Martha Maurer is a special agent with the U.S. Secret Service.* She’s also a major in the 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion with the Army Reserve. Maurer began serving her country in a dual capacity in 2015 when she transitioned from solider to full-time protector of the nation’s financial infrastructure and highest elected officials. She told GI Jobs the steps it took to transition from the military to a new career as a Secret Service Agent.
Q & A with Martha Mauer, A Secret Service Agent and Army Reservist
How was the transition from active duty to Secret Service Agent?
The Secret Service hiring process was smooth. The first part was fairly routine: complete an application, take a test, go to an interview, and fill out paperwork for a background check. Each step was the gateway to the next and it concluded with a conditional job offer.
The next part was fast and furious. Polygraph, medical examination and drug screening culminating with a home interview. In this phase of the hiring process, if there was availability for any task it was scheduled and completed as quickly as possible.
Why get a career with the U.S. Secret Service after the military?
After completing my active duty service obligation, I worked as a military contractor for the Defense Security Service. At the time, I also served in the Washington Army National Guard. The U.S. Secret Service (USSS) appeared to be a good transition because of the professionalism and mindset that are important in both careers. Each agency (the Army and the USSS) shares core qualities. Discipline, loyalty, strong work ethic, and accountability resonate with me personally and professionally.
Maintaining a career with a zero-fail mission was also a key factor. The knowledge that despite constantly being challenged you still have to do your best gives me a sense of pride. In both the military and the USSS, you have to figure out how to navigate through obstacles and know that failure to successfully overcome adversity can yield detrimental results.
What is it like balancing being a reservist and a Secret Service Agent?
At times, balancing both roles is challenging because of scheduling conflicts. You want to be able to do well at each respective job, so you have to find time outside of the normal work day to meet the demands of each, and continue professional development. The military and USSS have been fantastic in understanding my commitment to each which helps tremendously.
What are the similarities and/or differences in working with the US Secret Service and serving in the US Army?
Both with the USSS and in the Army, when you are given a task/assignment, you execute your duties fairly autonomously. The expectation to perform is mission-critical. There are abundant opportunities for personal and professional development in each role.
In terms of differences, in the military, leadership and promotion opportunities are constant and based on potential more so than experience. In the USSS, leadership and promotion opportunities are contingent upon experience and time in service. Operationally speaking, most of your military career is dedicated to training and preparation; the USSS is more about operational execution.
In terms of home life, in the military, PCS moves are more frequent because it’s based on tour durations, whereas the USSS PCS moves are for operational and educational assignments, therefore they occur less frequently.
Start Your Search for Jobs for Veterans
Now that you’ve heard how Maurer made her career, it’s your turn. Whether you’re just getting out of the military or passively browsing jobs, GI Jobs is here as your resource. Every month we meet with key individuals in the recruitment industry to get their advice for veterans. Attend the next Get Hired Workshop to learn from the best.
*Company is a paying client.