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  • USSS-Protective Support Technicion and Special Officers?

    Protective Support Techs and a lot of Special Officer positions that open are Agency employees only. I can only assume Agents don't move to these jobs so do a lot of U/D guys/gals go to them.

    Protective techs and Special Officers in D.C. SOD, appear to be busy. Do they have seroius issues like the U/D Guys/Gals with no days off and what not or is that why the positions are usually opened to them because there scheduling is a little better.

    I've like many have pondered a USSS career but the horror stories (mainly married individuals) have kept me pondering.

    Any insight on this?

  • #2
    PST, OST and SO positions are traditionally opened to agency emplyees only in order to accomodate transfers, detail dissolution, and promotions. When the position is not filled (due to lack of interest among other things) or there are multiple positions, HR will reopen the vacancy to those outside the agency.

    Work load depends on where you operate. In the SO corps you essentially have two seperate types. You have those that work in D.C. (HQ) and are a division of SOD. Then you have those that are a part of the Office of Protective Operations and they were in a small detail setting assigned to former presidential details.

    OSTs (Operational Support Technicians) are essentially SOs with a different title and daily function. They operate out of the major field offices and tend to fill support roles as a major part of their daily duties (ie fleet maintenance, firearms instructors, etc.)

    PSTs (Protective Support Technicians) again are essentially SOs that operate primarily out of the Office of Protective Operations just titled differently. These are your full time limo drivers and agent support officers in a protective setting.

    All of these positions are 1802s. SOs operating out of OPO and PSTs in D.C. are covered under 6c LEO retirement. SOs working at SOD at headquarters, and OSTs (FOs) do not have 6c retirement. There is currently a push being made to make 6c retirement available across the board though because of the interchangeability of the positions and the fact that OSTs, PSTs and SOs do each others jobs on temp assignments and within their own office.

    SOD SOs do have issues in my opinion. There is a large amount of turnover and their daily routines equate to that of building security for the most part. SOD SOs do however spend time at small details and other related assignments on a temporary basis.

    Protective SOs are generally very happy with their positions. They do the same work as the agents save performing leads, advances, and conducting investigations. In a nutshell they are an integral part of the protective mission and usually looked upon in a very favorable light by their agent counterparts. SOs in these positions travel with protectees provide residential security functions as well as provide most of the support functions for the agents (ie firearms instructors, PT instructors, rescue swimmers, etc.). In my opinion, if you pursue an SO job do it with a protective detail.

    Your next best bet would be the PST positions in Washington. These personnel will be motorcade drivers for any number of protectees the USSS is responsible for. Additionally, they will provide support functions in the form of fleet maintenance, vehicle transports (you will learn to hate car planes), and other supporting rols for the division.

    OSTs do a little bit of everything described above in the other positions minus the building secruity of the D.C. based SOs. Most OSTs that I have come across enjoy their jobs very much and I see very little turnover.

    As far as the quality of life it really all depends on where you work. The PSTs in DC are VERY busy. OSTs in the field offices can get busy but they tend to operate on bankers hours unless something is going on. Protective SOs operate on flexible schedules where you can have different days off from week to week. If I had to pick one area that is the primary cause of complaints it would be that. However, most details are really not that bad and you have plenty of time off without getting run into the ground. SOs in D.C. I believe have rotating schedules as well, but since their scope of duties do not revolve around the schedule of a protectee I believe their schedules operate in a quarterly rotation with set days off (I might be mistaken). The way I understand it is that the DC based SOs morale is typically low mostly due to supervision, difficulty getting good assignments, and lack of 6c retirement.

    Most of the horor stories you will hear from the USSS will come from the agent side of the house where they are being run into the ground on travel. Especially lately with campaign commitments. There have been agents gone from their home for 3 to 4 weeks at a time. Some are quite miserable and it only gets compounded if you have a family waiting at home.

    UD has it's own issues which seems to have been covered fairly well in other threads so I won't get into it here.

    All in all the SO, OST, and PST gigs are well worth the effort. There are some real good opporutnities to get in and get your hands dirty and learn and do things you normally wouldn't dream of. As examples I have been to several UN General Assemblies, the 2002 Winter Olympics, been to 7 different countries, and obtained some first rate specialized training. For the most part the USSS is a pretty decent place to work, but like any other LE job this will depend on the specific place you work, the people you work with, and your immediate supervisors.

    Hope this helps a little.

    Comment


    • #3
      I've read quite a few of your posts and figgered you had some connection to the USSS.

      Anyway, it appears this job is of the non-LEO variety. Most of my exeperience with TSD personnel are out of the field offices and not D.C. but it appears that this is not a gun-carrying position nor is it 6c covered. The PSS personnel that you mentioned in your reply are the gun-carriers.

      You are right though ... I have NEVER met any TSD personnel that didn't absolutely love their job. It's pretty muich a tech guy's wet dream. Reading through this annoucement it would seem that this particular job would be akin to a security consultant in the private sector with a little sprinkling of techie stuff.

      I hear ya on the UD thing. The only aspect of that job which would be remotely appealing to me is FMB. White House and VPR ? ... they can have it.

      I actually have a couple apps in with other agencies myself. Not that I'm dissatisfied with my job ... i enjoy it very much ... it's that I've reached the top of my career path in my current position. With about 17 more years of career left to go I would be rather stupid not to seek out something with a little more progression.

      Comment


      • #4
        I'll just add this in here because I know the questions are coming:

        Yes: SOs/OSTs/PSTs take their weapons to and from home.

        No: SOs/OSTs/PSTs are not authorized "departmental" off-duty carry (with exception of above)

        Yes: SOs/OSTs/PSTs are authorized off duty carry pursuant to HR218

        Yes: SOs/OSTs/PSTs have statutory powers of arrest (on duty)

        Yes: SOs/OSTs/PSTs have credentials and badges

        No: SOs/OSTs/PSTs are normally not assigned take-home cars. However, OSTs are known to be authorized to take vehicles home on a regular basis although they aren't necessarily "assigned" to them. It's one of their unofficial perks.

        No: SOs/OSTs/PSTs do not get LEAP

        Yes: PSTs are eligible for AUO. SOs/OSTs = no. (They get paid for what they work on an hourly basis for OT, scheduled or unscheduled)

        SOs/OSTs/PSTs go through the EXACT same hiring process as Special Agents with two exceptions; SOs/OSTs/PSTs do not have "panel interviews" per se. You might be interviewed by a single supervisor, or you might be interviewed by two or three. It all depends on where you apply and who is available. SOs/OSTs/PSTs do not take the Treasury Exam and are not required to have a degree. Everything else: BIx2, Poly, Medical, etc is identical to those of agents. Unfortunately that also means the process takes just as long. Usually the process is on average about 8 to 12 months in length.

        All SOs/OSTs/PSTs entry level are at GS-7
        SOs (OPO) journey to GS-8, Competitive 9, Supervisory 10 and 11
        SOs (DC) journey to GS-9, Competitive 10 and 11, Supervisory 12 and 13
        OSTs same as SOs (OPO)
        PSTs same as SOs (OPO) - although I'm not 100% sure on this, pretty close though.

        I think I got the standard Q&A out of the way there ... feel free to ask anything else or ask if you need clarification on anything above.
        Last edited by The Jackal; 02-09-2008, 11:59 AM. Reason: Added Info

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Up_On_Base
          I try to be as honest as possible in regards to posting about my UD experience, if I had that info a few years I am not sure I would have applied. The problem is candidates hear the name "secret service" and don't really grasp mission. It can be very boring, strange hours, and tons of travel that is hard on family.

          UD offers great training and provides a valuable service to protected locations but it's a security based job, not proactive police. I heard pre Oklahoma city and 9/11 that FMB ("the sharks") would get more lock ups than some districts of MPDC but doubt that is true.

          During my time at FMB lock ups were rare but the deputy Chief is also very anti lock up so it might have changed.

          Good luck in your career moves.
          Ayep ... that's pretty much the way I hear things toos. There are MANY former UD Officers that make up the ranks of SOs/OSTs/PSTs. As you probably know many go in looking for that total "police" experience and are sorely disappointed, then again others go in and eat it up ... absolutley love it. I guess it all comes down to expectations. Like you, I try not to sugar-coat everything because in the end it will just come back and bite you in the ***.

          Thanks for the well wishes!

          Comment


          • #6
            Whoa, somebody buy The Jackal a beer--damn good posts, man (UOB too)!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ezwy View Post
              Whoa, somebody buy The Jackal a beer--damn good posts, man (UOB too)!
              Hahaha ... thanks man. Guinness donations gladly accepted.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by The Jackal View Post
                Ayep ... that's pretty much the way I hear things toos. There are MANY former UD Officers that make up the ranks of SOs/OSTs/PSTs. As you probably know many go in looking for that total "police" experience and are sorely disappointed, then again others go in and eat it up ... absolutley love it. I guess it all comes down to expectations. Like you, I try not to sugar-coat everything because in the end it will just come back and bite you in the ***.

                Thanks for the well wishes!
                Most of the UD that switch over to the OST/PST positions do so to enable them to go back to the area they were from prior to moving to DC to accept the UD job or they are retired UD double-dipping. And MANY of the former UD that make up the SO rank are, again, either retired UD that are double-dipping or ones that failed to make it through the UD basic training and then were converted over to the SO position.

                Comment


                • #9
                  What are these protective supports and SO paid? Are they the same pay scale as UD or are they on the GS Scale? thanks

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ryh03001 View Post
                    What are these protective supports and SO paid? Are they the same pay scale as UD or are they on the GS Scale? thanks
                    Reply #6 - Bottom of post. Afterwards, go to the OPM website and find the "Special Rates for Law Enforcement Officers" table which will give you pay breakdowns for individual geographic locations.

                    If you apply for OST or an SO position in D.C. you will use the standard tables, not LEO.
                    Last edited by The Jackal; 02-09-2008, 06:12 PM. Reason: Added info

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Not to bump an old thread but search did come up with it - what is the hiring process like for these folks? Is it the same testing as the UD?

                      Written, Physical, etc. any specifics would be cool. I see they do 8 weeks at the USSS/training center in PG.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Special Officer

                        Very informative. Thanks. I applied for a position as a Special Officer located at the Office of Protective Operations, Special Services Division in D.C. I have several questions.
                        1. Are SO's wearing uniforms or suits like the agents?
                        2. Can you give a few details about the academy. I saw something about water safety. I can swim the length of a pool without any problems. But, saving someone else.... Not to sure about that. (Could learn I guess)
                        3. Ok, so you do get creds, badge. they are allowed to take their weapons home. That's great.

                        4. I saw a posting on USAJOBS for a Lead SO. Can you give a few details about that?

                        5. I have some active duty time. How difficult will it be to add it on to my federal service?

                        6. Do SO's have a mandatory out at 57?

                        7. What is the top pay grade for the SO position in DC.

                        8. Ok, I read the job description on the announcement but give it to me straight. What is typical day like at the Office of Protective Operations, Special Services Division.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by The Jackal View Post
                          SOD SOs do have issues in my opinion. There is a large amount of turnover and their daily routines equate to that of building security for the most part. SOD SOs do however spend time at small details and other related assignments on a temporary basis.

                          SOs in D.C. I believe have rotating schedules as well, but since their scope of duties do not revolve around the schedule of a protectee I believe their schedules operate in a quarterly rotation with set days off (I might be mistaken). The way I understand it is that the DC based SOs morale is typically low mostly due to supervision, difficulty getting good assignments, and lack of 6c retirement.
                          ^^^

                          This is RIGHT on the money... 100%
                          Its Showtime! -- "The Icon" -- Sting.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Eastwest, do you have any info on this position? What are the pros and cons?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Klove0972 View Post
                              Eastwest, do you have any info on this position? What are the pros and cons?
                              Brother, all I'll say is "The Jackal" hit this right on the head.. I hate seeing people get screwed, but if you provide them factual information and they STILL want in, well, its their own fault.. and you cant say, I wasnt made aware of what the deal was, when you're stuck and trying to find a way out.

                              PST is a good job, that will let you travel and you'll make a lot of money doing it (Im not sure about OSTs), but if you're an SO in Headquarters, you will NOT travel, they use to travel, but not anymore, there's a reason (well more than just ONE reason) why morale is in the toilet..

                              There are several jobs out there, I'd put this one on my list as a LAST RESORT. (just MY personal opinion, Im entitled to it)
                              Last edited by eastwest2300; 12-05-2014, 08:34 PM.
                              Its Showtime! -- "The Icon" -- Sting.

                              Comment

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