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A bodyguard is a person who protects someone from personal assault, kidnapping, or even assassination. In the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, most bodyguards are former or current police officers, or sometimes ex-military.

Bodyguards are typically armed and have expertise in unarmed combat, tactical driving, and first aid. However, the most important skill for a bodyguard is the ability to assess a situation and decide how best to respond to minimize danger to his principle. Most important public figures are protected by several bodyguards who work together as a unit, using several vehicles and sometimes decoy vehicles to protect their client. Less important protectees are accompanied by a single bodyguard, who may double as a driver.

One well-known public agency that provides bodyguard services is the United States Secret Service which safeguards the lives of the President, his family, and other executive officials.

See also: security guard, Praetorian Guard