Real Talk w/ CJ: Secret Service Agent Rowe

On Wednesday, February 8, at 2 p.m., Secret Service Special Agent Corbin Rowe from the Houston field office visited Sam Houston State University’s Hazel B. Kerper Courtroom to offer advice and recruit possible future agents.

The Secret Service originated in 1865 as one of President Lincoln’s last acts in office in order to curb the profitable counterfeit currency industry.

After the assassination of President McKinley in 1901, this investigative branch of federal law enforcement soon adopted the protective detail for the executive branch as well as visiting foreign dignitaries.

After giving a brief history of the agency, Special Agent Rowe expounded upon his career as a federal agent encouraging students not to be afraid of new experiences but to embrace change. Special Agent Rowe noted travel is mandatory. Though tiresome, he emphasized he would never trade his experiences protecting and escorting presidents and foreign dignitaries in places he would have never dreamed.

During the open question and answer portion of the talk a student asked Special Agent Rowe about his job, meeting new people and the new cultures he experienced as an agent.

“Every day I deal with people from different ethnicities. It does not allow you to be prejudice. It broadened my horizons to such a level that everything is simple for me. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from.” Special Agent Rowe said.

Rowe clarified the qualifications and disqualifications precluding citizens from entering the Secret Service.

“You have to have a personal identity. You have to interact with everybody every day. We want work ethic,” Special Agent Rowe said.

The rigorous schedule of 300 plus days a year away from home is not for everyone.

Another student asked Rowe what the chances were of being hired right out of college.

“Very likely. We need manpower. We can’t turn any group of people away. You are in the 65 percent hiring range… You don’t have to have a specific list of things on your résumé to get hired by the Secret Service. I was a history major. I had a lot of other things I had done,” Special Agent Rowe said.

Rowe spoke to his pastimes, which included ski patrol, mountaineering, ice climbing, rock climbing, private plane and helicopter piloting, and construction over the course of roughly ten years before applying to the Secret Service.

All which show if one is willing to work hard, anyone aspiring to join the Secret Service can succeed.

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