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Sunday’s Washington Post Magazine (July 26, 2009), profiled the intense and what can only be described grueling process to become a Special Agent of the US Secret Service. Taking you through the backgrounds of some of the members of Special Agent Training Class No. 283 and the various obstacles and challenges that each has to overcome to graduate, Laura Blumenfeld’s article ‘The Making of an Agent,’ captures why this unique federal law enforcement branch and the men and women that make it up is as unique as it is.

I’ve been fortunate to know and work with several members of the Secret Service, several of which are retired Special Agents.  While I was always impressed by them and their backgrounds, and proud to consider many of them as personal friends, I put the paper down yesterday morning and couldn’t help but be in greater awe of them and what they went through to perform their jobs.

Like most Americans, I fully understood that each of them was prepared to take a bullet for the President or any of the principals that they were protecting, but it’s another thing to read about the physical and mental training that they go through in the beginning of their careers and know that it never stops.  I’m sure there were some readers that probably think that the training goes too far or is too over the top, but as the article pointed out, cutting corners in doing their job and making excuses are not acceptable.  The only thing that matters are results.

When you’re doing the job they have signed up and sworn to do, that’s all that matters and the nation is all the better for their service.

Rich Cooper blog primarily on emergency preparedness and response, management issues related to the Department of Homeland Security, and the private sector’s role in homeland security. Read More