“Guarding presidential candidates 24 hours a day, Secret Service agents know better than almost anyone what they are really like. Among Secret Service agents, no protectee evokes more disdain than ______________.”
So begins a recent story that was authored by an anonymous USSS agent. I will not be posting the complete story, which lambastes a particular candidate, because this runs counter to the “code of ethics” I believe are required to work as an Executive Protection Specialist or Bodyguard.
I find it appalling that at this echelon of personal protection, given the enormous salaries these individuals are earning, that an agent feels compelled to send out a printed missive venting frustrations or grievances against the character of the principal. To be truthful, the “warm and fuzzy” individuals who are in need of personal protection are few and far between. That’s a fact. These people have outrageous schedules, often an enormous amount of responsibility, and an unprecedented agenda that is first about business, and last about caring what their protectors think about them.
If this is a career path you wish to follow, be advised that it is more than likely that you won’t think the best of your employer. You may not like their lifestyle, their attitude, their manner with people or their politics.
But here’s the thing–if you work at Burger King, your job is to flip burgers and make nice to the customers, for a paltry minimum wage. If you are hired to work a protective detail, your job is to ensure no harm comes to your protectee. That’s it. The reason a Bodyguard or Agent earns so much is because the job is dangerous, certainly. But there is also a code of silence and respect that is inherent in this work. If you can’t manage to maintain discretion, go take that job at Burger King–because you’re making those of us who are professionals look bad.
Personally, I respected the USSS when they conducted themselves as quiet professionals. There’s a reason it’s called “The Secret Service.”
Hucky, You nailed it, right on the money!!! As an agent, you must have the complete trust of you principal in order to protect him or her fully. If you go shooting your mouth off each time they act a certain way or behave in a manner you in which you personally don\’t approve, then you hurt the profession. If you remember, the Secret Service required Ken Starr issue a subpoena for Bill Clinton\’s personal agent Larry ________ to testify before his witch hunt grand jury. Over the years, I have seen principals do a number of things that would not be accepted by the general public, but my job was not to judge, it was to keep him or her safe from physical harm or embarassment. If you want to be a successful protective agent, leave your opinions, moral judgements, and desire for profit , at the door.
Thank you for taking the time to send me a note. I see you feel passionate about your position. I must, however stand firm on what I stated in my posting.
The USSS and/or bodyguards are not the media. They are hired to protect the safety
and welfare of an individual, that’s it. The particular candidate who was being lambasted
has not done anything illegal. This secret service agent took offense at the candidate’s choice of words and behavior. That could probably be said of any given candidate at any given moment. They are people. They are under considerable stress. I would like to think that these individuals are all the kindest, most considerate of people–but that is not realistic. They are trying to land the most powerful job in the country. They have not gotten as far as they have in politics by being “nice people” 100% of the time.
A lot of the stars I’ve met or worked with were not nice people. They are living lives that are under constant scrutiny and stress. They have their missteps both publicly
and privately. If one chooses to work in the field of Executive Protection, it is important to understand that discretion is at the heart of the job, along with trust and honestly, a good dose of empathy. If the principal is conducting themselves in a manner that doesn’t work with the bodyguard’s personal code–than s/he needs to leave that job.
I’m not condoning bad behavior, but I also don’t trust some of the sources that decide to “kiss and tell” on their protectees. Are these individuals stable? Do they have an agenda? Just how accurate is their perception of any given situation? What I have a problem with are the people who earn those high paychecks and then later run to the media,
or post nasty things online. It is damaging to the profession. Even if there is truth to whatever unsavory thing someone may have done or said, tattling on them is the kind of behavior that makes employers mistrustful. It damages the integrity of a profession that I think does have it’s redeeming qualities.
“given the enormous salaries these individuals are earning”
So someone can pay you enough not to be truthfull about their behavior? That’s very telling considering the importance of the person in question (Hillary Clinton) which has the chance to be our next president. Don’t you think being honest to the public about information you are privy to is important, especially in something as important as the “most powerful job in the world?” Censoring good information is never a good and/or classy act, it seems more a page out of Russian politics than American.