Secret Service Agent for a Week Program
About the program Firearms training Driver training Scenario-based training Secret Service Headquarters White House Frequently asked questions

 

USSS training photosSecret Service core values - justice, duty, courage, honesty, loyalty

 

About the Program

In a spirit of openness and transparency, the American public is invited to participate in the "Secret Service Agent-for-a-Week" program. Twice a year, fifteen participants will be given the opportunity to experience firsthand what it's like to be a Secret Service Agent.

The five-day program is split into three segments. Participants will spend the first three days of the program at the Secret Service Rowley Training Center. Training will continue on the fourth day at the Secret Service headquarters location in Washington, DC. On the final day, participants will be assigned to the Presidential Protective Detail at the White House.

Rowley Training Center

Secret Service Rowley Training Center - tactical village
JJRTC Secret Service Rowley Training Center sign
Located just outside of Washington, D.C., the Rowley Training Center (RTC) is comprised of 493 acres of land, six miles of roadway and 37 buildings.

This elite classified complex comes equipped with high and low speed driving courses; indoor and outdoor firing ranges; a close quarters tactical range building (shoot house); a mock "Beltsville Field Office"; a raid house; a moot courtroom; a canine training facility; a cover course; a 250,000 gallon indoor water safety training tank, a physical fitness center, multiple classrooms, and two tactical villages. Mock-ups of Air Force One and Marine One are parked nearby on the tarmac of a fake airport.

A 30,000 sq ft Computer Science building houses an extensive amount of computer equipment that is used 24/7 to enable RTC to reach beyond its local facility to provide "on-site" training to personnel throughout the Secret Service's domestic and international field offices.

The Rowley Training Center also has a mock-up of the White House including a small section of the secret underground White House Tunnel System, a circular driveway, partial lawn and White House gate. A full-scale 800,000+ square-foot $3.4 million dollar training mock-up of the White House's north and south grounds is planned for the future. A scenic three-mile-long asphalt jogging trail circles the perimeter of the campus along with a separate two-mile, 11-station physical fitness challenge trail.

Rowley Training Center - Emergency Relocation Site and Multi-Agency Communications Center (MACC)

The Rowley Training Center also functions as an emergency relocation site for government officials in the event of a catastrophic national emergency. The Technical Security Division (TSD) is responsible for the Continuity of Operations (COOP) plan for the Secret Service. Our master plan calls for a new 100,000+ square-foot multi-purpose building built to house an underground operational control center, conference rooms, and secure temporary living arrangements for the relocating population. The new building will also house a large auditorium to be used for RTC functions such as graduations and as a Multi-Agency Communications Center (MACC) for coordinating large-scale local protective events such as the Presidential Inauguration and the State of the Union Address.

Rowley Training Center Campus Map

View full-size version of mapSecret Service Rowley Training Center campus layout map

Rowley Training Center Interactive Map

Our Rowley Training Center campus can be explored interactively by clicking and dragging the Bing map below. For a more detailed view, click on "View Buildings Up Close" and then zoom in and rotate the map.



U.S.Secret Service Rowley Training Center photos - JJRTC

 

Day One - Firearms Training at the Rowley Training Center

Rowley Wilkie indoor firing range
Rowley firearms target range cutout man
The Rowley Training Center has multiple firearms ranges. The 46,000 sq ft Wilkie indoor range has the capability to simulate both daytime and nighttime conditions. 24 stalls each come equipped with a paper target of an elderly bespeckled armed gentleman wearing a suit.

Participants will practice firing a .357 Sig Sauer P229 pistol and a Heckler & Koch MP5A3 9mm submachine gun for this portion of the training. No prior firearms experience is necessary; on-floor instructors will provide individual help with loading and firing. The use of protective goggles and hearing protection is mandatory. Next you'll visit the Weapons Library on the first floor of the Wilkie Firearms Building.

Secret Service countersniper rifle
Secret Service counter sniper range
The second half of the day will be spent at the outdoor range used by the Uniformed Division Countersniper unit. Here you will work in 2-man teams. One person will shoot while the other person, equipped with high-powered binoculars, will act as a spotter. Specialized custom-built rifles are used in this exercise.

The purpose of the firearms training is to practice using the same weapons as the agents you will be serving with at the end of the week. For security purposes, your weapon will be modified to fire blank ammunition, or simunition, while working your White House post on Day 5.

 

Day Two - Driver Training at the Rowley Training Center

Secret Service training car and roads
Secret Service Rowley Training Center - driving track
The morning will be spent learning evasive driving techniques behind the wheel of a Dodge Charger at the Moran Protective Operations Driving Course (PODC), an 1,800-foot long by 300-foot wide blacktop with painted lines and orange traffic cones.

Participants will learn to perform a J-turn: a tire-screeching pivot with a tight stop and an immediate change in direction.

In the afternoon, you will learn the correct way to drive a Presidential Motorcade vehicle on a ceremonial road course.

The Rowley Training Center has close to 300 vehicles in its fleet. Among them are current and retired Suburbans and limos. These are housed and maintained in on-site garages. Participants will practice driving one of these heavily-armored vehicles around a winding track under low-speed controlled conditions.

You will also learn to execute the "push out" maneuver, which is used when the President's vehicle has been disabled. Using a supercharged Suburban, trainees will practice pushing the disabled limo through an obstacle course. Participants have also found this skill useful for negotiating traffic on the Beltway at rush hour.

 

Day Three - Scenario-Based Training at the Rowley Training Center

Secret Service Rowley training tactical village To respond to the increasing complexity of presidential protection, the Secret Service has incorporated realistic protective scenarios into the agent training curriculum. There are two tactical villages where this type of training takes place. The main village was built to replicate the White House and its surrounding area. This fake city is several blocks long complete with a cafe, tattoo parlor, church, bank, bookstore, hardware store, hotel, embassy, and an 8-story tower building.

Secret Service Rowley Training Center - explosion in tactical village and judgmental range

In the morning, training will take place in the main tactical village. Paint ball guns and flash bangs will be used to simulate a terrorist attack on the city streets.

Participants will face a variety of endangerment scenarios that agents go through in their training. You may be assigned to stand outside a bookstore where a protectee is signing books. Across the street, two masked men jump out of a car and try to rob a bank. You will need to make a split decision: is this a diversion of some sort?

Then out of nowhere, a man starts trying to push his way into the bookstore just as a loud rowdy drunk stumbles out of the bar next door partially blocking a third man wearing a suicide bomber vest and carrying a vial of sarin for good measure. Welcome to the Secret Service.

In the afternoon, participants will train at the Baughman Judgmental Range, which looks much like a Hollywood back lot containing a street lined with buildings about one city-block in length with an overpass at the end. A computer-controlled program will send cutout figures popping up without warning in windows and doorways. These figures will appear for a random amount of time and may be carrying umbrellas, briefcases, or guns.

You need to be very careful here: A woman pushing a baby stroller might just walk into the path of a figure who starts firing an Uzi at the passing presidential motorcade.

It will be your responsibility to determine which ones are potential assassins and which are just ordinary citizens. You will be armed with a laser pistol and a computer program will keep track of your score from the 21 test scenarios.

Secret Service Rowley training center mock Air Force One

Participants will wrap up Day Three with an exercise held at the mock Drummond Airport. You will be posted at a rope line with people waiting to greet the President who is arriving on Air Force ½.   An actor playing the President will exit the aircraft and walk over to the rope line.

As the President begins to greet the onlookers, an unforeseen security incident known as an AOP or "Attack on Principal" will occur and you will need to evacuate the President immediately to the nearby waiting Presidential Limousine. You then head over to the Knight Tactical Hotel on K Street for your final training scenario.

After that, in celebration of the completion of the first three days of rigorous training, participants will stop by the Wilson Building to enjoy a dip in the spacious 80-foot by 44-foot indoor swimming pool or catch an old episode of Dragnet on our new state-of-the-art satellite TV system.

 

Day Four - Agent Orientation at Secret Service Headquarters in Washington, DC


View Larger Map

USSS headquarters wall
The fourth day of the program will be held at the ten-story Secret Service Headquarters building in Washington, DC. On a large wall near the entrance, you will see the words Duty, Loyalty, Justice, Honesty, and Courage circling the Agent-For-A-Week emblem. An agent will meet you there to brief you on the day's activities.

While at headquarters, you will visit the Financial Crime Division, which investigates financial crime; the Counterfeiting Investigations Division, which investigates counterfeiting; the Forensic Services Division, which provides forensic services; and the Intelligence Division, where all the smart people work.

After a quick peek into the new jumbo Joint Operations Center, where the location and status of protectees are tracked 24/7 and the surveillance cameras at the White House complex are remotely controlled and monitored, it's off to lunch at the Silver Star Cafe.

secret service museum exhibits
After lunch, you will tour a small museum on the first floor containing an interesting collection of old Secret Service artifacts including counterfeiting machines, old photographs and badges worn by agents, Sarah Jane Moore's pistol, and a replica of Lee Harvey Oswald's rifle and framed newspaper with the giant headline "Kennedy Dead".

The Reagan section of the exhibit has an old poster for his 1939 movie "Code of the Secret Service", a mug shot of John Hinckley, a replica of his pistol, and the limousine window that was hit by a .22-caliber Devastator bullet in the assassination attempt.

souvenirs
In preparation for Day Five's assignment at the White House, participants will spend the rest of the afternoon with the Presidential Protective Division. You will receive a detailed briefing on your White House assignment including secret hand signals, code words, the "hands ready position", and instructions on how to operate the radio, palm microphone, and earpiece accessories.

The day will end with an opportunity to shop at the Secret Service Employees' Store located on the ground level where you will find a nice selection of official Secret Service logo clothing, hats, pens, watches, pins, key chains, money clips, Christmas ornaments and other souvenirs.

 

inside U.S. Secret Service headquarters building in washington dc

 

 

Day Five - Presidential Protection Duty at the White House

The White House
After four long days of training, you are "Worthy of Trust and Confidence" and ready to be assigned to Presidential Protection Duty at the White House!

Your day will begin in the Secret Service Command Post (aka "Horsepower") located on the ground floor of the West Wing (Room W-16) directly below the Oval Office. A secret hidden staircase provides emergency access up to the Oval Office via a trap door under the President's desk.

Each participant will be paired with a Secret Service Agent "Buddy" who will help you out throughout the day. Your Agent Buddy will give you a special lapel pin to identify you as part of the Presidential Protective Detail along with a radio, palm microphone and earpiece. The radio is wired into a restricted radio network and is linked to the command post.

After a quick check in one of the full-length mirrors on the wall, you are ready for POTUS duty! Remember to follow your Agent Buddy closely and try to blend in as much as possible.

Participants serve in a variety of areas around the White House alongside their Agent Buddy. Some are stationed in hallways; some guard the entrances to the White House Tunnel System; some work at the Visitors' Entrance. A lucky few will be assigned to the Oval Office.

Secret Service agent opens Oval Office door for President Obama
President Obama walks along the Colonnade to the Oval Office
Every morning, the President leaves the Residence and walks outside along the West Wing Colonnade to the Oval Office. It will be your responsibility to open the door to the Oval Office at precisely the correct moment:   Too early and you risk letting in some unauthorized insects; too late and .. uh... well, just make sure you are not too late.

Some of the full-length windows in the Oval Office look like doors. Be sure you open the correct one.

The Oval Office also has three interior doors with complicated locking mechanisms. For security purposes, there is a trick to opening these doors. You will want to work with your Agent Buddy on this prior to the President's arrival.

President Obama on the phone
POTUS box with red button

You may notice a wooden box on the President's Desk with a gold Presidential Seal and a red button on top. The Secret Service Technical Security Division has installed this special Call Box so the President can summon the Secret Service at the push of a button.

Normally reserved for emergency purposes only, the President sometimes enjoys a good prank on the Agent-For-A-Week participants by pushing this button and yelling "Gotcha!" when you and your Agent Buddy come running.

 

Rowley Training Center Video

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  Do you accept group applications?
A:  When a group shows a particularly strong interest in the program, we try to accommodate them if space allows.

Q:  Where will I stay during the week?   Where will I eat?
A:  Participants will stay at a Residence Inn near the Rowley Training Center. Transportation to the program sites will be provided.
Lunch will be provided at the Merletti Building break room at RTC on Days 1 - 3; at the Silver Star Cafe at the Secret Service Headquarters building on Day 4, and at the White House Mess on Day 5. At some point in the future, program participants will be able stay onsite at RTC in a new 200-bed dormitory building.

Q:  What kind of clothes do I need to pack for the week?
A:  Participants will receive a Secret Service Agent For A Week polo shirt and will be issued a .357 Sig Sauer P229 pistol and holster for the first three days of training. You will need to bring a dark business suit for the last two days of the program.

Q:  Do I need to meet any physical fitness requirements to participate?
A:  The only requirement is that participants must be in general good health.

Q:  Does acceptance into this program require any special background checks or security investigations?
A:  Participants must be U.S. citizens with no felony convictions within the past three years. Applicants will be reviewed using information from the NSA national citizen database located in the new NSA Utah Data Center.

Q:  How are participants selected?
A:  Participants are selected via an application lottery.

Q: What is the cost of the program?
A:  The cost for the week is $2,500. This covers five nights' lodging, meals, RTC uniform, transportation, and souvenir sunglasses.

Q:  Is this program for real?
A:  Sadly, no. This is a parody website with fictional content.

 

 

not The White House