American Survival Guide - - GEAR GUIDE -

Timm Irvine-smith was born in Zim­babwe, but his fam­ily soon moved to South Africa, where he was raised in an iso­lated ru­ral re­gion of the coun­try (where learn­ing wilder­ness sur­vival and nav­i­ga­tion skills were part of a nor­mal way of life).

Af­ter fin­ish­ing his bach­e­lor of arts de­gree—ma­jor­ing in phi­los­o­phy and law—and there­after bach­e­lor of laws, he left uni­ver­sity in 1993 and went over­seas. He stayed in the United King­dom with his fa­ther dur­ing 1993 and did mul­ti­ple close-pro­tec­tion cour­ses with ex-22 SAS (Lofty Wiseman) and Royal Pro­tec­tion Unit (Den­nis Martin) in­struc­tors.

Irvine-smith was op­posed to apartheid, but he was op­ti­mistic that change was on the hori­zon. Not long af­ter he re­turned to South Africa in 1994, apartheid ended. Irvine-smith joined the newly formed Crim­i­nal In­tel­li­gence Ser­vice, for which he was chal­lenged with unit­ing two for­merly con­tentious groups into a func­tional pro­tec­tive de­tail. Af­ter ac­com­plish­ing that, Irvine-smith worked his way up through the ranks and was even dec­o­rated for sav­ing 12 peo­ple from a gun­man.

In 2005, Irvine-smith was re­cruited by South Africa’s Spe­cial Task Force (Stf)—the coun­try’s most elite po­lice Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions force. Dur­ing an STF train­ing event, he talked with a com­rade about cor­rect­ing the er­ror in­her­ent in the shadow stick method of di­rec­tion-find­ing and mak­ing it us­able on the move. As a re­sult, the idea for the Sun­com­pass was born.

To­day, Irvine-smith com­mands an STF med­i­cal sup­port de­tach­ment and is the owner of Ronin South Africa. This school teaches a broad spec­trum of close-pro­tec­tion dis­ci­plines, in­clud­ing pre-hos­pi­tal emer­gency care, pedes­trian es­cort, venue se­cu­rity, pro­tec­tive driv­ing, con­flict man­age­ment, and firearms and oper­a­tional pre­pared­ness.

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