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Leo Prinsloo, author of Leo’s Guide to Not Becoming a Statistic, was in the police force for 17 years (he joined straight after school). He served as a station policeman for five years and in 1992 he applied for Special Task Force training. Back then, the Special Force of the South African Police Service was the country’s equivalent of the United States’ SEALs or British Special Air Services (SAS). You needed to complete nine months of basic training just to get onto the unit. 

The Special Force’s core mandate was the tactical release of hostage situations. Once you’d completed the basic training, you’d move on to two years of training in a specialised area, such as VIP protection or rescue diving. After that, you had to take part in ongoing training, like sniper courses or tracking.

Leo felt like this was something he had been preparing for his whole life. Even as a kid, while his schoolmates went to parties, he would entertain himself by scaling walls and climbing onto roofs, trying to move around without anyone noticing him.

Leo worked through the ranks to become head of the snipers, and spent his last four years in the unit focusing on training and deployment. In 2004 he left to start his own training company. Initially his company focused only on firearm training but now they cover the entire spectrum of security requirements, depending on what their clients need, from beginner firearm training to advanced, as well as advanced driver training for security guards, close protection training and medical training.