If there"s one thing everyone have the right to agree about the mystery Service, it"s the they look super cool. After all, they"ve got the dark sunglasses, the earpieces, and also the sometimes-black suits reminiscent of a particular alien-fighting, mind-erasing duo from "90s (or from the 2010s, depending upon which movie is dearest to her heart). In fact, it"s basic to imagine the world oozing so much cool that it"s a wonder the chairman doesn"t on slide on it would certainly be life a life the James Bond-style glamour and intrigue.

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And that"s simply one of many false facts you more than likely believe around the life that a an enig Service agent.

So what"s the truth around the nation"s coolest job? Well, there room so plenty of myths and misconceptions about the job that it"s more than likely going come be an ext useful if we simply go straight into debunking every the false facts floating about out there. From their paychecks come their official oaths, below are the false facts about the an enig Service that you probably constantly assumed to be true.


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If your job potentially contains taking a cartridge for someone, the seems like your pay must go up or down depending on how hated or lovely the human being standing beside you is. That"s not just how it works, though. In fact, the paycheck the a new an enig Service hire doesn"t also come close to the type of danger money you"d think a person would do in such a profession. Follow to FederalLawEnforcement.org, a brand-new agent can expect to make in between $38,511 and $55,413, with the potential for a moderate increase in places where the cost of living is higher. That"s solid minimum wage, yet it"s also not "you can die" wages, either. 


To it is in fair, though, new agents work in investigations prior to they"re transferred for protective detail, therefore those first few years don"t indicate a most danger unless you counting the risk of an especially boring case. After ~ that, your salary starts to walk up, and once you"re a full-performance agent, you have the right to expect to earn in between $84,000 and also $106,000. 

Not bad, however if you want actual money, consider becoming an underwater welder, instead. Of course, the fatality rate because that an underwater welder is at about 15 percent, and the reality is that secret Service agents almost never get killed on the job. When 37 agents have passed away in the heat of duty, few of those fatalities incorporate natural causes, like suffering from a punch or heart attack. And as of ideal now, just one agent has died protecting the president from assassination, and that was back in 1950. Therefore there"s real risk vs. Regarded danger. In other words, while they"re definitely not earning hazard money, it"s not disastrous money, either.


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Most Americans" exposure to the secret Service is through television or other creates of media. They"re hanging out alongside the chairman looking cool in their black suits and also dark sunglasses, all set to take the bullet if and also when it come flying. So many human being assume the that"s every they perform — lock stand alongside the president, they offer up their vital organs to flying bits that lead, and also they look at cool.


Alas, the is not, in fact, the only thing that secret Service agents do. Sure, an enig Service agents protect the president, yet they likewise protect the evil president, the households of the president and vice president, the top candidates because that the presidency and also the vice presidency, visiting top of state, and also other government officials taken into consideration "high-profile." but that"s not all. Many an enig Service agents don"t safeguard anyone, unless you counting all those dead presidents top top money as actual people.

The very first job that the an enig Service — in fact, the actual reason that the Secret Service became a thing — is to defend U.S. Currency. The firm was started in 1865 together a method to combat the rampant counterfeiting of American money, and also it wasn"t also until 1901 that it take it on the duty of protecting the president. Therefore an certified dealer spends those first years investigate things favor fraud, money laundering, and also cybercrime. After ~ that"s done, they can expect to get a security assignment.


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Just look right into a secret Service agent"s eyes ... Err, sunglasses ... And it"s evident they"re life a life that glamour. Imagine taking on that kind of responsibility and being the uber, ultra cool. It should be a life the parties, danger, martinis (shaken, no stirred), and being mistaken because that 007 all the time.


It"s not, though. Nope. In fact, follow to former certified dealer Dan Emmett, an enig Service agents — particularly the people assigned to defend the president — have a really high burnout rate. Every agent ~ above the president"s detail has to work-related two main on a work shift, two weeks on a midnight shift, followed by 2 weeks on an night shift. That have to be good for making certain your agents are always alert and also aware of their surroundings, right? Or possibly that"s why they have to wear the sunglasses, for this reason no one deserve to tell they"re nodding off on the job.

So the sounds exhausting, yet there"s additionally the jet-setting and state visits and the many, many trips to the golf course, so that"s cool, right? type of, but that"s all well balanced out by hrs on Air pressure One, trips come the bathroom, and trips to various types of butt doctor. That"s right, the president can never be left alone, so as his protector, it"s your job to stand in the very same room through him when he"s pooping, gaining a prostate exam, or having a colonoscopy. Sound glamorous enough for you?


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So are the an enig Service completely in manage of White residence security? Well, kind of. Together it transforms out, like most of the world"s parents, the an enig Service isn"t immune to whining, and also they"ve been recognized to do decisions that are based much less on keeping whatever super secure from intruders and also would-be assassins and much more on maintaining themselves at sight secure from having to hear to anyone else complain all the time.


Do girlfriend remember the one occurrence in 2014 where some dude jumped the White home fence and also ran right through the former door? Well, follow to The Washington Post, the incident more than likely wouldn"t have been quite so poor if the mystery Service hadn"t mute an alarm box close to the front enntrance gate of the building — a crate that was supposed to alarm agents come the presence of one intruder. For this reason why was package muted? The usher"s office asked them to do it, since the alert boxes were noisy. 

Security may be less-than-rigorous as a matter of practice in some other cases, as well. Because that example, presidential candidates don"t frequently want their secret Service agents come look all an enig Service-y since that have the right to make them seem much less approachable. For this reason really, the an enig Service is intended to carry out unimpeachable security, yet they"re likewise expected to no be as well draconian, i beg your pardon sometimes method making selections that take other people"s less-than-security-minded opinions into consideration. Clearly, that"s one area that might use a small upgrading.


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Most civilization don"t really understand those an enig Service earpieces. They"re sort of weird, what with that 1970s phone call cord hanging under the earlier of the neck, making agents look concurrently cool and additionally like they"re using some seriously super low-tech interactions devices. Therefore what"s going on with those earpieces anyway, and also why are secret Service agents forever emotional the things?


It sort of seems like maybe they just find them strongly uncomfortable and also are constantly make the efforts to change them. Or probably they"re prefer a drive-through headset, and the agents have a switch they need to push so they have the right to talk to the mysterious human who"s ~ above the other end of the curly cord thingy. 

Well, according to Slate, it"s in reality a lot less complicated than that. Periodically the agents have to fiddle v their earpieces in order to produce a good seal, since a an excellent seal is what ensures the they"ll actually hear the person who"s trying to convey information to them. 

What about that curly wire, then? It"s attached come a surprise microphone, i beg your pardon is sometimes placed just under the shirts sleeve. That"s why you"ll likewise see agents lifting your wrists to their mouths. It might look type of favor they"re constantly wiping ketchup off your faces, but it"s in reality a type of communication. Yes, there"s a an approach to all that weird fidgeting and also gesturing.


It"s not simply the existing president the secret Service has actually to worry about, it"s likewise former presidents. As soon as you"ve been at the helm that America, you get to have secret Service security for life. And so go your whole extended family, right?


Actually, that"s not specifically true. According to CBS, the adult kids of a U.S. President lose their mystery Service protection as soon as their parent pipeline office. And until recently, previous presidents only obtained ten years of protection, and former angry presidents got just 6 months. That adjusted when president Obama signed an executive order inquiry the secret Service to protect former presidents and very first ladies for life.

There"s part wiggle room as far as family members space concerned. Once Bill Clinton left office, that signed an executive order because that extra security for his daughter, Chelsea, and George W. Bush did the same thing because that his daughters. 

So how about the an initial Dog? Some world think mystery Service protection also extends to the canine member of the presidential family, yet that"s not true. In his book, Within Arm"s Length, former agent Dan Emmett says the an enig Service is under no responsibility to defend pets, despite there have been a couple of cases where civilization have spotted agents go the president"s dog. So it have to be provided that lock don"t have to execute it, but that doesn"t necessarily typical they won"t.


Most of united state are an excellent Samaritans in ~ heart, and we recognize that a human being being in danger always deserves to be saved. And also just around everyone likes to think that they"d aid someone who"s in danger. But there are different levels the that. We"d throw ourselves in former of a truck to defend our kids, various other relatives, and also even our friends, even if we knew the the initiative would most likely kill us. But would we carry out the very same thing for a stranger? How about for someone we don"t even like?


That"s why it"s kind of tough to internalize the idea that an enig Service agents are not the president"s politics allies or even his friends. They"re an alleged to remain fully apolitical, which means they"re not permitted to assistance him publicly, and they"re not permitted to oppose that publicly, either. 

Not just that, but an enig Service agents aren"t even really permitted to talk to the president, or maybe anyone rather they are charged with maintaining safe. "How one agent faces the chairman is completely a skilled relationship," previous agent Dan Emmett told NPR. "It is no a friendship. An agent never initiates a conversation through the president, various other than to say, "Good morning, sir." A lot of times, the president will communicate you, and if he does, then a couple of exchanges earlier and forth, and also the conversation really should be over."


It have to be the truth that "secret" is literally component of your name, however for part reason, the whole an enig Service organization has actually a type of reputation. Friend don"t want to it is in a whistleblower in the secret Service, as with you don"t desire to be a whistleblower in the CIA, because they have ways of managing whistleblowers.


Happily for freedom and also democracy, nobody of that is true, though this myth operation so deep the there have been part instances that would-be whistleblowers that were reluctant to come forward because they to be afraid administration either wouldn"t take it them serious or would simply shut castle down. That"s solid the exact same thing together "being taken care of," yet still, you desire a work atmosphere where girlfriend aren"t afraid to carry up your concerns to her bosses.

According to The Huffington Post, there were several large Secret Service-related scandals during the Obama administration, including one in i beg your pardon agents were the end chasing prostitutes. Many of the world within the secret Service who aided break that story did that anonymously to journalists, quite than internally to an enig Service management. 


The Washington Post, though, think this is largely just due to a break down in communication, a lack of structured disciplinary policies, and also perhaps a tiny amount of an individual conflict in between management and also employees. It"s more than likely not true the whistleblowers would be silenced or even disciplined, however the tardy by itself is problem enough.


When you"re charged through something as important as protecting the life of the most powerful person in America, you"d much better be really well-trained. You"d better dot all her i"s and cross all your t"s. You"d far better make certain there"s never ever any malfunction in the procedure and the you follow protocol to the letter. The way, you deserve to virtually guarantee the nothing will ever happen come the guy (or woman) in the Oval Office, and also you have the right to rest basic at night.


But there"s additionally the trouble where mystery Service agents are actually human beings, so yeah, that type of put a damper ~ above the entirety perfection thing. Follow to NBC, there were a famously large number of security lapses during the Obama administration, which included that mad dash by the fence jumper, a bungled solution to a shooter who controlled to actually fire seven bullets right into the White house, and an incident where some random armed security guard obtained into an elevator through President Obama. Those incidents actually resulted in the resignation of mystery Service manager Julia Pierson, followed by a complete review that the firm in an attempt to number out why it to be breaking down so spectacularly. 


Things it seems ~ to have quieted a little bit now the Donald trumped is the president, however still, it can be a while before the office the the president has actually the very same kind of confidence in the secret Service the it provided to have.


Secret business agents safeguard the president, and also they protect his family, however they"re not his employees, which method that technically speaking, castle don"t answer come him. The an enig Service is actually a component of the us Department of countryside Security. That wasn"t always that way, though. Due to the fact that their original mission to be to investigate counterfeiting and also other financial crimes, castle were developed as a branch that the Treasury Department, wherein they continued to be until in march 2003. After September 11, 2001, the an enig Service"s mission increased to include the task of providing security in ~ big non-political occasions like the supervisor Bowl, or basically any place that might be taken into consideration a target because that terrorists. For this reason protecting the chairman is actually a nice small part of what castle do.

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The an enig Service doesn"t get their orders indigenous the president, however they do need to take orders indigenous the president. In fact Jim Ronan, professor the political scientific research at Villanova University, said Readers Digest that the chairman isn"t in reality obligated to follow the advice that the secret Service. For this reason in other words, if they advise the president against doing something they think will certainly be a defense risk, he deserve to just carry out it anyway. 

The one thing the chairman can"t do, though, is refuse the defense of the mystery Service altogether. That"s mandated by a federal statute.


Swearing an oath to die in the line of duty is solid a new idea. That"s basically the job summary for any member that the military, U.S. Or otherwise. Transparent the ages, civilization have laid down their resides to defend their king, their country, or even their employer. 


But technically speaking, no an enig Service agent needs to swear to take a bullet (or a bomb, or the company end of a katana) because that the president. There"s actually no oath about dying for the commander-in-chief. In fact, at the very least one secret Service agent newly made news because that swearing precisely the opposite. Kerry O"Grady, a senior mystery Service agent, evidently called friends and also colleagues that she"d refuse take it a cartridge for Donald Trump, that at that allude had yet to end up being the president-elect. 

So it may not be an oath you have to take or anything, yet you"re absolutely not enabled to actually say out loud the you don"t arrangement to ever before take a cartridge for the president. O"Grady ended up resigning over her comments, despite she did acquire to store her federal pension.