately, Intrepid Protection has reliable partners that provides us with up-to-date intelligence which assist us to remain one step ahead. 

As a sniper, what was your longest shot to target? And can you share a memorable moment from your time in active service?

My longest shot was taken at 1.2 kilometres with a .338 rifle made by Accuracy International. It was a clear and sunny day, so the weather conditions were favourable. Few people understand the calculations and professional expertise that goes into achieving that perfect shot. We’d landed in Iraq and taken our first objectives on the Al Faw peninsula. The Iraqi army had put up a token resistance, but they hadn’t posed any major threat. We then received orders to move into Basra, Iraq’s second largest city. This presented a significant challenge as fighting in a large town or city often becomes up close and personal. Urban warfare is complicated and favours the defender who can move around freely and lay mines and booby traps. As the attacking force, we would be more exposed, and casualties were inevitable. Moreover, urban warfare is a haven for snipers so we knew we would be busy. 

We formed up on the outskirts of Basra and prepared our equipment for our imminent advance. Smoke bellowed from inside the city after a series of airstrikes conducted the night before. Nervously we formed up and gave each other one last hug, and then we began our advance onto the city. Dry mouthed and hearts pumping with adrenalin each step took us closer to danger. As we entered the city our senses were on full alert anticipating that initial explosion or burst of gunfire to come our way, but it never came. 

Instead, we were met by cheering crowds. The locals were jubilant that we had come to rescue them from Saddam Hussein and his oppressive regime. Elderly men had tears streaming down their faces shouting ‘thank you’ while children with beaming smiles cheered and applauded loudly. We were expecting a bloody battle and instead received a hero’s welcome. 

Building and maintaining trust is crucial in the private security industry. How does Intrepid Protection establish and nurture long-term relationships with clients, particularly those in the high-net-worth and corporate sectors?

It goes without saying that clients must place a huge amount of trust into us so establishing and maintaining their trust is an essential component of our services. This begins with a face-to-face meeting so that sides can feel comfortable with each other. Throughout each operation from beginning to end, we insist on consistent dialogue with our clients. We encourage constant feedback and ensure that the client knows we are always available 24/7.  Ultimately, we are totally confident that our services are amongst the best in the business which is further solidified by our 100% success rate. 

Can you discuss any innovative technologies or methodologies that Intrepid Protection utilises to enhance its security services and stay ahead of potential threats?

I’m not prepared to openly discuss but, we have the resources to find out a lot of things about most people. 

Leadership plays a pivotal role in the success of any security operation. How do you cultivate a culture of excellence, professionalism, and accountability within the ranks of Intrepid Protection?

I revert to our previous careers in the British military. Our management team has undertaken some of the most intense military leadership courses and have gone on to successfully plan and lead operations in some of the world’s most hostile regions. Cultivating a culture of excellence, professionalism, and accountability isn’t difficult when you have a team of former Commandos. Our team has a has a tight bond and teamwork is second nature, everyone is naturally driven, diligent and instinctively has high professional standards. This is further reinforced by our certification in ISO 9001 Quality Management, this is an internationally recognised standard of excellence awarded to companies that provide exceptional customer service.

Looking ahead, what do you envision for the future of Intrepid Protection? Are there any new initiatives or areas of expansion on the horizon for the company?

On the domestic front, crime is increasing throughout London and the police don’t appear to have the will or the resources to sufficiently protect the public. The UK is in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis which means that crime is likely to further increase. 

Moreover, anyone with an interest in global current affairs will testify that these are very unstable times.  Intrepid Protection is constantly searching for new opportunities and we are currently in talks with several organisations with a view to expanding our operations further afield in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. 

To find out more visit: www.intrepid-protection.com

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