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About

Our Story

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The year was 2020 and the world was struck by the Covid-19 virus. The pandemic quickly turned the world upside down, rendering social structures, economies, and public services insufficient and on edge. Over the next year, conditions went from bad to worse as social and political tensions left the confines of the internet and spilled onto the streets. 

The concept of DARK EMBER began in the repurposed home office of its founder, a senior defense industry consultant, former U.S. Marine Infantry Sergeant, and law enforcement veteran. His experience led him to one conclusion: the world was woefully unprepared for this challenge. Living in the Washington D.C. area, he had seen firsthand the inadequate standard of private security and intelligence offerings, with undertrained personnel and outdated solutions leaving businesses and the public exposed and vulnerable. A new kind of security and intelligence professional was required, one that was not only competent in the fundamentals but also skilled in modern technology, emergency medicine, crisis intervention and de-escalation, and other advanced tactics. 

DARK EMBER was built around the core philosophy of providing its clients with certainty in an uncertain world, with an unwavering dedication to equipping clients with superior protection, intelligence, resilience, and liability reduction. Our professionals are trained to be multi-disciplined, adaptive, vigilant, and discreet, embodying a new standard for private security and intelligence professionals.

The year was 2020 and the world was struck by the Covid-19 virus. The pandemic quickly turned the world upside down, rendering social structures, economies, and public services insufficient and on edge. Over the next year, conditions went from bad to worse as social and political tensions left the confines of the internet and spilled onto the streets. 

The concept of DARK EMBER began in the repurposed home office of its founder, a senior defense industry consultant, former U.S. Marine Infantry Sergeant, and law enforcement veteran. His experience led him to one conclusion: the world was woefully unprepared for this challenge. Living in the Washington D.C. area, he had seen firsthand the inadequate standard of private security and intelligence offerings, with undertrained personnel and outdated solutions leaving businesses and individuals exposed and vulnerable. A new kind of security and intelligence professional was required, one that was not only competent in traditional practices but also skilled in modern technology, advanced tradecraft, and leading practices. 

DARK EMBER was built around the core philosophy of providing its clients certainty in an uncertain world, with a dedication to equipping clients with superior protection, intelligence, and resilience. Our professionals are trained to be multi-disciplined, adaptive, vigilant, and discreet, embodying a new standard for private security and intelligence professionals.

Leadership

Rick Machamer

Founder & Senior Managing Director

richard.machamer@darkember.com

Rick is the Founder and Senior Managing Director of DARK EMBER. He has extensive experience of over 20 years in global intelligence, security, risk management, and public safety. Rick specializes in corporate intelligence, opposition research, security planning and management, security operations, and physical security vulnerability assessment. 

Before founding DARK EMBER, Rick was the global head of intelligence for a multinational cybersecurity company and held a senior management role at one of the Big 4 consulting firms serving clients in a variety of industries, including national defense, technology, financial services, pharmaceuticals and life sciences, energy, industrial manufacturing, and fashion. He started his law enforcement career as a Deputy Sheriff serving a Virginia coastal community and was a member of the Emergency Response Team (ERT). 

Rick is a U.S. Marine Corps combat veteran and led an infantry unit supporting the Global War on Terror. Following his time in the combat arms, he served as an intelligence chief in the Middle East, where he was credited with leading offensive operations that captured several high-value terrorist targets, including Multi-National Force West's (MNF-W) second-most wanted individual. 

After leaving government service, Rick was a Personal Security Detail (PSD) team member at a private security contractor protecting diplomats and corporate executives facing unconventional security threats. 

Outside of DARK EMBER, Rick is a volunteer sworn Police Officer at a major metropolitan police department and a board member at the veteran-founded organization, The 9:57 Project. He is also an active member of the ASIS International, the National Tactical Officer's Association (NTOA), the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO), the Strategic Consortium of Intelligence Professionals (SCIP), the Academy of Competitive Intelligence, and the Association of International Risk Intelligence Professionals (AIRIP). 

Rick has served as an expert witness advising legal counsel on the appropriate application and use of force for security officers. His expertise in security and intelligence has led him to appear on leading news programs in the U.S. and internationally. He is currently engaged with a global streaming entertainment provider as the host of an intelligence-themed reality show currently in production.

Education 

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Executive Certificate

  • Indiana University-Bloomington, Graduate Certificate in Data Science, Data Science Fellow

  • American University, M.S. Taxation

  • George Mason University, B.S. Accounting

Security Registrations,  Certifications, and Endorsements

  • Unarmed & Armed Personal Protection Specialist - Virginia DCJS

  • Private Investigator - Virginia DCJS

  • Certified Compliance Agent - Virginia DCJS

  • Advanced Handgun - Virginia DCJS

  • Shotgun - Virginia DCJS

  • Patrol Rifle (with & without optics) - Virginia DCJS

Professional Certifications

  • Certified CARVER Target & Vulnerability Assessment Professional - Security Management International

  • Physical Access Control Systems: Practical Hacking & Defense - Red Team Alliance
  • Certified All Source Intelligence Professional - McAfee Institute
  • Certified Open Source Intelligence Professional - McAfee Institute
  • Certified Dark Web Analyst - Dark Web Council
  • Advanced Practical Social Engineering - Social Engineer LLC
  • Competitive Intelligence Professional - Academy of CI
  • Competitive IQ Certified - Strategic Consortium of Intelligence Professionals
  • Competitive Intelligence Masters - Product Marketing Alliance
  • Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC) Certified 
  • Basic Life Support (BLS) Certified
  • Emergency Vehicle Operators Course (EVOC)
  • ASP Baton & OC Spray Certified
  • ASP Instructor
  • SABRE OC Spray Instructor
  • NARCAN Opioid Overdose Instructor
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