Conversations with Innovators — Q&A with Clint Bruce of Trident Response Group
This week we are talking with Clint Bruce, Founder of Trident Response Group
Clint Bruce is the Founder and CEO of Trident Response Group, a Dallas-based security company that specializes in the personal safety and security of corporate intelligence. Bruce is a former Navy SEAL, who had the privilege of serving on SEAL Team 5, based in California. After leaving the SEALs when he was 29, he organized the evacuation of 900 people from the Fairmont Hotel in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit. This passion for saving and helping others is what led him to start the Trident Response Group in 2005.
1. Clint, what services does Trident Response Group provide? How did you get started?
Similar to Klemchuk LLP, we essentially operate as trusted advisors to the some of the best business leaders in America. We solve problems and manage risks for them both domestically and abroad. The services that go along with that have a lot to do with the particular needs of the leader, their family, and their business - but they typically fall into three broad categories: Security and Safety, Investigations and Intelligence, and Training.
TRG was founded in 2005 through unique (though unfortunate) circumstances, and a deep personal conviction.
The circumstance was Hurricane Katrina. I had just transitioned out of the SEAL Teams and was working in finance with a great firm doing something I was not passionate about. I’m not talented enough to be really good at anything absent the “rocket fuel” of passion … so it was a struggle for me. Several leaders in the DFW area knew my background and asked if I could go into New Orleans and rescue employees and guests at the Fairmont Hotel and a few other places. That … well, that I was passionate about. And when we returned after a pretty successful operation some of the best leaders I knew asked me if I could advise their families, their businesses … themselves, on safety and security. I majored in economics at the Naval Academy and paid attention enough in class to know that’s called “demand.” So we started TRG because our very first clients asked us to. We’re very fortunate.
The conviction was this - I need to be around great leaders. They make me better. But I need to add value to their lives, or I’m stealing their time. As a veteran in business, being around great business leaders is like being around a great linebacker when you’re a freshman in college. You learn from them. They can make you better faster.
I wanted to start a company that would let me work with some of the greatest men and women I know from my time in the military, while we worked for the kind of folks we wanted to become like on the new map we were on.
Bottom line - I want to work for the best leaders in America, and work with incredible veterans. Every day.
2. We’ve experienced a number of terrorist acts in the past couple years. What are some actions you recommend an average person take in an active-shooter scenario?
We are fans of simplicity. Simple is the only thing you can remember when you’re scared and being shot at is scary. We use a simple system called the READY4 to help us think about, talk about, and take action when we’re dealing with a bad situation.
We have over 200 years of special operations, intelligence, and rescue experience in TRG. And those 200+ years tell us there are really only 4 things you need to know (1) when, and (2) how to do: Get out, Protect yourself and others, Treat an injury to yourself and others, Get to Shelter. Out - Protect - Treat - Shelter. Those are your 4 first OPTionS in a bad event.
So in an active shooter situation - you would:
Out - get out as quickly as you can
Shelter - if you can’t get out, get to a safe place that the bad guy can’t find, can’t access, or can’t shoot through … ideally all 3.
Protect - if you can’t get out, and you can’t get to shelter, you have to fight.
I believe we have a moral and ethical obligation to protect ourselves and each other. And the outcome of a lot of shooting events would tell you that someone fighting back either stops or slows the bad guy every time. When no one fights back … it’s a blank check until the protectors arrive. And it will always be too big of a check.
3. In addition to risk mitigation and self-awareness/personal defense services, Trident Response Group also provides business due diligence and cybersecurity services. How can companies benefit from these services? Has the recent unstable business environment increased the need for these services?
It goes back to being a trusted advisor on risks. We consider being wrong about who you are doing business with, where you are going, what you are trying to do … we consider all of that to be risk. We want our clients to win, and to be safe and strong while winning. Our biggest enemy is uncertainty. We do things that reduce uncertainty, increase confidence, and drive time back into the lives of leaders so they can take more hills. Yes, this in an unstable business environment both on the information landscape and in reality … so we work to create certainty on both of those maps.
4. What is EnterTRAINment?
It is one of my favorite things we do. We want leaders to use TRG when they need to (something’s wrong, we fix it), when they have to (it’s required or necessary to do the job), and because they want to. EnterTRAINments are the way we provide value to our clients as they entertain and educate their most important relationships. It’s the coolest business development and client appreciation program around.
We take about 15 executives and give them a 3 hour “Day in the Life … “ experience in our ReadyLab, taught by special operations combat veterans. We call it EnterTRAINment, because we’re not trying to just entertain people. We are training them on a real-world skill they may (hopefully not) have to use to protect themselves and those they care for.
It is so popular because (i) it’s fun, (ii) our coaches are heroes, and (iii) you actually learn how to protect yourself and your family.
5. You co-founded Carry The Load in 2011. Tell us the inspiration for that movement, and how can people get involved?
Carry the Load was born out of anger. I wish there was a better way to start the story. But I had come home in 2004 to find America just not celebrating Memorial Day the way it should be. And on top of that, being totally honest, I knew I had not celebrated Memorial Day the way I should have myself until I started losing my friends.
So in 2006 I started doing road march carrying a pack with 1 pound for every friend I had lost. Along the way men and women would ask me what I was doing and I would start to share, but before I could even finish they would begin telling me about a family member or friend they had lost and that they missed. And we would just walk a little while. I would start to wish I’d known the person they missed, and they’d wish they knew they person I missed. And that’s what we should be doing on that day.
It’s become an amazing event since those early days. I am proud of the Carry the Load Team and everyone who volunteers, participates, and donates.
We’ve walked with tens of thousands of people, and walked tens of thousands of miles. And we’ve heard so many amazing stories of people who thought we were all worth their sacrifice during the month of May.
And we’ve been able to invest a significant amount of money in non-profits we think are doing incredible work solving really hard problems that face the nation, our military, our veterans and first responders.
Go to www.carrytheload.org and learn how to put an oar in the water with us.
About the Firm:
Klemchuk LLP is a litigation, intellectual property, transactional, and international business law firm dedicated to protecting innovation. The firm provides tailored legal solutions to industries including software, technology, retail, real estate, consumer goods, ecommerce, telecommunications, restaurant, energy, media, and professional services. The firm focuses on serving mid-market companies seeking long-term, value-added relationships with a law firm. Learn more about experiencing law practiced differently and our local counsel practice.
The firm publishes Intellectual Property Trends (latest developments in IP law), Conversations with Innovators (interviews with thought leaders), Leaders in Law (insights from law leaders), Culture Counts (thoughts on law firm culture and business), and Legal Insights (in-depth analysis of IP, litigation, transactional, and international law).