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Special Officer

You Can Provide Critical Protection Services

Career Path | Qualifications | Training | Benefits | Conditions | Age

Career Path

Special officers perform a wide range of security functions and support assignments as part of the protective mission for the Secret Service. Assignments may include maintaining designated protective security posts; inspecting all operational, safety, emergency, and convenience equipment of protective vehicles to ensure peak operating condition; driving protective vehicle or follow-up; controlling the movement of persons into and around multiple Secret Service facilities and associated areas; monitoring and operating various communications equipment; and employing various advanced x-ray screening technologies in order to detect and identify high-risk items. Special officers are authorized to make arrests in connection with their official duties.

Special officers are usually hired at the GL-7 or GL-8 level, depending on individual qualifications. The full performance level for a special officer is GL-9. Selection for promotion for positions above the GL-9 level is competitive.



To be considered for Special Officer positions you must:

  • Be a U.S. Citizen
  • Be at least 21 years of age and younger than 40 at time of appointment
  • Visual acuity must be correctable to 20/20 in each eye
  • Qualify for a Top Secret clearance and undergo a complete background investigation, to include driving record check, drug screening, medical and polygraph examinations
  • Familiarity with all phases of protective responsibilities sufficient to assist in protective movements, cover designated security posts and drive protective vehicles
  • Proficiency in the use of various firearms
  • Knowledge of arrest techniques and procedures
  • Successfully complete all required training
  • Present proof of eligibility for Veterans Preference
  • The Secret Service prohibits employees from having visible body markings (including but not limited to tattoos, body art, and branding) on the head, face, neck, hand and fingers (any area below the wrist bone). If you have visible body markings, you will be required to medically remove such visible body markings at your own expense prior to entering on duty with the Secret Service.



Newly appointed special officers must successfully complete eight (8) weeks of intensive training at the Special Officer Basic Training Course at the Secret Service James J. Rowley Training Center just outside of Washington, D.C. The training includes courses such as:

  • Criminal Law
  • Laws of Arrest
  • Search and Seizure
  • Control Tactics
  • Civil Liability
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Basic Water Safety
  • Firearms Training
  • Radio Communications
  • Driver Training
  • Physical Fitness Training



In addition to federal employee benefits, Special Officer benefits also include:

  • Low-cost life insurance
  • Individual or family membership in low-cost federal health benefit plans
  • Annual leave earned at the rate of 13 to 26 days per year, based on length of employment (prior federal civilian or military service is credited, as authorized)
  • Sick leave accumulated at the rate of 13 days per year without limit
  • Paid holidays
  • Comprehensive retirement benefits (retirement credit is granted for prior federal military or government service, as authorized)
  • Eligibility for participation in Flexible Spending Account Program (a tax-favored program offered to employees to pay for eligible out-of-pocket health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars)


  • Carrying a firearm while performing duties and maintaining firearms proficiency
  • Male applicants born after December 31, 1959, must certify that they have registered with the Selective Service system, or are exempt from having to do so under Selective Service law
  • Initial appointment to the special officer position is in the excepted service

Maximum Age Entry Restriction


On August 26, 2009, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) published a memorandum for all Heads of Departments and Executive Agencies related to hiring of preference eligible veterans applying for federal positions with maximum entry-age restrictions.

As directed by OPM, the U.S. Secret Service will conduct an analysis of all Secret Service positions having maximum entry age restrictions to determine whether a maximum entry age requirement is essential to the performance of the position. Applicants eligible for veterans' preference who exceed the current maximum entry age requirement will continue to be processed during this ongoing analysis. No final determination regarding affected applicants will be made until completion of this analysis. If it is the determination of the U.S. Secret Service that the requirement is not essential to the position, then the Agency will waive the maximum entry-age requirement for veteran's preference eligible applicants for that position.

Proper notification to all affected parties will be published when the analysis has been completed.

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