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Insights Blog 

Welcome to DARK EMBER Insights!

Updated: Oct 10, 2023

A new blog for security, intelligence, and other risk reduction professionals and their clients.

Thank you for taking the time to check out DARK EMBER's Insights blog! By way of introduction, my name is Rick Machamer; I am a military combat, law enforcement, and private security veteran. Let me take this opportunity to tell you a little about myself and my background.

Since I was very little, all I wanted to do with my life was become a Police Officer, specifically with the LAPD, having grown up watching LAPD Life on the Beat, COPS, and World's Wildest Police Chases. Sadly, I never did join the ranks of the LAPD, but I did have the honor of serving with two different departments and on one of their Emergency Response Teams (ERT). As I write this post, I am an active volunteer Police Officer with a major metropolitan department on the East Coast.

I joined the U.S. Marine Corps in early 2005. I arrived at the recruiter's office immediately after finishing a midnight tour at my first department. The Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were in full swing, and I wanted to get in before the wars ended. Little did I know that they would continue for many years after I left active service in 2009. I selected 03XX as my MOS and attended boot camp at MCRD Parris Island. I became a 0331 (Machine Gunner) at the School of Infantry at Camp Geiger. From Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, NC, I was deployed three times to Iraq to support Operation Iraqi Freedom.

I left the military in 2009 as a Sergeant and spent some time as a Private Security Contractor when that industry was at its grandest. After the company I worked for tried in vain to distance itself from controversy, I saw the writing on the wall and decided to leave and complete my degree. After a few years of being a full-time student, I completed my undergraduate degree at George Mason University and graduate school at American University and Indiana University - Bloomington.

I was recruited off-campus by PricewaterhouseCoopers ("PwC") in 2012 and spent most of the next decade as a national security industry consultant. The pandemic hit in 2020 and removed many of the perks of being a jet-setting consultant as our clients switched to fully remote work. I, along with the rest of the world, watched as our society was cast into turmoil as the events of 2020 and 2021 unfolded. I watched mass shootings, flash robberies, riots, drug overdoses, and seemingly random acts of violence become our new normal. The industries designed to reduce or minimize harm buckled under this stress test and proved woefully underprepared for society's evolution.

Having seen firsthand the inadequate and, in some cases, dangerously under-skilled and mismanaged physical security and other risk reduction services being peddled, I decided to form DARK EMBER, a company designed to set a new bar for the industry by bringing together the best practices from the military, law enforcement, emergency medicine, and private security industries.

What I Hope to Give You With This Blog

I plan on using this blog as a platform for myself, security, and other risk reduction professionals to share knowledge, leading practices, industry news, business advice, tips and tricks, gear reviews, humor, and anything else to raise the profession's standard. I invite all skilled practitioners to contribute, offer insights (hence the blog's name), and share their experiences. This blog is also for our customers and anyone new or merely interested in the industry to educate themselves on what professional services should be expected from their risk management vendors so they can hold their providers to a higher standard.

There is no excuse for professionals, especially those that carry weapons with any power to arrest, to be unsure of the scope of their authority under the law and the Constitution, unable to administer basic life-saving care, lack training on their tools, incapable of physically performing the essential functions of the position, and lacking the emotional fitness required to resolve conflict and take decisive action in an emergency.

Security and risk reduction are vital functions of society and, given the increasing strain on our law enforcement resources, are more important now than ever. Each of us who goes out daily to don the uniform and the badge must ensure that we are an invaluable asset to those we serve. BE AN ASSET!

How Can You Contribute?

Last but certainly not least, if you would like to be a guest contributor for a blog article, I welcome you to submit your article to for consideration. All I ask is that your article be well-supported and accurate.

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And with that, you can show me 10-7.

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