How to become a USSS Special Agent
Those selected as special agent trainees must complete a 12-week training course at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia. This Criminal Investigator Training Program provides training in criminal law and investigative techniques.
After successfully completing that introductory training, new agent trainees receive an 18-week Special Agent Training Course at the Secret Service training academy, located outside Washington, D.C., in Beltsville, Maryland. This course covers Secret Service policies and techniques in both the investigative and protection areas of the agency’s mission.
Areas covered include skills and procedures for fighting counterfeiting, access device fraud and other financial crimes, intelligence gathering and analysis for protection work, physical protection methods, and emergency medicine. The training also includes extensive training in such areas as marksmanship, physical fitness, physical control and water survival skills.
Throughout their careers, Secret Service special agents continue to receive advanced training, and must requalify in such skills areas as marksmanship and emergency medicine.
Agents assigned to protective assignments receive crisis simulation training to prepare them for possible emergency situations. Agents assigned to field offices have the opportunity to receive advanced training in various areas of criminal investigations and are encouraged to attend training sessions given by other law enforcement agencies.
All Secret Service special agents participate in a wide range of management and personal development courses, in such areas as practical leadership, ethics, diversity, interpersonal awareness and supervisory skills.
Uniformed Division Officers
New appointees receive an intensive training program, which is 12 weeks in duration, at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia, followed by a 14-week specialized training at the Secret Service's training facilities outside Washington, D.C. Free on-site housing is provided for all trainees at the Georgia site, and at the Maryland training center for all special agent trainees except those with a permanent duty station in the Washington, DC area.
Training includes coursework in police procedures, firearms, physical fitness, psychology, police-community relations, criminal law, first aid, laws of arrest, search and seizure, physical defense techniques, diplomatic immunity, international treaties and protocol. On-the-job training and advanced in-service training programs complement classroom studies.
Newly appointed special officers must successfully complete an eight-week intensive training course at the Special Officer Basic Training Course at the Secret Service training center in Beltsville, Maryland, just outside Washington, DC.
The training includes coursework in police procedures, firearms, physical fitness, psychology, police-community relations, criminal law, first aid, laws of arrest, search and seizure, physical defense techniques, diplomatic immunity, international treaties and protocol. On-the-job training and advanced in-service training programs supplement classroom studies.
Physical Fitness Training
Recruits selected for Secret Service law enforcement training are expected to report in excellent physical shape, since they will quickly begin a demanding physical fitness regimen and be evaluated of their strength, endurance and aerobic capacity in four core areas: push-ups, sit-ups, chin-ups and a mile-and-a-half run.
Trainees will have their fitness scored and evaluated three times during training: at the outset, again during the training, and finally at training’s end, and must achieve an acceptable composite score to complete training successfully. Secret Service employees who carry weapons during their duties will receive a similar fitness evaluation every quarter.
Trainees are scored on each of the four areas, with rating adjusted by age and gender. For example, male trainees in their 20’s being tested for how many complete push-ups they can do in one minute will receive 4 points, and an excellent rating, if they can do 55, while male trainees in their 30’s would receive the same score and rating if they are able to perform 50 push-ups in one minute. The equivalent numbers would be 42 for men in their 40’s and 39 for men 50 or older.
Females in their 20’s being tested for fitness at the Secret Service training facility would achieve the same rating and score in they can perform 40 push-ups in a minute, with the benchmark falling to 30 push-ups in a minute for women in their 30’s, and to 23 for women in their 40’s or older.
Men and women in their 20’s would receive a “good” rating and gain 3 points in they were, respectively, able to perform 50-54 or xx push-ups in a minute, but drop to only “fair” and 2 points if they could only manage to do 46-49 or xx. A “poor” rating and a single point would go to those able to do 38-45 or xx, and a “very poor” rating and no points would await men in their 20’s unable to do more than 37 or their female counterparts mustering xx or fewer.