With suspiciously packages include crude pipe bombs being sent to former president Barack Obama, former vice president Joe Biden, and also presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, the an enig Service is ~ above high alert. Maintaining current and also former presidents for sure is a high-profile component of the task for mystery Service agents, yet what else perform they do?


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Despite the name, the united States mystery Service no all that secret. Sure, us know about the grasp of agents who don spicy suits, sunglasses, and also discreet walkie-talkies when protecting the president, however there’s more to it than that.

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What does the an enig service do?

The most visible and obvious role the an enig Service provides is keeping current and former presidents safe.

When presidents room at home, agents keep an eye out for intruders and also threats. When Donald trump or former presidents travel, mystery Service agents scope the end the destinations ahead of time. That includes identifying potential risks, pack bags through the president’s blood type, having an extra plane waiting nearby, and also watching what the command in cook eats (literally — they ensure food no poisoned).

However, there’s an ext to the job than assigning code names because that presidents and jogging together motorcades. The unified States mystery Service’s primary role is to find and also arrest counterfeiters. Agents also investigate financial, cyber, and also financial crime, and international arranged crime, follow to the mystery Service website.

The USSS likewise protects visiting international leaders or anyone else the chairman directs it come guard.

Those space all official duties. Unofficially, agents make psychological notes about some of the behind-the-scenes, confidential information about U.S. Presidents under your watch.

How many mystery Service agents defend the president?


Not all mystery Service members undertake suits. | J. David Ake/AFP/Getty Images

As we mentioned, protecting the chairman is the most high-profile facet of gift a an enig Service agent. The grasp of civilization selected presidential protection information come indigenous the USSS’s team of roughly 3,200 unique agents and also officers. Those who don’t safety the president are assigned to clock the White House, Treasury building, or international embassies in Washington, D.C., or they occupational in offices scattered across the country.

The background of the an enig Service

The secret Service dates back to 1865 when it was in the department of the Treasury. In ~ first, its sole mission was to stop counterfeiting, but it’s included to that is duties over the years. Right here are a couple of key moments in that history.


The mystery Service protects presidents and their families and vice presidents. | Kevin Larkin/AFP/Getty Images

1867: Responsibilities increased to encompass investigating and also stopping smugglers, letter robbers, land fraud, and also other commonwealth crimes.1894: The service protects its an initial president. An enig Service agents guard Grover Cleveland top top a part-time basis.1901: President william McKinley’s assassination prompts congress to do presidential defense a official duty, which started in 1902. Only two agents guarded the president complete time.1917: A president’s household receives the same protection as the commander in Chief.1951: conference authorizes the mystery Service to defend the president, his instant family, the angry president, and also the president-elect.1968: Presidential candidates, their running mates, and other nominees garner protection.1999: The mystery Service moves into its own headquarters. Prior to that, that rented office an are in Washington, D.C.2003: The an enig Service moves from being component of the Treasury room to the department of landscape Security.

How to become a mystery Service agent


Heavily armed secret Service agents stroll through President Obama in 2013. | Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Becoming an agent could be more complicated than becoming presidents. Potential field agents have to complete a 10-step procedure before they challenge a hiring dashboard that provides the final contact on whether or not to rental them.

The two-phase process starts through a job opening and also continues v a resume review, created exam, physical capacity test, interview, and also a conditional job offer. That’s phase one.

Phase two contains a security and also credit check, polygraph test, medical and also psychological exam, and also a background examine that takes approximately nine months.

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Agents need to be well-rounded, too. They receive comprehensive weapons and water survival skills, follow to Thrillist. However, if did you do it used any illegal drugs due to the fact that age 23, you have actually no shot of do the cut since you’ll be automatically disqualified. Very same goes if you bought or offered drugs at any type of time in your life.