BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Secret Service is hiring, but if you want a top security clearance, you have to meet some high standards.

The agency exams every aspect of the applicant’s life. It’s their way of making sure they can be trusted with protecting the President and country.

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They’re always steps away from the President. Secret Service agents keep the commander-in-chief, vice-president, and world leaders safe.

But joining the agency is a difficult mission.

“Someone who’s passionate about their country, who wants to serve their country, who believes in the mission and is willing to sacrifice their personal time, their lives for a greater cause,” said Susan Goggin, special agent assistant in charge of the Secret Service.

Goggin is at Fort Meade, where nearly 1,200 applicants are vying for positions in the uniform and secret agent divisions.

“Ah, dad kind of supports it. Mom doesn’t. Mom says, ‘can’t you be a teacher,'” said Brittany Ezratty, a uniform division applicant.

The Secret Service is extremely serious about security. As soon as applicants step in the building, they’re immediately searched for weapons. But once they get through, the real test begins.

The test consists of an online application, resume review, criminal history check, entrance exam, and panel and security interviews.

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Those who make it this far get a polygraph test, medical exam, background check, home visit, and panel presentation.

“I think everyone is always going to be nervous about the polygraph,” said uniform division applicant and U.S. Coast Guard veteran Paul Simonetti.

The hiring event comes as the agency faces scrutiny, as yet another intruder got too close to the White House.

Those applying to be federal officers say protecting the country and its leaders is an honor.

“The United States has always been a beacon of light,” said Simonetti.

“It doesn’t matter who takes office,” Ezratty said. “The goal always remains the same.”

It is a long day for these applicants, anywhere from 12 to 14 hours, and that’s just the first half of the process. The agency says they have to make sure they’re choosing the best and the brightest.

The next Secret Service hiring event will be in April, in Puerto Rico.

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