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  • What job requires you to pass an  incredibly rigorous physical test,  

  • get flipped in a car, and breath in tear  gas? The answer is the Secret Service,  

  • and that's just some of the crazy stuff  that happens in Secret Service boot camp.  

  • What is the training like for the most elite  agents in the United States? Let's find out.

  • The Secret Service was founded in 1865 as a way  to combat counterfeiting of U.S. currency. Since  

  • then, the agents of the Secret Service have had  one of the most important responsibilities in the  

  • country thrust upon them: protecting the president  at all costs. This top priority mission was given  

  • to the Secret Service after the 1901 assassination  of President William McKinley, and remains one of  

  • the main responsibilities of the agency todayThey are also responsible for the protection of  

  • many other people of importance, but the president  still remains number one on their protection list.

  • The vetting process to even be accepted into  Secret Service training is incredibly hard to  

  • get through. Applicants must pass an in-depth  background check, obtain top-secret clearance,  

  • and take a polygraph test. This  is often cited by recruits as one  

  • of the most difficult parts  of the application process,  

  • because they are asked to dive deep into  some of their most intimate secrets.

  • And all of that is just to be accepted into  the training program. Only 1% of applicants  

  • are accepted into Secret Service boot campThis means that of the approximately 27,000  

  • applicants that apply each year, only  270 are allowed to begin training. And  

  • an even smaller percentage of that group  makes it through the training itself.  

  • Once accepted, boot camp begins, and  this is where things get really crazy.

  • If the recruit makes it past all of  the initial screenings and tests,  

  • they get sent to the United States Secret  Service James J. Rowley Training Center in  

  • Prince George's County, Maryland. It is  here that boot camp will begin. Each day  

  • the agents in training are reminded that the  job required of them is a zero-fail mission.  

  • This means that they can never havebad day, they can never make a mistake,  

  • and they must always be willing to put their  lives on the line. If just a single thing goes  

  • wrong on the Secret Service's watch, it could  change the country, or even the world forever.

  • The first part of Secret Service boot camp  focuses around the physical evaluation. The  

  • applicant's bodies are put to the test. In order  to be a Secret Service agent you have to be in  

  • top physical condition. An assassin or terrorist  doesn't care if a Secret Service agent is tired or  

  • winded. Therefore, if a trainee can't pass the  physical, they cannot continue the boot camp.

  • The physical test itself combines a series of  athletic activities. The main focuses are around  

  • push-ups, sit-ups, chin-ups, and a mile and a half  run. All of these exercises must be done to the  

  • highest of standards. Interestingly, there are  no uniform numbers that an applicant must reach  

  • in order to successfully pass the physical fitness  test. The test is based on a points system,  

  • which is adjusted based on each individual  recruit. For example, the amount of push-ups and  

  • the time of the run are going to be different  for a younger trainee than an older one.

  • Also, around 25% of Secret Service  agents are females. They train with  

  • the male recruits and have to complete  all of the same tests that the men do,  

  • but for the physical fitness test numbers  are adjusted to take age as well as gender  

  • into consideration. So, if you are training  to become a Secret Service agent keep in mind  

  • you may be required to do more, or lessthan other applicants based on who you are.

  • It is also important to note that in boot camp  the physical fitness test is where most of the  

  • trainees drop out or are rejected. But even if  an applicant passes the physical fitness test,  

  • they are still required to be retested every few  months to make sure they remain in top physical  

  • condition. In terms of the physical fitness  aspect of boot camp it never really ends,  

  • even if someone becomes an agent. Imagine  being physically tested every few months  

  • for your entire career. That's what  it takes to be in the Secret Service

  • As boot camp continues, what is required  of the trainees gets harder and harder to  

  • the point where they literally  are crashing into one another.

  • Secret Service agents need to be proficient  in hand to hand combat, so there is a lot of  

  • fighting skills training. However, in boot camp  agents need to be trained never to run away.  

  • They need to be able to attack an opponent head  on. This is wherecrash intercepttraining  

  • comes in. It is when trainees literally run  full speed into one another. One recruit is  

  • trying to get past the other, so they are  colliding and fighting to come out on top.

  • The reason for this exercise early  on in Secret Service boot camp  

  • is to try and completely remove the natural  human instinct to flee an oncoming object.  

  • By practicing stopping a human running towards  them, trainees are conditioning their bodies  

  • to be able to step in the way of danger atmoment's notice, even if it costs them their life.

  • It should come as no surprise that Secret  Service boot camp also requires trainees to prove  

  • proficiency and accuracy with firearms. But the  extent to which they need to train is shocking.

  • The agents in training must show proficiency  in Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine guns,  

  • Remington 870 shotguns, and a Sig  Sauer P229 pistol. That being said,  

  • the weapons of choice for the  Secret Service do change over time,  

  • so trainees must always be expanding their  knowledge on firearms during and after boot camp.

  • The amount of practice a trainee  receives is initially the same.  

  • Everyone must complete a 104 hour course  that teaches everything from the basics,  

  • to navigating complex situations that will test  every applicant's abilities and decision making.  

  • Regardless of background before  coming into the Secret Service,  

  • each trainee must pass a number of rigorous testsThis is because the firearm expectations of Secret  

  • Service agents tends to be much higher than other  forms of law enforcement or even the military.

  • This includes dynamic firing training  on different courses at the facility.  

  • Trainees have to show proficiency  in hitting targets while moving  

  • and setting up behind a series of barriersNot only are instructors looking for accuracy,  

  • but also how a trainee interacts with their  surroundings. If they are accurate, but do  

  • not utilize cover or take into consideration other  things going on in the environment like civilians,  

  • they will have to receive more training, or could  be dropped from the program. Firearms are no  

  • joke, and Secret Service boot camp requires  trainees to be beyond proficient to move on.

  • You may have heard of The Beast, which is the  name given to the armored limousine that the  

  • president travels in. Although not every  Secret Service agent will drive The Beast,  

  • all agents are required to be able to  master certain driving skills in boot camp.  

  • If Secret Service agents need to get the  president, or anyone else they are protecting,  

  • out of a bad situation quickly, they need to know  how to handle several different vehicles. The boot  

  • camp training around vehicle driving requires  trainees to start with smaller vehicles like  

  • sedans and work their way up to heavier vehicles  like SUVs. The heaviest of all is The Beast,  

  • but only a select few recruits will ever  get behind the wheel of this monster.

  • Regardless of the vehicle, the trainee must  show they can handle complex maneuvers like  

  • J-turns and offensive driving tactics. This is  particularly important if a motorcade is attacked  

  • and the Secret Service agents need  to get away from a location quickly.  

  • Therefore, high speed training is also  required, and in worst case scenarios,  

  • the agents need to know what it's like to  be in a car that has been flipped over.

  • This training is not done in an  actual car, but in a simulation.  

  • Recruits are put into a rollover simulator  and the whole contraption is spun upside down  

  • several times to simulate a flipping car. The  trainees also need to know what it feels like  

  • if the car lands upside down, which is also  accomplished in the rollover simulator. The  

  • vehicle training in boot camp isn't just  about driving, it's also about crashing.

  • And cars are not the only vehicles that recruits  need to show proficiency in escaping from.  

  • In water based scenarios trainees need to  escape from an apparatus that simulates  

  • being trapped underwater in a flipped  helicopter. This scenario is unlikely  

  • to happen in real life, but still necessary  in order for a recruit to pass boot camp.

  • Secret Service boot camp is also about  creating discipline and breaking bad habits.  

  • Something you may take for granted could because for severe punishment while in training.

  • For example, in one training session several  agents forgot to push in their chairs after a  

  • class. This lack of attention to detail caused  the rest of the week to be filled with extra  

  • physical activities to remind trainees  to make sure they never miss a detail,  

  • no matter how small. The instructor even  warned them not to make plans that Friday  

  • because they would definitely  not be getting out on time.

  • Secret Service boot camp is not just about  physical fitness, but mental fortitude as well.  

  • Secret Service agents need to be the  best of the best and boot camp ensures  

  • only the smartest, most physically  fit, and observant make it through.

  • Many of the aspects of Secret Service  boot camp are unknown to the public.  

  • This is for obvious reasons, such as not  wanting enemies to know what the agents  

  • are trained to do in certain situationsAn example of this is that recruits must  

  • complete training involving situations that  the president, or other people of importance,  

  • might find themselves in. In the president's  case this could be on Air Force One.

  • Unlike Harrison Ford in the movie Air Force One,  

  • most presidents are not expected to fight off  a group of terrorists on the plane. Therefore,  

  • Secret Service agents must be trained to protect  everyone on board if the jet is infiltrated.  

  • One way this training occurs is within  an exact replica of Air Force One. This  

  • has been built at the Secret Service training  facility so new recruits, and current agents,  

  • can practice worst case scenarios. There are  also replica rooms of the White House that are  

  • at the facility for trainees to practice  in before being sent to the real thing

  • One surprising aspect of Secret Service boot  camp is that trainees actually play video games.

  • Now to be fair this isn't Call of Dutythey are simulations that play out on  

  • a video screen. The recruits have to make  split second decisions in each situation.  

  • They are judged on how quickly and efficiently  they can respond to certain threats that come  

  • across the screen. If reaction time is too slowor the decisions that the recruit makes in the  

  • simulation are inadequate, it may cost  them their spot in the Secret Service.

  • Recruits repeatedly mention one part of Secret  Service boot camp as being the worst. This is  

  • the training they receive around tear gas. In  order to pass through boot camp, each agent  

  • must be exposed to the highly irritating and  uncomfortable substance. They are brought into  

  • a gas chamber where they have to maintain their  composure as the room fills with tear gas. It is  

  • necessary for Secret Service agents to be able to  function even in the most terrible circumstance,  

  • and it doesn't get much worse than  being stuck in a room full of tear gas.

  • It is important to keep in mind that just like  with any elite training the instructors at Secret  

  • Service boot camp aren't trying to look for  reasons to admit a recruit into the agency, but  

  • instead are looking for reasons they shouldn't be  accepted. Only the best can become Secret Service  

  • agents because it is one of the most dangerous  and important jobs in the entire country.

  • Now watchThe INSANE Protection Of  The President of the United States.”  

  • Or check outDay in the Life  of a Secret Service Agent.”

What job requires you to pass an  incredibly rigorous physical test,  

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What is Secret Service Boot Camp Actually Like

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    Summer posted on 2021/09/13
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