Michael “Moose” Moore ’72 was visiting Auburn the night of March 4, 2008, when news broke that Auburn University freshman Lauren Burke had been abducted from campus and murdered. It made him sick. He could have saved her, or maybe helped her save herself. It’s what he does.


An expert in self-defense, Moore changed his career focus that night. Instead of just training people to handle dangerous situations as they occur, he wanted to train people to recognize and avoid risky situations altogether.

He dubbed his Brentwood, Tenn.-based Company The Vigilance Group, which sort of says it all, and formulated a motto, “Vigilance Reduces Vulnerabilities”. Vigilance, he says, is a skill set people can learn. Moore is the company’s founder, president and chief executive officer.

The next year, Moore stood before a group of 2,000 Auburn sorority sisters, who listened intently as he taught them watchfulness as well as self-defense and survival techniques, emphasizing that they should be empowered to “be a lion and not a lamb”.

Moore knows what he’s talking about. He has more than 20 years’ experience in the U.S. Air Force as a tactical pilot flying F-4 Phantoms and F-15 Eagles. (“Moose” is his nickname from high school as well as his Air Force call sign.) After retiring from the military in 1992 as a lieutenant colonel, he attended the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, specializing in counter-terrorism, and trained in detecting terrorist behavioral indicators in Israel.

His primary concern, though, is the idea of personal security. He now travels the country, talking to hospital personnel about how to identify and handle terrorist threats, school officials about handling bullies and troubled students, and college students about how to stay safe. Moore has revisited Auburn several times to educate athletes and other students and faculty.

“I have such a passion for what I am doing,” he says. “We can’t control the crazy people. All we can control is us giving them the opportunity.

The Vigilance Group recently began launching instructional videos online. Check them out by searching for the company name at YouTube.com, or find more information on the web at www.thevigilancegroup.com.

– Andrew Sims (reprinted with permission)
Auburn Magazine