The American Secret Service is an integral part of the Homeland Security and actually one of the oldest and most significant law enforcement agencies in the United States and in the entire world. Have you ever asked yourself who they really are and what do they really do?
The Secret Service is responsible for guarding the President of The United States of America, however, that is not their only responsibility.
Established by President Lincoln
The Secret Service was established on April 14, 1865, by none other than President Abraham Lincoln. The irony of this story is that the Service that will be responsible for guarding the President of the United States was established on the day of Lincoln’s assassination.
Its original purpose was to stop the counterfeiting of the US currency and it became responsible for the President’s protection 36 years after its establishment.
The Secret Service Began Protecting Presidents in 1901
The Assassination of President William McKinley made the government of the US assign the Secret Service to one more responsibility – the protection of the President of the United States. That became a full-time job for the chosen members of the Service in 1902.
How Many Agents Are There?
The actual number of Secret Service agents is 6500. That number only includes actual agents and not all other workers who work for that unit.
The Training Process
Of course, agents undergo a serious training program before they get accepted to the Secret Service, and they have to keep their fitness on a high level if they want to keep their jobs.
Presidents Are Not Their Only Responsibility
The Secret Service guards the President’s family members, families of former presidents, and all foreign delegation members who come to the US as visitors.
Every single Secret Service member has basic medical knowledge so they could save lives if needed.
The Secret Service must always be prepared for any probable and improbable scenario. That is why they always carry a pouch of president’s blood.
Every security agency has had moles in their ranks, but not the Secret Service. They are the only law enforcement agency that hasn’t had any traitors or foreign agents infiltrations.
FBI is Secret Service’s Little Boy
In 1908, the Justice Department needed a couple of agents to conduct an investigation on the national level. That is why they pulled nine agents from the Secret Service who later created a group named Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
All The Presidents Have Had Code Names
All the presidents and their family members have codenames. However while each president had a different codename, their family members had to have codenames with the same starting letter. For example, ex-President Obama’s name was Renegade, his wife had a codename Renaissance, and his daughters were named Rosebud and Radiance.
Roosevelt in Al Capone’s Car
Because there was no money for the small things like cars during the World War 2, the Secret Service had to improvise. They needed some armored car to protect President Roosevelt so they took Al Capone’s former vehicle and used it for the President.
Whatever The President’s Hobby Is, Agents Have to Do it Too
This is one of their rules. They have to participate in any activity the President would like to be a part of. If the President feels like jogging, they must jog, if the President would like to go play tennis they must go play tennis, etc.
One Huge Forensics Unit
The Secret Service has to be prepared for anything and it must be able to act independently from all other government agencies. That is why the Secret Service has one of the best forensic laboratories in the world. Because of their capabilities, President Clinton assigned them to help in the matter of exploited and missing children in 1994.
Because the Airforce One is the President’s official mean of transportation, the plane is packed with agents of the Secret Service. And there is also a second identical Airforce One also with the Agents from the Secret Service. The two planes always travel at the same time with two different routes.
The presidential vehicle is called “the Beast”. It is a customized Cadillac equipped with all sorts of defensive mechanism and communication equipment.
Jackie Kennedy Took Cigarettes From the Agents
Jackie Kennedy (John Kennedy’s wife) had a really bad smoking problem. She actually got her cigarettes from agent Clint Hill who was always somewhere near the presidential couple including that sad day when President Kennedy was assassinated.
Since the assassination of President Kennedy, there has been another car alongside the President’s car. That car is responsible for filming every second of the route to help determine all the details in the case of an incident.
President Johnson Didn’t Had Any Respect For His Agents
President Johnson once peed on an agent’s leg. That agent was only trying to do his job and to keep his President shielded at all times. When that agent said that it was gross, the President replied that it was his right to pee on his leg. True Story…
The Secret of Sunglasses
There are all sorts of theories on why all the agents of the Secret Service wear sunglasses. Some say that there are some special screens hidden inside those glasses, others say that they use sunglasses to prevent people from observing where they are looking, however, the reason for those sunglasses is much simpler – to protect their eyes from the sun and bright light.
Secret Service agents are always prepared to pull out their weapons. That is why you can always see their hands around their waists. That is where their holsters are.