Top 5 Fascinating Secret Service Facts

Written by Michael Wynands Top 5 Fascinating Secret Service Facts

The Secret Service guards the POTUS and have codenames for everyone–their codenames for Donald Trump and Mike Pence are Mogul and Hoosier, respectively–but did you know they also catch counterfeiters and shut down credit fraud rings? Have you ever wondered why there are so many vehicles in the presidential motorcade? These fascinating facts and more on this episode of WatchMojo's Top 5 Facts!

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Written by Q.V. Hough

Top 5 Secret Service Facts

They provide a secretive American service, but don’t abbreviate it to “SS” for... obvious reasons. Welcome to WatchMojo’s Top 5 Facts.

In this installment, we’re counting down the most interesting facts we could find about United States Secret Service, otherwise known as the “USSS.”

#5: Agents Are More Than Bodyguards

In the movies, Secret Service agents typically do one thing – look after “POTUS” – the president of the United States. And considering the roughly 1,500 yearly threats against the president, protecting the nation’s leader is certainly a big part of the job. They even track the president’s movements within the Oval Office using pressure pads. Among other things, they deal with counterfeiting and identity theft. They’re also critical to America’s on-going investigations of Internet crimes, whether it’s cyber terrorism or computer fraud. In 2004, the Secret Service executed “Operation Firewall,” a domestic and international investigation that took down 28 suspects responsible for over 4 million dollars in credit card fraud. So when these agents aren’t circling the president, they’re circling the Internet looking for hackers.

#4: There’s Never Been a Traitor Within the Secret Service

For many political novels and films, espionage plays a central role in the narrative. But while there’s a long history of foreign spies within the National Security Agency, Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there has never been a documented traitor within the Secret Service. That doesn’t mean there hasn’t been a little sketchy behavior here and there, as evidenced by a 2012 incident in which numerous agents spent an evening with Colombian prostitutes in Cartagena. Hey – we’re just pointing out the facts, Secret Service, just pointing out the facts. With that being said, the Secret Service is and has always been a loyal and impenetrable organization - educated and trained for maximum efficiency. If there has been a traitor, he or she didn’t make any history books.

#3: A Lot of Planning Goes into the Presidential Motorcade

Why are there so many cars in the presidential motorcade? Well, times have changed since the J.F.K. assassination and 9/11. So between technological advancements and increased threats, the presidential motorcade has been fully customized for optimal performance and security. Sure, the viral footage of so-called “Presidential Drift” techniques actually came from a video game, but agents do receive extensive training to handle motorcade vehicles in worst-case scenarios. The modern motorcade involves numerous vehicles, including lead cars, a decoy limo, the WHCA Roadrunner, which functions as the primary “communications hub”, and not one, but two mysterious vehicles known only as “Codename Classified,” outfitted to respectively handle “electronic-countermeasures.” The president’s vehicle, known as “The Beast,” continually to receives upgrades. The 2017 version was reportedly developed for 15 million dollars.

#2: Only One Secret Service Agent Has Died While Protecting the President

In 1950, 40-year-old Leslie Coffelt became the first and only Secret Service agent to be killed protecting the POTUS. It happened at Washington D.C.’s Blair House, where Harry Truman stayed during White House refurbishments. Two Puerto Rican nationalists ambushed Coffelt outside the building, shooting him four times before firing shots at two police officers. Amazingly, Coffelt managed to stay focused, delivering a deadly shot to one of the assassins despite his injuries. Back in 1902, an agent named William Craig was the first agent killed while serving, but despite the various assassination attempts over the years, Coffelt remains the sole agent to give his life in the name of presidential protection.

#1: Abraham Lincoln Created the Agency the Day He Was Assassinated

April 14, 1865… talk about an eventful day in American history. It all began with some paperwork that crossed Abraham Lincoln’s desk - legislation for a counterfeit suppression organization that would become official six weeks later. Of course, John Wilkes Booth shot Lincoln that very night at Ford’s Theatre, but not before Honest Abe jump-started the agency that would soon become the Secret Service. Back then, the primary goal was currency regulation, but following the assassination of another president in 1901, the responsibilities of the Secret Service were expanded to include presidential protection. Lincoln’s numerous achievements forever changed America, but this particular act played a crucial role in laying the foundation for modern day federal law enforcement... and its depiction in global pop culture.

So, which fact surprised you the most? And do you ever worry about the Secret Service tracking your digital footprint? For more highly trained top 10s and unfortunately abbreviated Top 5s, be sure to subscribe to


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