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The Making of a Secret Service Agent

By Ed O'Keefe

A Secret Service trainee improves his aim at the agency's James J. Rowley Training Center in Maryland. (Paul Morse/Post)

"Being a Secret Service agent might be a stoic, macho job. It is also a little bit like being pregnant with the president."

This weekend's Washington Post Magazine includes a fantastic profile of some of the most important, hardest-working, least understood federal employees: Secret Service agents. The Post's Laura Blumenfeld shadowed training class 283 from start to finish, telling the stories of dozens of applicants who came from across the country to train at the James J. Rowley Training Center, near the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

The story reveals the tough physical and mental training required of agents who may eventually become a "meat shield" for a protectee, including the president, his family members or a visiting foreign dignitary. Among other things, applicants are told to get a will, seek alcohol counseling if necessary and not to bleach their bulletproof vests, lest the chemicals weaken their protection.

Read the profile from beginning to end.

RELATED PHOTOS: Inside Secret Service Training

By Ed O'Keefe  | July 24, 2009; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, FY-Eye, From The Pages of The Post  
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