Health & Fitness, Life

Sentinel: Become the Agent in Charge of Your Own Protection Detail


Pat McNamara

I first came across Pat McNamara on the Joe Rogan Podcast Episode #1262 in March 2019. He is an interesting cat. He spent 22 years in the US Army mostly in Special Operations units.  He works out like an animal everyday. He is an expert marksman. He could kill you with his bare hands. But he also doesn’t take himself too seriously. At times he is like a military cartoon character that shouts a lot, has a raspy voice, listens to Heavy Metal and speaks in military acronyms.

He’s a funny dude with a lot of great sayings:
One of my favourites is “Metal up, buttercup”.
Another one I really like is “Every night is Saturday night, every morning is Monday morning”.  Meaning do something you enjoy every night but you still have to get up and do the work every morning. He has said him and his wife bar hopping almost every night and have a few pints. But its back to work every morning.
Another good one is “The 7 Ps: Proper planning and preparation prevents piss-poor performance.”


Basic Dude Stuff

Pat has posted a range of videos on his YouTube channel called  the “Basic Dude Stuff” series. This is things he says “every dude should now” and goes from things like cleaning and preparing your weapons, maintaining your car, to folding sheets, gardening and appreciating nature. As well as being an experts marksman and trained killer, his is an avid bird watcher and has been for years.

Sentinel: Become the Agent in Charge of Your Own Protection Detail

The book layouts steps for being aware and prepared for possible daily events like storms, blackouts, burglary and random attacks. Its not s scare tactic book in that it tells you to arm yourself to the teeth (although there is talk of firearm training) and board up the house, but just more day to day tips on being aware of your surrounding and being prepared to protect yourself and loved ones if an unfortunate incident occurs. It’s not about being paranoid, it’s about being prepared. At times its written like a military manual but then it applies it to real world examples.

It’s a pretty short book and easy to read, but what’s in there is all good with not a lot fluff. There is a lot of stuff I won’t ever apply to my life but there is a lot that I will. Some of it wont apply to your life, and some may seem overkill, but you can pick and choose the parts you want to apply. A lot of it is stuff you know you should be already doing (like weekly checks on your car) but it’s nice to have it laid out. For some reason, as I get a bit older I like to have plans and structure.

Below is my notes and takeaways from the book, but there is a lot more in the book so I recommend checking it out if you are into this kind of stuff. You can get it on Kindle for less than $5 so you can’t really go wrong.

Executive Protection

“The primary purpose of an Executive Protection detail is to safeguard the principal from harm and from situations likely to endanger his or her person” – Pat Mac

“In your protection detail, you are the Agent In Charge (AIC), and your kids or significant other become the principal. If you have a family, your safety comes second to theirs.” – Pat Mac

Your Limo

“On an executive protection detail, the limo driver prepares to move at a moment’s notice. He or she ensures safe and comfortable transport. The driver must know the vehicle inside and out. Whether you drive a Honda Civic or a Chevy Suburban, your vehicle is your mobile command center.” – Pat Mac

Car Maintenance

Keep the car in tip top shape at all times with regular maintenance checks of:
oil, tyres, power steering fluid, belts, coolant, wipers, brake lights, flashers, headlights and horn.
Keep it topped up with fuel and never let it go below half full.

Basic stuff but something I regularly forget about.

Make sure you have a spare tyre and appropriate tools to change the tyre. Make sure you know how to change a tyre (Seriously, its amazing how many people don’t know how to change a tyre)

“When behind the wheel, life is a chess match. Pay attention at all times. Be relentless. Do not focus your attention only on what is directly in front of you. Perform a focal shift to see things full spectrum.” -Pat Mac

Common sense, but most people (including myself) would be guilty of zoning off at some stage while driving and not being 100% on the road.
This hit home for me a few months back. While I was driving to work one morning the road was closed due to a head on collision where a young mother was killed. Some crazy guy veered onto the wrong side of the road and hit her head on. He was seen before that driving erratically and punching the windscreen. He survived, of course, and she was killed. She had young kids the same age as mine. It along a piece of road I drive along everyday. Bit of a wake up call really, you never know what someone else is going to do on the road.


Back your car into car spots, this gives you an quicker escape. This is something I have applied straightaway when parking in public car parks. Again, it’s not about being paranoid, it’s about being prepared.
Before you get out of your car, scan your primary and secondary sectors. Your primary is just outside of your vehicle and your secondary is up to 2 or 3 cars in each direction. This only takes a few seconds but should become habit.

Car Kit

This is a couple of handy items you leave in the car for the day you may need them

  • multi tool/pocket knife
  • flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • rope

Security Is in Numbers

“When it comes to your protection detail, there are assets and there are liabilities. Your kids do not have to be liabilities.” – Pat Mac

Get the kids involved with the surveillance when you are out and about. Make it fun and use military jargon and throw in some quizzes about is going on around them:

“What color was the car that stopped and let us pass?” “What was the cashier’s name?” “How many people were in line in front of us?” “What was the boy’s name who was being scolded by his mom?” “What dropped and made the loud noise near the electronics department?” – Pat Mac

Planning a day out with the family

“When I am with my family in an open-air event, like the state fair for example, I will conduct a short, clear and concise, briefing with my kiddies. They are young, so I’ve got to keep it simple and it must make sense to them” -Pat Mac

RP (Rally Point)
Make sure everyone knows the RP. This is the place to assemble if the group gets dispersed. Pick a large landmark the kids can easily find.

Safe Pocket
Give the kids a business card of with the details of the person in charge of them. They must keep this in their safe pocket. If they get lost they can give this to someone of authority.

Dress for success.


  • avoid flip flops (thongs)
  • headphones
  • being burdened with bags

Get off your phone and don’t text while walking. Pay attention.

Urban Survival Kit

Some items he recommends for the Urban Survival Kit:

  • pencil and notebook
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Pocket knife or multi-tool.
  • Lighter
  • Flashlight
  • First Aid kit

Your House, Your Fortress

“In your fortress, you are not just protecting yourself and your principal from burglars, but also from natural disasters, power outages, and fire.” – Pat Mac

Protecting from Burglars

Most burglars look for:

  • Something worth stealing
  • Easy access combined with low visibility
  • A home that is unoccupied

Tips to avoid burglars:

  • Make your house less attractive to burglars than your neighbours. Have it lit up with security lights. Put in some CCTV (even dummy ones)
  • Get a dog. This doesn’t have to be a vicious attack dog, just something that will make some noise if there are unwanted visitors around
Securing Doors

Most illegal entry happens through the front door. Make sure your door is solid and the door frame is solid too. After reading this section I picked up one of these door locks from Amazon:

Dealing with home invaders

If you are unfortunate enough to have a home invader enter your property, here is Pat’s advice:

  • Avoid confrontation with the intruder if possible. You will have just woken up and your eyesight will be blurry. They have the advantage as they are pumped up on adrenaline (or drugs) and their eyes have adjusted to the dark. They may be armed.
  • Never block an intruders escape route. It’s better to let intruders flee than find out they are faster, stronger or more determined than you are


Physical Fitness & Health

I like Pat’s philosophy on training:

“Work toward performance rather than outcome. Outcome goals are how much, how many, and how fast. Performance goals seek how well.

Performance-based training (PBT) requires introspection and objective self-critique. When you think outcome, you can’t help but let ego get in the way of performance.”  – Pat Mac

Pat Macs 4 reasons to workout:

  • self-preservation/longevity
  • saving your life
  • saving someone else’s life
  • kicking someone’s ass

His CST (Combat Strength Training) system is broken into seperate workouts throughout the week. This include:

  • Power workout
  • Strength workout
  • Muscular development
  • Speed & Quickness

He has a lot of workout information on his Instagram and YouTube channels which breaks down these workouts and gives lots examples.

He also has an eBook available which explains his system. You can get that here: Combat Strength Training E-book

Hand to Hand Combat

“In your protection detail, your objective is to get out of trouble fast.” – Pat Mac

“Do not get sucked into a fight either. Set the ego aside and save your hide!” – Pat Mac

These are both sound bits of advice. Best form of self defence is not getting into the fight in the first place.


“If you want true bang for the buck, join a boxing gym. Boxing skills will build a sound foundation on which all other styles of fighting can set. Lateral movement, non-telegraphic motion, zone awareness, spontaneity, and fear management are all skills you can learn from boxing. You will learn quickly how to throw straight and accurate punches in bunches with devastating effect.” – Pat Mac

I have to say I agree. Nothing like a bit of boxing sparring to get your adrenaline pumping, heart rate soaring and learning quickly to avoid being hit.

Disaster Preparation

“Being prepared can reduce fear, anxiety, and additional losses that accompany disasters. Communities, families, and individuals should know what to do and where to seek shelter in the event of a fire, hurricane, flood or earthquake” – Pat Mac

This section got me thinking about all the Bushfires across Australia last summer. I really need to get a Bushfire plan in place. There are lots of good resources out there so there is no excuse. The CFA site has plenty of info to get started:


This is only a short snippet of what is covered in the book. If this is something you are interested in knowing more about I recommend you get this book. It’s cheap and an easy read, but packed with lots of good information.

I would say its more of a “beginners” guide. If have a lot of experience in this type of preparation you will probably already know a lot of what is covered.

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