So the question remains: was Phillip Sheppard really a federal agent?
Phillip Sheppard, a veteran of the Survivor reality TV series, is a hoot to watch and as annoying as all get out. He seems daft, but is he? I decided to dig and do my homework on this repeat Survivor contestant and I came up with gold!
His basic bio is that he's a U.S. Army vet and CEO of a software company called Enterprise Software Sales Group and lives in Santa Monica, CA. And his video journals from Survivor and his self-proclamation that he's a special agent, or some type of secret agent is humorous at best, and seemingly delusional, at least on camera. And naming his tribe mates like his pets? Too rich.
On top of all that he's got going he's also a co-author (with his brother) of a book titled The Specialist: The Costa Rica Job. Yep, you can check out the press release for the book later on.
But as I back up and stop being annoyed by the antics, I'm seeing someone who may very well be playing the game, from the get-go. A man whose actually having fun with this. Or, at least I hope that's the case.
But the most irritating bit about him is that moniker of his self-announced title of a special agent. Of what? From where? Really? So I had to dig.
About That Special Agent Status:
At the finale of the last season of Survivor that Phillip was in, there was a woman in the audience who verified he was indeed a federal agent, though the specifics beyond that title never came up.
So there's never been concrete facts, one way or the other on this. Though I was suspecting that this is just a persona for the game. I mean seriously, how many "agents" talk about themselves that way? But per his LinkedIn account, I found his work history and you'll never guess what I can now verify?
He's been at Enterprise Software Sales Group longer than any other job he's held, hitting the 5 year mark pretty soon. And there's good reason, as he's the owner and operator of the company. I don't know about you, but anyone who can own a company might just have more on the ball than most.
Prior to owning Enterprise, he's worked for 11 different software companies before striking out on his own. I suspect he was taking notes!
Most importantly, from 1986 to 1989, he worked for the Defense Investigative Service, known then as the DIS but now known as the Defense Security Service (DSS). This position overlapped with his US Army tenure, where he was in the military from 1982 to 1989 and his DIS service was from 1986 to 1989.
And yes, reps for the then DIS, did identify themselves as Special Agents. But what little experience I've had with these folks has been that the agents were background investigators. (There's much more to that, but that was my experience.) And if you visited the link you can see.
So this puts to rest that moniker. If Phillip was an agent, he most likely (I'm guessing) did background investigations and interviews. Not a job to be taken lightly, that's for sure.
And as far as everything else, I think I'll keep my eye on the man during the game. If he keeps himself reigned in just enough, he could make it to the final few players... again. But the gang is on to him. He has nothing new and has brought what they've expected. That, and he's a contender during the challenges, which always puts a mark on a Survivor contestant's back!
About The Specialist: The Costa Rica Job Book,
"The big question? Was Phillip Sheppard really a "Former Federal Agent?" One thing is certain. He is the inspiration and persona in The Specialist: The Costa Rica Job novel. Sheppard's character The Specialist heads to Costa Rica on a perilous rescue mission to extract a corrupt banker from the hands of ruthless kidnappers. Swept up in a life or death mission, The Specialist teams up with a small cadre of Israeli secret service agents, and navigates a risky path of betrayal pitting him against drug cartels, dirty cops, turncoat agents and a terrorist bomber. In this fascinating thriller, one man faces past demons to solve a case fraught with chilling international implications.
"Sheppard's first foray into popular fiction presents him in a way never before seen by fans of the CBS reality show, that of a hardboiled, fist swinging former federal agent determined to complete his mission. Written in an engaging first person style, The Specialist: The Costa Rica Job deftly incorporates all elements of traditional action thrillers, along with Sheppard's own unique blend of dialogue, intrigue and quick pacing. The book will be the first in a series of The Specialist action adventures."
My homework sources