There's a lot of mystery surrounding the American Secret Service. The movies make them out to be an elite group of cold, deadly bodyguards with zero personality who never sleep.
And that's not all the movies get wrong. The real American Secret Service is far more nuanced, complex, and ... actually... way more exciting.
From rehearsing assassination attempts to carrying a bag of the president's blood wherever they go, the agents of the United States' Secret Service do some stuff that is quite... unusual, to say the least.
Movies may be imaginative, but reality is much more interesting. Here are 15 of the strangest, most amazing facts about the Secret Service. Number 10 was definitely a surprise to me, so make sure you check that one out!
1. More Agents Than A Small Country
While we often think of the Secret Service enlisting only a handful of elite agents, we're far off the mark. There are upwards of 6,500 agents in the Service.
2. Guardians Of Many
The Secret Service isn't just seen guarding the president. They also protect former presidents, the president's family, and anyone the president wants to be protected - including the Pope.
3. Trained To Take A Bullet
As preparation for any large event, Secret Service agents run through multiple scenarios of assassination and how to prevent it. They even rehearse these potential assassination attempts with fake ammunition to teach them how to take a bullet.
4. First-Aid Ready
When it comes to saving a life, diving in front of a bullet isn't the only skill Secret Service agents have. They all are equipped with enough first-aid knowledge to save someone's life before an ambulance arrives on the scene.
5. They All Carry The President's Blood
Perhaps the grossest on this list, agents carry several packets of the president's blood with them at all times. They are trained in performing blood transfusions, so if the president is ever in need of extra blood, they've got him covered.
6. Presidents Have Cool Code Names
Hollywood is right about some things regarding the Secret Service. Each president has a secret codename determined at random. Some of them include: Acrobat, Eagle, Deacon, and Renegade.
7. The President's Shadows
No matter what the president does, the Secret Service has to do it with him. Whether it's a morning run or a climb up Mount Everest, the Secret Service has to shadow the president wherever he goes.
8. Doctor Buddies
In addition to following the president wherever he goes, the Secret Service even shadows him to doctor's appointments. Apparently injecting the leader of the free world with needles in private is a no-no.