Ever wondered about those men in black constantly hovering around the president of the United States? How dashingly handsome they are and how seriously they take their jobs? It’s not a problem if you haven’t really, you probably didn’t even notice them. This special task force takes “secret” to a whole new level. They illude the public eye on a day to day basis. But if you’re observant enough there are tiny chinks in their armour that give away the whole charade.
We’re talking about the ever mysterious secret service of the United States. The strong, lean and tall men in black suits wearing ultra-black shades with hidden cameras to detect potential security threats and matching ear pieces to coordinate the route for the president’s lunch date. The men with a keen eye for danger and the ability to fend it off in a snap. Their job is not one that tends to feature in the headlines but it is probably one of the most mentally and physically demanding jobs in the world. They’re responsible for keeping the president of the United States (probably the most powerful head of state in the world right now) alive.
President Lincoln inaugurated this special force, ironically on the day he was assassinated. It was initially meant just for the deterrence of counterfeiting which was a growing problem back in the late 1800s. Gradually however, after the assassination of a few more presidents, Congress decided to add ‘protection of the president’ to its duties. If ever there was a real James Bond, I can it would be one of them. After a few hours of investigation, we’ve uncovered a few secrets that you ought to know about this special services group.
15. The Address of Their Secret Office
We all know they exist, but we’ve never really known where…until now. Their secret headquarters are stationed in close vicinity to the White House, the Capitol and the National Archives. A huge 9-storey unknown grey building on H-street in Washington DC is said to be the office of the secret service. It is home to armouries, operation centres and hundreds of secret agents. It has its own secret cafeteria with its own secret food and tonnes of secret recipes. That’s a lot of secrets in one building. Oh, and it is the only building in the area without a trash can stationed outside it (security reasons is what they say).
14. Stuck to the President
Willingly or unwillingly, they are always there for the president. Accompanying the president at public gatherings or official meetings is one thing, but that’s not all they do. When we say they are ALWAYS there, we mean it! Whether the president is just sulking around in the lounge, going out for golf with his friends or even if he’s going to the doctor. The secret service is there 24/7. Now I know what you’re thinking. And yes, they accompany the president even when he has to use the bathroom. Now, I know that’s too close for comfort but that’s not the analogy they use. In most cases, security is just more important than privacy.
13. Protection Duties
Their loyalty lies completely with the President, but that’s not all. They don’t just safeguard the President. They are responsible for the security and protection of the Vice President, the First Family, former presidents and their children until they turn sixteen and visiting heads of foreign states and their families. To top it all off, even presidential candidates are given secret service protocol starting 120 days before the elections. It’s amazing how they manage to do their jobs with no fingers being pointed at them, ever. I guess that’s why they’re called the ‘secret service’.
12. High-tech Gear & Gadgets
They’re prepared for every kind of tricky situation. With their stab-resistant suits, night vision goggles, sub-machine guns and shades equipped with cameras that send footage to identify any potential threats..they’re pretty well equipped. Apart from all that, they drive around in bullet-proof and flat-tyre proof limousines and can make 180 degree turns without the threat of the police pulling them over. They don’t get tickets either. Thinking about it now, it feels like all the spy movies ever made had a touch of the secret service in them. Also, in case there is a chemical attack on the President there is always one member of the team with a safety mask on hand for his safety.
11. They Carry The President’s Blood in Bags
This is something I would have never thought of, but it makes complete sense. They carry ample amount of blood, identical to that of the President’s blood group in case of emergencies. If there is ever an attack on the President, the secret service is adequately trained for emergency services. They transport the President to the closest hospital there is, and use the blood they carry around in case there is a need for blood transfusion. There will also always be an agent who will be familiar with the hospital’s emergency staff.
10. Trained to Be Food Experts
Even the food at the White House goes through a proper surveillance check. The chefs working at the White House go through an entire screening procedure just so the President can enjoy the most sought after delicacies in the world. You’d imagine that would be enough. Well, it isn’t. The chefs prepare the food with secret service watching each and every pinch of salt they add to the meal. Raises the question, has the president ever enjoyed the satisfaction of a home-delivered pizza? Well, yes he has. But not before it has gone through a security check by the secret service.
9. Trained to Be Forensic Experts
In today’s digital world, everyone has an opinion which is publicised all the time on social media. Funny thing is that the secret service is watching each and every word you type. So, whenever something suspicious or aggressive is typed down on the internet be sure that the secret service will definitely know about it. Oh, and if you thought going old school and writing it down on a piece of paper will help you evade their spying eyes, think again. They have more than 900,000 samples of ink that helps them trace down who wrote it and where. Take my advice, don’t mess with the president.
8. Deal with Potential Assassins
They’ve figured out a set of rules they follow when pursuing a potential threat to the president. There are different ways to punish perpetrators who are a threat to the president; a warning, forced psychiatric evaluation or class E felony. It is their task to investigate and find out whether the threat is realistic or not. They will go as far as interviewing the potential assassin’s family, neighbours and co-workers in order to understand if the person is mentally unstable, overly emotional or a real potential threat to the President.
7. They’ve Got Hotels on Speed Dial
The President of the United States can not stay in a place that is deemed unsafe. It is incredibly important that each hotel the President is to stay at goes through an extensive background check. Its a time-consuming examination which the hotels aren’t really happy about, but when it’s the safety of the President of the United States at stake they normally look the other way. But they’re not the ones to blame for the frustration. As if the President is staying at the hotel, it means most of the floors will be empty as no-one will be allowed to enter or leave as long as the President is staying.
6. The President’s Personal Videographers
This is something they learned from the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963. They realised that having footage of the President when he is out and about on public gatherings can help in tracking down potential offenders. They can’t use this footage for their own blogs however, and that’s a bummer. Who wouldn’t want to know about ‘the secret life of a secret service agent’? This habit of making videos has borne fruit recently, as someone threw an unidentified object at Donal Trump at a press conference later to be captured and put behind bars.
5. Working With The Rope
This is claimed to be the most stressful part of a secret service agent’s job. The rope is actually a real rope which is used as a partition between the crowd and the President. Thousands of overly excited people come to meet and greet the President, and it takes a lot of nerve to stand in the line of fire and be vigilant enough to locate suspicious activity that might be a danger to the President. You never know who might be standing in the crowd and what they might be holding on to. The shades are a real help in this case!
4. Secret Safe House
The President gives a State of the Union speech every year in front of the congress, Supreme Court and members of the cabinet. This is the most high-alert event that the President has to attend. Extreme security measures are taken in this case. In worst case scenarios, there is a secret hide out possessed by the secret service which is used to shelter members of the cabinet in times of need. This secret hide out is located in Mount Wethren, Virgina.
3. They do not swear to die in the name of the President
This is somewhat anti-climactic. It is a well-known fact that the secret service have sworn to protect the President. But they didn’t swear to die in his name or to take a bullet for him. That does not mean they wouldn’t do it but putting an end to this rumor is justified. They won’t be taken to court or put behind the bars if the President is killed.
2. They use fake bullets for training
You would imaging these agents would have to go through plenty of rigorous and tough training exercises in order to be ready to save the President’s life in times of dire need. Lots of blood and bruises. Let’s leave the for the movies however. Because they use plastic bullets in training. These bullets do not pierce through the body, they sting and leave a mark but that’s pretty much it. Even though they practice with plastic bullets, that doesn’t mean they won’t be able to get the job done. If you doubt it, pick a fight with them and you’ll find out.
1. They are not trained to carry bags
If you ever want to piss an agent off, try and ask them to carry your bags for you. This is something that they will not do, and might not end well for you either. They are there to protect the President and his family, not their personal help. They’re not paid to carry laundry bags, grocery bags or shopping bags. They stick to their job and take it very seriously. They expect their clients to do the same and give them the respect they rightfully deserve.
I’m guessing all of these secrets are as new to you as they were to us. Some of them are actually quite funny. For example, even a pizza has to go through a proper security check before it can meet the President. These secret service agents take integrity to a whole new level when it comes to living up to their job description. Finally, I have one last secret to tell you. If you think that secret service agents are easy to spot, you thought wrong. They won’t just show up in day light with their gear on, because there is another and of secret agent. Its canine. Yes, even dogs can be secret agents. But those dogs aren’t average dogs, they’re pretty high up the food chain. They’re super fast and have an uncanny hearing ability. In 1995, they started recruiting dogs into the secret service and their loyalty to the job is second to no human.