One thing he did on April 14
Lincoln wanted the Secret Service to stop the rise of counterfeit money because in 1865, up to one-third of all U.S. currency was fake. In 1867, their job grew to investigations of people who were a threat to the government. And that is what the agency did for 30 years, but then things changed in the late 1800s. In 1894, the Secret Service began informal, part-time protection of President Cleveland, and in 1901, after the assassination of President William McKinley, United States Congress authorized the Secret Service to be full-time protection for the president.
Over 100 years later and the Secret Service is still protecting our presidents, only with a lot more agents compared to the two who were first assigned to the White House detail in 1901.
Now that we know the history, let’s get into some secrets of one of the most secretive jobs on the planet.
They probably know more about the White House than the President.
The reason is simple: They have been around longer. Secret Service agents serve multiple presidents and world leaders and have to know the answers when asked, no matter how simple.
Kathleen Hennessey and Christi Parsons‘ wrote for the Los Angeles Times about some work from
It makes sense too; after all the Obamas were moving into a huge house that they probably had never really spent too much time in. We can only imagine how odd that would feel. Thankfully, they had a dedicated team of agents to answer any questions about their new home that would arise over the next eight years.
To No One’s Surprise, Their Training Is No Walk in the Park
During training, they have to do a number of exercises throughout the 493-acre facility located between Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, Maryland. They have to be some of the toughest trained security members in the
As for the target practice and defense training, there is a fake town set up on the premises where trainees have to enact very real situations with a threat. Tim Wood, a former Secret Service agent told Mental Floss in an interview, “In order to prepare, agents undergo regular and rigorous scenario training, with an agent acting as a stand-in for the president while other agents try to navigate threats. To make the simulation effective, the training incorporates non-lethal ‘marking rounds,’ or plastic bullets that leave a colored trace and a superficial sting. Instead of a blank going off, you’d know if you’ve been hit or where you hit your target.”
Other parts of their training routine
They are taught how to work with K-9’s and emergency response teams in any situation and how to help them work with the Secret Service. And of course, they learn driving skills, since you never know when you’ll have to evade a threat during a high-speed chase or pursuit.
You Can Apply to Join Them—Online
If you think you have what it takes, you can search for job openings at the Secret Service website here. It’s as simple as that. And they might really need you.
John Roth, the inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security, just said at a hearing on Capitol Hill in early July that there is currently a Secret Service “personnel shortfall”:
“Mr. Roth estimated that the agency needs to increase by 1,700 employees in five years, to 8,200, if it is to properly perform
They Travel With the President’s Blood
The Presidential Protection Division is comprised of special Secret Service agents who assigned with the president’s safety. Whenever the president travels, certain agents with be stationed at surrounding hospitals in case of an emergency to lock down the hospital if the president would have to be rushed there.
Jeffrey Robinson, the co-author of former Secret Service agent Joseph Petro’s autobiography Standing Next to History, explains that agents are always trained in ten-minute medicine which is “Doing everything possible to keep the President alive until he or she can receive specialized medical attention in the event of an emergency. When they travel, they’re never more than 10 minutes away from a trauma center.”
The traveling agents will also have bags of blood in the president’s motorcade in the event a transfusion is needed on the spot. This training is what helped save Ronald Reagan’s life after a 1981 assassination attempt.
They Never Leave the President Alone
It’s the life of a celebrity
Barack and Michelle Obama occasionally voiced their frustration with having constant armed guards (even in the bathroom at times). In 2013, speaking to women in Tanzania, Michelle said living in the White House is like a “really nice prison.”
Barack’s biggest complaint was not being able to go for a drive or a walk like he used to. At a 2012 “Red, White, and Blues” concert at the White House concert, he explained: “Some nights when you want to go out and just take a walk, clear your head, or jump into a car just to take a drive, you can’t do it. Secret Service won’t let you. And that’s frustrating. But then there are other nights where B.B. King and Mick Jagger come over to your house to play for a concert. So I guess things even out a little bit.”
It’s hard to blame the agents for doing their job, but ultimately, the Obamas (and every other presidential family) has been more than thankful that the agents will guard the family with their own lives, if necessary. It’s just part of the job.
If you ever end up playing government/presidential trivia, here are some interesting side notes about the Secret Service that will help you dominate the competition.
– The President has private chefs and Secret Service watches them prepare all their meals, at home and abroad.
– If the president wants to order pizza, an agent will have someone else call it in and get it delivered to a nearby residence so there is less risk.
– Presidents are constantly being filmed, not just for paparazzi but in case anything happens, they can go back and see more information. When someone threw something at President Trump in Ohio in March, they were able to go back and look at the footage and later arrested the individual.
– Secret Service rents out the hotel floors below and above the president when they are traveling to ensure their safety. They also do background checks on all the employees and if one of them fails for any reason, they’ll make sure they are not working while the president is there. They’ll also lock down an elevator just for the president and have a repairman on standby in case anything goes wrong.
– The agents pick up new hobbies. Since the president is never left alone, if the Commander-in-Chief wants to run, the agents are going on a run. If the leader of the free world wants to golf, the agents at least walk the course.