Book Review: Becoming Bulletproof By Evy Poumpouras
Recently, I watched an interview with Evy Poumpouras on the Cleared Hot Podcast with Andy Stumpf. She mentioned some good points and had some interesting stories from her career and mentioned her book she put out recently. So I decided to give her book, Becoming Bulletproof a read. It was published April 21, 2020. Evy was previously in the NYPD Academy before being accepted into the United States Secret Service Academy. Hilary Clinton wanted a female Agent and was impressed by Evy’s ability to speak four languages and that she had a degree in political science. The book is full of interesting information and very interesting stories. She talks about the history of the USSS and talks about the two different divisions, the Uniformed Division and the Special Agent Division. She begins the book by describing in great detail her experience of being in Ground Zero during the September 11th attacks. At the time this occurred she was part of the USSS and described evacuating her building after she and many other Agents grabbed as many FAT medical kits as they could carry, they were 26 pounds each. They set up a spot next to Tower 2 to render medical aid to everyone nearby. She describes having to find cover outside as the first tower was about to fall and having to find her way to other agents through all the smoke and debris in the air after it did fall. She along with other Agents continued rendering aid and directing people to move towards the Hudson River in order to get out of the area. It was unbelievable to hear in such great detail a first person account of what it was like on scene at the moment of the attacks.
Evy goes along to discuss things such as managing your fears and that being fearless is a bunch of bs. She mentions that people tend to be scared of things that are statistically less likely to happen to them because it is not common and when they see those events in the news, it becomes more real and that it is a possibility. She discusses the F3 response in detail and gives some stories as examples of F3 responses. She talks about the introduction of micro stressors helps in building your cognitive skills. Such as shooting and reciting the ABC’s at the same time Evy covers the importance of facing your fears and gives some personal examples. From this she gives an outline of how to develop your own personal protection plan.
Then, she follows up discussing how to read people. USSS applicants must complete a 12 week polygraph course. During her career, she interviewed many people for many hours at a time and then put many of them through a polygraph. She would say that she could tell when someone was being dishonest or hiding something before she even put them on the polygraph. She describes what some of those indicators can be and how to set a base line and identify those indicators.
Lastly, she talks about how to influence others. She talks about using open ended questions in order to get more information from people. In order to connect with people, she discusses using verbal mirroring and find commonalities that you have with them.
I definitely recommend giving this book a read. There is so much good information that can help you in your life skills. The Protection Plan section and traveling section has a lot of helpful information too. The section about reading people's nonverbal and verbal indicators to get an idea if they were lying or not was invaluable. The book sucked me right in and took my full attention. It was very hard to put the book away.
Have a great weekend!