12+ Facts About The Secret Service You Might Not Have Known

The United States Secret Service is the work of mysteries, aided largely by all the movies and TV shows which depict them as super cool, badass fighters. We imagine people dressed in all black suits, wearing dark sunglasses and with earpieces and microphones which they use to communicate with their fellow agents. They’re big, muscular, lithe and very dangerous. You do not want to cross one of these severe-looking fighters.

But while all stereotypes are based on some truth, they’re also mostly exaggerated. So, scroll down to see some facts about the Secret Service charged with protecting the nation’s leaders that you might not have known, and see what is fact and what is fiction.

1. They accompany the president to visit the doctor.

Even if it’s just a small problem, the president must always be accompanied by a Secret Service agent.

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2. They don’t really wear dark sunglasses at all times.

Despite the stereotypical image of Secret agents, if they’re on a mission, they opt out of wearing sunglasses because the glasses could obstruct their vission and they can miss something important.

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3. Their numbers are bigger than you’d think

The Secret Service isn’t a small tight group with a couple hundred people – there are actually well over 6,500 agents operating in the service., not counting those that work for the personal protection unit.

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4. The Secret Service was established on the day Lincoln was assassinated

But not after his murder – before. Lincoln was actually presented with the idea to form the service by Hugh McCulloch, the Secretary of the Treasury on April 14, 1865, a little before Lincoln went to the theatre he was murdered in.

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5. But it was not founded to protect the president

The United States Secret Service was initially founded to deal with counterfeiters and financial frauds, and still deal with them today.

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6. They don’t just protect the president

They also guard the president’s family, as well as previous presidents and their families. In addition, if the president wanted someone to be included under Secret Service protection, even if they’re not family, they would be.

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7. The agents don’t immediately do field work

They have to work at the office for 3 years before doing more challenging tasks like fieldwork, which takes 4-7 years. After that, they enter the third phase when they are promoted to a higher position.

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8. The location of their headquarters is a secret.

Though they’re located in Washington in a street called H Street, the building does not have any identification signs.

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9. They are trained to risk their lives

That includes jumping in front of bullets (they use special bullets for these training sessions), and even surviving on water.

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10. They don’t actually make an oath to die for their president.

That’s just a long-believed myth.

 

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11. They are trained to perform first aid.

All the agents are given basic medical skills and are trained to keep calm in a dangerous situation when someone’s life is endangered. They also always make sure a hospital is no less than 10 minutes away from any route the president is on.

 

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12. They’re always monitoring everything

They always have a lot of cameras recording everything, in case an incident happens so it’s easier to spot the perpetrator. After Kennedy was shot, they decided to keep a car whose main purpose it to get video footage.

 

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13. They track all threatening mail

They really do track any letter which suggests a threat, even if it’s a joke. They even have a database with ink sample types to make tracking easier.

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14. Presidents do have code names

The Secret Service really does give the presidents and their families code names. They usually always begin with the same name for each family. The Obamas’ nicknames all started with R. Barack Obama was Renegade, Michelle Obama was Renaissance, and their daughters were Radiance and Rosebud.

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15. They join the presidents on their hobbies

Yes, if the president goes for a jog, they follow. Of he plays tennis, they’re there. They never let them out of their sight.

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16. The floor in the Oval Office contains motion sensors

That is done in order to make sure the president is safe in case he asks to be left alone. They’ll be able to monitor if someone is approaching or threatening him.

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So, what do you think? did any of these facts surprise you, or did you think they were obvious? Let us know in the comments.