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Secret Service: the most interesting thing about the personal protection of the US President

Why the 36th US president called “bull eggs”, complaints about the attitude of the leadership to the agents, as well as amusing cases from the work of the department.

Secret Service – United States Secret Service , an agency that protects the president, vice president, relatives, candidates for the post of head of state and foreign representatives during a visit to the United States. Also, the secret service prevents forgery of money and other valuable documents.

The information in this article is taken from open sources: books and Internet resources.

History of the creation of the department

The headquarters of the secret service is in Washington and is a nine-story building without signs, in front of which there is not a single garbage bin. At the entrance to the building there is one metal detector and there are no references to the secret service. An outsider, accidentally entering the building, does not understand exactly where he got.

The first US president to hire bodyguards was Abraham Lincoln. Even before assuming office, he received a number of threats to his address, which also continued during his presidency.14 April 1865, Lincoln watched the play at the Ford Theater. When his bodyguard went off to see the play, John Booth came into the box and killed the president.

A few hours earlier, Abraham Lincoln ordered the creation of the Secret Service of the Ministry of Finance, whose duties included fighting counterfeit money. Later, this department will protect the first persons of the United States.

After the attempt on Lincoln, three more US President were killed. Only in 1901 Congress unofficially asked the secret service to protect the head of state, and the next year the department took full responsibility for the protection of the president.

Working in a secret service

Anyone who wants to try his luck and get to work in a secret service, meeting the general requirements:

  • citizen of the USA;
  • age from 21 to 43;
  • excellent health, visual acuity without correction 20/60;
  • the perfect past, passing the drug test and polygraph.

The secret service offers four different areas of activity, where a candidate can work:

Special Agent – investigation of violations of laws related to financial activities (fraud with credit cards, access devices, computer attacks on national banks); development and implementation of strategies to mitigate threats to the country’s leadership. The peculiarity of work on this post are frequent trips to various duty stations. The protection of the president is the responsibility of the staff in this position.

The first stage in the career of a special agent lasts from six to eight years of work in the designated office, afterwards there is an appointment for a security mission, where they serve up to five years. After the end of the mission, agents can stay on it or return to their previous place of work, transferred to the headquarters, training office or other unit in Washington. Special agents also have the opportunity to work abroad in one of the international departments of the department.

This vacancy is very competitive, in 2011 the Secret Service employed only 1% of the number of candidates for this position.

Uniformed Division Officers – providing security for the White House complex, the residence of the Vice President, the buildings of the Ministry of Finance and foreign diplomatic missions in Washington.

Administrative, Professional, and Technical – administrative positions.

Special Officers – performing security duties; work on protective posts; control over the movement of people at the facilities of the Secret Service; monitoring and operation of communication equipment.

56440 – 84660 dollars.

average annual salary of a special secret service agent

Memories of Agents

36th US President Lyndon Johnson remembered agents asking him to set a sound signal that they would give upon the arrival of his wife at the residence when he was having sex with the secretary in the oval office.

I remembered the saying: when Johnson comes to the ranch, the bulls lower their eyes. He had such a device that you would not believe.

Former Secret Service Agent

39th US President Jimmy Carter was once enraged that the company, serving a reception for dignitaries, did not throw away the products, but offered them to the agents. Carter insisted that in the future this company would consider the cost of additional food and bill the agents.

Reagan was known for raising Air Force jets for transporting children who needed kidney surgery.

Frank Kelly (who drafted the messages of the President to Congress)

Protection of the President

The place where the president is located is displayed on the scoreboard in the main offices of the White House and the Secret Service. It is designated as POTUS(President of the United States of America). The first lady is shown there as FLOTUS(First Lady of the United States). In addition to the first family of the state, the board displays information about the vice-president and his children.

“People always say to me:” Hey, would you really take a bullet instead of the president? “I answer:” Do you think I’m stupid? “”.

former Secret Service agent

Code names to protected individuals are invented from a random list of words beginning with one letter for each family.

  • Barack Obama is a Renegade;
  • Bill Clinton – Eagle (Eagle);
  • George Bush (senior) – Gray Wolf (Gray Wolf);
  • Ivanka Trump – Marvel;
  • Donald Trump – Mogul.

In 2012, there was a sex scandal , which involved 12 agents from the personal protection of Barack Obama. During the trip of the US President to Colombia, these agents used the services of Colombian prostitutes and refused to pay them for their services, which became known to the general public. The Director of the Secret Service, Mark Sullivan, had to personally apologize for the behavior of his employees.

The next morning, Barack Obama, speaking at a press conference with the Colombian president, commented on the incident.

If, as a result of the accusations made by the media, they will be confirmed, then, of course, this will extremely anger me. We represent the American people here, and when we travel abroad, I expect that we will all adhere to the highest standards of conduct.

Barack Obama

And in 2015, two agents of the Secret Service from Barack Obama’s security, having drunk a decent amount of alcohol in the bar, crashed into the fence of the White House in a government car.


The motorcade of the US President is one of the most popular automobile columns in the world. If the head of state arrives in another country, then a week before this, the Secret Service sends there agents who are developing the route of the movement and occupy key positions on the roofs of buildings. When the president is scheduled to visit several cities distant from each other, a separate motorcade is sent to each of these cities. The US Air Force is engaged in transportation of secret service cars using transport aircraft.

The scheme of the tuple of the US President
The scheme of the tuple of the US President

Most often, the president moves on a limousine, code-named Stagecoach, which in the column is usually from two pieces – so that the attackers do not know exactly what the head of state is exactly. In total, the secret service in the fleet of 15 to 20 such limousines.

Limousine equipment

  • doors do not have keyholes, as they are only opened by agents of the secret service;
  • jet grenades, night vision devices, armored fuel tank, protected from explosion;
  • blood identical to the blood group of the president.

The White house

If someone decides to climb over the fence, this will be known. On the ground, sensors are installed that respond to movement and weight. Closer to the building are infrared detectors and auditee detectors. Each angle falls under the surveillance cameras.

Secret Service Agent

To get to the White House through the West Wing, the invitee needs to press the button on the intercom, after you give your name. If a person is on the list of invited people, he will be invited inside, after which they will require an identity document and check it on all lists. In addition to the lists of the Secret Service, the visitor should not be included in the “black list of the White House” – there are those who can cause inconvenience. Inside, they will not miss the one for which violations are committed using physical violence or fraud.

A guy came to the gates of the White House with a live chicken and demanded to let him go to President Reagan. He said that he wanted to make a sacrifice, and planted a chicken on the fence. Just took a chicken and planted it on the fence peak.

On the day of the inauguration after the morning tea party, when the incumbent and the elected president go to the ceremony, the White House employees take out the things of the departing president and begin to turn the residence into a new house for the next president.

5 o’clock

The name of the White House staff is so much time to turn it from the house of the former president to an elected house.

This window appears after the tea drinking of both presidents, when they leave for the inauguration. During this time, the White House makes minor repairs, old things are taken out, general cleaning is carried out.

Moving the President

If the president plans to stay at the hotel – the Secret Service will book the whole floor, where his room is located, and also the floor above and below.

Business trips to other states are planned by the Secret Service in a few weeks. During this time in the country where the president is traveling, special units are moving, which plan the routes of movement. Usually in the foreign trips of the US president is accompanied by about four hundred people: the White House apparatus, secret service, journalists. The secret service always only book hotels, never stopping at diplomatic houses or embassies.

To move inside the country, the president can also use an armored bus.

If the president needs to fly somewhere, he has at his disposal one of two identical Boeing 747-200B aircraft, which when on board the head of state receives the callsign “Number One” and becomes the main aircraft in the air (at least in USA). On board the plane there is own kitchen, a conference hall, a bedroom and also working rooms for government employees.

The video communication system appeared on board the plane only after the September 11 terrorist attack, when George W. Bush could not speak to citizens with a television address, as he was in the air.

A crisis

In 2015, The Washington Post , referring to the report of the US Congress, reported that the Secret Service is in a state of crisis and is unable to solve the accumulated problems. The article cited examples when the protection of the US president made very serious mistakes:

  • In September 2014, an armed man managed to drive in one elevator with Barack Obama, having three criminal offenses related to assault;
  • On September 19, 2014, an armed man managed to get inside the White House with a knife, and in his car two axes and a machete were found;
  • In 2011, the Secret Service admitted the fact of shooting at the White House. The man, being in a parked car, fired at the walls of the US residence from a semi-automatic rifle, and then disappeared.

Former agents report that many of the failures of the agency are associated with low funding, which does not allow you to hire the number of employees that you need for full-time work. Because of this, you have to load a large number of hours already hired employees.

As reported by former agent Jessica Johnson, the Secret Service notifies agents of their future schedule so that they do not have time to plan family and personal affairs.

How tired are we? Just imagine the regime when you sleep for three to four hours every day for a week. The pilots have compulsory rest periods. And next to the president is a guy with a loaded weapon, who did not sleep for three days and flew through four time zones.

Former agents also complained about the transfer of employees from one office to another. They cited the example of a situation where one agent was denied transfer to the cities where their spouses worked, while others were obliged to move to the same cities. Often, agents who want to transfer are offered to pay the cost of moving. But the Secret Service pays from fifty to one hundred thousand dollars for the relocation of each agent who does not even want to move to a new job.


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