Riot, protest, and political grievance are preventing law enforcement and local government from providing basic security to communities large and small nationwide. “Traditional” threats like violent crime, gang warfare, terrorism, and riots have now been joined by a growing credible threat of civil war, political disruption, and anti-capitalist insurgents. DSI directly addresses the gap created by the enterprise need for security and law enforcement's growing inability to deliver it.

The only way to defend against these escalating threats is with an active defense.  

Active defense as the ability to stop a violent threat, minimizing casualties and damage, and securing the scene prior to the arrival of law enforcement.
Active defense relies upon an armed security cadre of vetted, trained, employees as the core of the enterprise's security strategy. Are you truly defended if you're willing to wait 5-10 minutes or more for the arrival of law enforcement to stop an active shooter? And while waiting, sacrifice 35-70 employees? 
Deploying an active defense gives you the means to deter or defeat violent threats against your enterprise. While there is no defense option that guarantees 100% effectiveness, with active defense, you will have the peace of mind knowing that you’re doing everything you can to defend your employees and assets.
Command School is a three-day seminar for CEOs and senior security managers designed to bridge that final, most crucial gap in corporate security which is the ability to mount an active defense against lethal threats. Command School provides the tools and training needed to not only defend the enterprise from violent threat – but to also extend these tools and training to the immediate neighborhood or community, in order ensure its own safety and security. Command School will teach you:
  1. How to develop and integrate an active defense component into your corporate security plan. 
  2. How to recruit, screen, train and operate a private security force composed of enterprise employees.
  3. How to build-out a distributed security network capable of defending your immediate community.

Email to register for the next seminar. 


When violence starts whether from a lone shooter, an angry mob, organized terrorists, local gangs, anti-capitalist employees or pro-union organizers, the ability to immediately mount a lethal defense is imperative. Enterprises worldwide are waking up to the high cost of security theater. A cost paid in lives lost, property destroyed, and enterprise assets looted.

Security Theater imageMost enterprises will not do what is necessary to mount a credible defense against lethal threats. Instead they are engaging in a form of “security theater” first described by Bruce Schneier, the computer security specialist as “security measures that make people feel more secure without doing anything”. The best example of security theater within enterprises is the notion that posting “Gun Free Zone” signs will deter gun violence.

A comprehensive security strategy is necessary for enterprises that includes both passive and active measures. Passive measures are widely acknowledged and seldom controversial. They focus primarily upon deterrence and detection of potential threats. However, without active measures, passive measures are simple security theater.

Active measures are the last line of defense, and collectively form the capability to protect innocent lives in the critical response gap before law enforcement is able to arrive and intervene. A key element of active measures is the presence of trained, armed employees on site to protect innocent lives.

Command School Pull Quote 5The simple reality is that attackers bent on using violence hold the trump card when it comes to thwarting passive security measures. They have a free pass in to the “security theater”. When violence starts the ability to immediately mount a lethal defense is imperative. Passive security measures do not provide that.

Security guards, technology, and infrastructure are all passive measures focused on deterrence and detection. However the critical skill required to actually defend against a threat is missing. Unarmed security guards will call the police when faced with a threat. Security cams will tell you where the threat is happening, and hardened infrastructure will only slow down a determined attack.

The security industry is approximately a $100 billion industry today. This number includes inhouse and outsourced security guards, security technology and infrastructure, and does not include cyber-security efforts. The uncomfortable truth is that most of this $100 billion is wasted on passive security measures.

Most enterprises could significantly reduce their security costs by adopting a defended enterprise mindset. This is the purpose of Command School.


The leading certification body for corporate security professionals is ASIS International. In their handbook published May, 2019, there is description of various domains of knowledge a security professional must master in order to earn their coveted CPP certification. Of the seven domains that a student must master, none of them deal with actually mounting an active defense.

Pie chart Defended Enterprise Exhibit 3 Trans

The missing link in corporate security planning is an active defense. Command school provides CEOs and Security Managers with the tools and training needed to not only defend their enterprise from violent threat – but to also extend these tools and training  to their neighborhood or community, in order ensure its own safety and security. Just as traditional U.S. Army Special Forces training prepares the soldier to train, lead, and advise foreign populations in various aspects of defense and security, the Command School graduate will be able to work within a typically diverse American work force or community to help it defend against the chaos, disunity, and uncertainty that may result from degradation or collapse of the normal social order.

Command School is Tier 1 training conducted in a seminar setting through discussion and participatory exercises including tabletop decision-making exercises that present and rehearse time-honored concepts of collective training, planning, and leadership adapted to the emerging threats confronting American communities.

COMMMAND SCHOOL - Creating The Defended Enterprise


Command School is offered in two formats, on-site engagement and off-site seminar. The on-site engagement offers a tailored seminar for six participants from a single enterprise and is hosted by the engaging enterprise. The off-site seminar is a general offering open to any all enterprises, is limited to 12 particapants, and is hosted at a third-party meeting venue.

Seminar summary:

  1. Cost: $3,995
  2. Duration: 3-Days 
  3. Format: Seminar/Engagement
  4. Location: On-site and in major cities nationwide.
  5. Date: Monthly and on-demand.
  6. Registration: Email

Included in the seminar cost:

  1. 30 Hours. Thirty hours over three days of small group lecture and discussion.
  2. Presentation Binder. 500+ pages printed take-aways in presentation binder.
  3. Courseware. 17 LMS (Learning Management Software) online modules.
  4. Smartsheets. Smartsheet interactive stand-up plan.
  5. Lifetime Membership. Lifetime membership to the DSI on-line Defense Academy.
  6. Private Training Group. Custom online Private Training Group for your enterprise.
  7. Certificate Of Completion. Lucite block completion certificate.
  8. Team Dinner. Thursday evening. Real restaurant. Great food. Unwind. 

Topics covered:

  1. Defended Enterprise. What is a defended enterprise? Historical context, strategic underpinnings and current events demonstrating the need for the defended enterpise. 
  2. Security Analysis. Introduction to Security Analysis. Security for a private enterprise must be built on a solid foundation of analysis, conducted in five parts: Area Study, Site Survey, Threat Assessment, Asset Evaluation, and Vulnerability Assessment.
  3. Area Study. The first step in a systematic security analysis is an Area Study, a collection and analysis of information on your surrounding area. 
  4. Site Survey. A Site Survey is a detailed characterization of your site - your property, physical plant, on-site assets, personnel, and operations.
  5. Threat Assessment. Threat Assessment uses deductive analysis to list, characterize, and prioritize all potential threats to your site(s), personnel, and operations.
  6. Asset Evaluation. Asset Evaluation catalogs and characterizes persons, groups, enterprises, and agencies that can contribute to your security, but are beyond your direct control. 
  7. Vulnerability Assessment. Vulnerability Assessment uses a variety of interactive and analytical methods to pose potential threats against your security posture, testing effectiveness and identifying areas for improvement.
  8. The Private Security Force. A Defended Enterprise must recruit, train, organize and manage its Private Security Force, and support it with infrastructure, provisioning, and outsourcing. 
  9. Plans and Procedures. Response plans and codified procedures are vital to the security of an enterprise, but we must also understand their limitations.
  10. Command and Control. Leaders and managers must understand and apply proven principles of command and control adapted to the unique circumstances of a Defended Enterprise in domestic, peacetime environment.
  11. Decision Making and Problem-Solving in Crisis. Between the onset of a violent incident and effective intervention by first responders, a Defended Enterprise must rely upon rapid and effective decentralized decision making by security operators, leaders, and managers.
  12. Sustainable Security. Severe or long-duration natural or man-made disasters present security challenges of an entirely different order. 
  13. Communications. We identify communication challenges and solutions, both internal and external, that a defended enterprise will face before, during, and after a crisis.
  14. Post-incident. In the immediate aftermath of a violent incident, it is necessary to secure the scene, treat the injured, communicate with inbound first responders, and link up safely and effectively with them.
  15. Task Catalog and METL. The Mission Essential Task List (METL) model is a powerful tool for codifying and assigning security procedures and responsibilities.
  16. Wargaming. Tactical Decision Games and/or Tabletop Exercises for Training and Validation

Command School is also recommended for the private security force team leaders who have completed DSI’s multi-tier operator training (Tiers 4, 3, and 2). The training prepares participants to meet the planning, organizing, problem-solving, decision-making and leadership challenges inherent in standing up a private security force. The training addresses coordination with local officials, cooperating agencies and organizations, and opinion makers; creation and validation of emergency response plans; and the details of recruiting, organizing, and leading a force or unit comprising multiple teams, individuals, and specialties.  This is "community organizing" on a whole new level – building a sound basis for safety and security in an environment characterized by delayed, inadequate, or non-existent support from civil authorities as a result of natural disaster, civil unrest, or just the gradual decay of the social order.


Smock Standing bwMike Smock is co-founder of Distributed Security, Inc and co-developer of Command School. He has managed or consulted with enterprises operating in at-risk environments worldwide. Prior to co-founding the enterprise, he was managing director for a San Francisco based strategy consultancy, and Chairman and CEO of an international contracting firm. In his early career, he spent 15 years in senior management positions with national and international enterprises, and was co-founder Dynaquest, an early artificial intelligence pioneer. He attended Michigan State University, East Tennessee State University and Elmhurst College.

Tallen100Bill Tallen is co-founder of Distributed Security, Inc. and co-developer of Command School. Prior to joining the enterprise he had a 20 year career with the Department of Energy, where he served as a Federal Agent, team leader, unit commander, training instructor, and manager in the agency which provides secure transportation of nuclear weapons and nuclear materials within CONUS. He helped to found DOE's Special Response Force program, developing and teaching urban and close quarter battle techniques to Federal Agents charged with recovery of lost assets. He has designed and conducted a variety of wargaming efforts in support of vulnerability assessments, security system design, and leadership training, and has taught a variety of crisis decision making models. Bill holds the degree of Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College. 


Registration is limited to 12 attendees. We offer a 10% group discount for 2-5 attendees from the same enterprise. (If you want to bring 6 team members to the same course we can customize a course for you. Email us at for more information or call us at 1.877.452.0951).

To ensure that those training with you are persons of good ethical character, we require all applicants to provide one of the following forms of information. Please bring the original to your course for verification. Should you not have any of these forms we can do a criminal background check for you.

  1. Evidence of no criminal history from a local law enforcement agency printed on official department letterhead, or a statement of good character from a local official; i.e. chief of Police, sheriff, District Attorney, Judge, etc.
  2. Evidence of current, active, full line service with public law enforcement agency, or with the United States Armed Forces.
  3. Form 4473 “Brady Check” (See the gun store that you purchased your handgun from for a copy.)
  4. If you have none of the above credentials we will need to run a criminal background check for you. You will be charged an additional non-refundable $20 for the background check. 

Payment of seminar fee.

Email to register for the next seminar.

Your course fee does not cover:

  1. Travel.
  2. Lodging.

Cancellations and refunds.

Once your deposit is processed then you are committed to the seminar. There are no refunds unless you do not pass the background check.

If you are unable to attend your scheduled date then you will be able to attend a future program date as long as:

  1. You cancel no later than 30 days prior to your program date.
  2. Future program dates are contingent upon space available.
  3. There is a $250 service charge per attendee  for canceling and rebooking the program.

Distributed Security, Inc. is pioneering the development of distributed security networks and distributed security bases within private enteprise. Founded ten years ago, the company offers a full menu of security training options for private enterprise. Visit for more information.

Command School Logo Final Shadow

Register Today

Command School Tile generic 2

COMMAND SCHOOL is offered in both seminar and engagement formats. Seminars are held monthly in Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, Baltimore. Engagements are on demand.. 

Click to download seminar brochure:

Command School Brochure Cover

Seminar summary:

  1. Cost: $3,995
  2. Duration: 3-Days 
  3. Format: Seminar
  4. Location: New Hudson, MI
  5. Next Date: August 25-27
  6. Register

Included in the seminar cost:

  1. 30 Hours. Thirty hours over three days of small group lecture and discussion.
  2. Presentation Binder. 500+ pages printed take-aways in presentation binder.
  3. Courseware. 17 LMS (Learning Management Software) online modules.
  4. Smartsheets. Smartsheet interactive stand-up plan.
  5. Lifetime Membership. Lifetime membership to the DSI on-line Defense Academy.
  6. Private Training Group. Custom online Private Training Group for your enterprise.
  7. Certificate Of Completion. Lucite block completion certificate.
  8. Team Dinner. Thursday evening. Real restaurant. Great food. Unwind. 

Seminar Location:

The Greater Detroit seminars are held at the world class Huron Valley Guns in New Hudson which is centrally located for easy access from most of Greater Detroit. Huron Valley Guns has a huge comfortable boardroom style meeting room we use plus we have access their on-premise restaurant, range facilities, large selection of weapon rentals, even a barber shop and cigar bar. 

HVG Range

HVG Mural

Understanding The Need

Cover Image Briefing Series 01 Understanding LI

When considering the notion of using armed employees to defend their enterprise, most owners and managers respond with the following:

  • I don’t like guns.
  • I don’t see the threat..
  • That’s why we have cops.
  • My lawyers would not allow it.
  • You can’t train employees to do this.
  • That’s why there are security guards.

We have found that most enterprises must go through four stages of understanding in order to comprehend the reality and necessity of a defended enterprise.

STAGE 1: Understanding the threat. It’s going to get worse. A lot worse. The first stage is understanding that violent threats to enterprise and community are going to get worse. In the recent past you could count on historical trends and statistics to help predict and deter violent threat. This is no longer the case as violent threats to local communities throughout the world are evolving rapidly and unpredictably.

STAGE 2: Understanding cops will not defend the enterprise. Cops can’t defend you.The second stage is understanding that cops won’t be there to respond as these new threats emerge. Police are not security guards and cannot provide the kind of coverage to thwart a violent attack. Government budgets are shrinking and the public distaste for increased taxation growing. Cops do not have the mandate or budget to defend individual enterprises.

STAGE 3: Understanding owners and managers must defend the enterprise. The third stage is realizing that owners and managers are responsible for the defense of the enterprise. Cops, politicians, lawyers, gun regulations, liability insurance, surveillance cams, and unarmed security guards do not defend the enterprise. Enterprise owners and managers must provide for the defense of life and property via inhouse staff and/or outsourced capabilities.

STAGE 4: Understanding armed employees are the best defense. The fourth and final stage is understanding that the best defense is the one that will be there when a threat manifests. Armed, trained, and vetted employees working as a coordinated team and circulating throughout the enterprise provide the best defense. With DSI Enterprise Offerings you can recruit and deploy a private security force for a fraction of the cost of outsourced options while maintaining total control over this most vital strength.

Enterprises who control their defense are truly defended. Outsourcing to third-parties or assuming law enforcement will respond in time leads to vulnerability and uncertainty. Take control. Move from defenseless to defended.