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Secret Service Reveals the True Meaning Behind His Presidential Code Name

The Secret Service is known for its discretion and its ability to maintain the confidentiality of its operations. One aspect of their work that garners curiosity is the use of code names for those they protect. These names are chosen carefully and have been used since a time when sensitive communications were not encrypted. Join FactsVerse as we take you through the world of the secret service.

Code names are a staple in espionage and intrigue, and the United States Secret Service is no exception. They use code names to refer to U.S. presidents, first ladies, and other prominent figures and locations. But did you know that these names were originally used for security purposes, back when electronic communications weren’t routinely encrypted? Today, they serve as a way to ensure brevity, clarity, and tradition in communications.

But here’s something that might surprise you: the Secret Service doesn’t choose these names. Instead, the White House Communications Agency maintains a list from which candidates can choose, selecting ones that have personal significance.

When it comes to choosing code names, there are certain criteria that must be met. According to an established protocol, good code words are unambiguous. It pronounces and understands by anyone who transmits or receives messages by radio or telephone, regardless of their native language. Additionally, all family members’ code names traditionally start with the same letter.

These code names aren’t set in stone, either. They change over time for security purposes but are often publicly known. To ensure security, the Secret Service generally picks code names from a list of “good” words. They avoid using common words that interpret their normal definitions.

Below is a list of several presidential code names.

Secret Service: Rawhide

During his time as the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan earns the Secret Service code name “Rawhide”. He inspires by his love for ranching and his many roles in western movies. Reagan’s successful career as an actor, he makes his mark in westerns like “Law and Order” and “Santa Fe Trail.”

Secret Service: Providence

When Dwight Eisenhower assumed office in 1953, the Secret Service gave him the code name “Providence.” The choice of name reflected Eisenhower’s religious beliefs and his strong faith in God. When he retires, Eisenhower is famous as “Scorecard” among the Secret Service agents. His passion for golf, a sport he plays during his leisure time.


John F. Kennedy was referred to as “Lancer” by the Secret Service, which was fitting given the comparisons made between his administration and the mythical court of King Arthur, known as Camelot. In this legend, Lancelot was a famous knight, making Kennedy’s code name all the more appropriate. Likewise, the first Lady Jackie Kennedy was called “Lace,” which was thought to be a nod to her elegance and grace.


Lyndon B. Johnson’s Secret Service code name was “Volunteer,” although the origins of the name remain unclear. It is ironic, given that Johnson assumed the presidency following Kennedy’s assassination and did not exactly volunteer for the job. However, Johnson did have a reputation for being a hard worker and for taking on challenges with great enthusiasm.


Lyndon B. Johnson’s Secret Service code name was “Volunteer,” although the origins of the name remain unclear. It is ironic, given that Johnson assumed the presidency following Kennedy’s assassination and did not exactly volunteer for the job. However, Johnson did have a reputation for being a hard worker and for taking on challenges with great enthusiasm.


The 42nd president of the U.S, Bill Clinton, was given the code name “Eagle” by the Secret Service. Interestingly, the beginning letter of the code names of everyone in his family also began with the letter E. Hillary Clinton, his wife, was given the code name “Evergreen,” which was fitting given her longevity in the public eye and her unwavering dedication to public service.


Richard Nixon, the 37th president, was given the code name “Searchlight.” The irony of the name was not lost on anyone, as Nixon’s presidency came to an end after he was implicated in the Watergate scandal. The searchlight of public scrutiny was firmly trained on Nixon, ultimately leading to his resignation.


Gerald Ford, who took over after Nixon’s resignation, was given the code name “Passkey.” The name is somewhat ironic, given that Ford’s pardon of Nixon effectively closed the door on any criminal prosecution of the former President. However, it is important to note that Ford’s pardon was aimed at healing the nation and moving forward from the Watergate scandal.


The code name assigned to George H.W. Bush, the 41st president, was “Timberwolf.” While the origin of the name remains a mystery, it certainly has a ring of intrigue to it. His wife, Barbara Bush, was given the code name “Tranquility,” which is quite the opposite of Timberwolf.


George W. Bush, the 43rd president, was given the code name “Trailblazer.” This name makes perfect sense given that he was the first president since his father to follow in his father’s footsteps. When he was the son of a sitting president, he was given the code name “Tumbler,” which is a nod to his frequent falls while playing sports.


Barack Obama’s code name was “Renegade,” which he chose from a list of names presented to him by the Secret Service, all starting with the letter “R.” His wife, Michelle, was given the name “Renaissance,” while his daughters Malia and Sasha were given “Radiance” and “Rosebud,” respectively. These names reflected their personalities and the family’s cultural and political significance.


The traits and temperament of the 45th President of the United States are reflected in this code name. Donald Trump first proposed “Humble” as his Secret Service code name when he was elected as the President of the United States. However, the agency ultimately decided on “Mogul,” which is a reflection of his successful business background and immense wealth.


Former Vice President and now President of the United States, Joe Biden, has the Secret Service code name “Celtic,” which pays homage to his Irish roots and values. The code name was also used during his tenure as Vice President under President Barack Obama.

What you may not know

The Secret Service assigns code names not only to presidents, vice presidents, and their families, but also to other prominent figures such as government officials, dignitaries, and celebrities. These names are intended to provide a level of security and confidentiality.

For example, in 2012, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich chose the code name “T-Rex” due to his love of dinosaurs. Pope John Paul II was given the code name “Halo,” which was fitting for his spiritual role as the leader of the Catholic Church.

Interestingly, these code names are not just reserved for individuals but can also be given to locations and objects. While the presidential state car is referred to as “Stagecoach,” Air Force One, the president’s official aircraft, is known as “Angel” or “Cowpuncher.”

The White House is referred to as “Castle,” while the U.S. Capitol is given the name “Punch bowl.” These code names serve as an added layer of security, making it difficult for outsiders to know what or who is being referred to in sensitive communications.

What is the U.S. secret service?

The U.S. Secret Service is not just another government agency. It’s one of the most essential institutions of the American government, responsible for protecting the President and his family. However, that isn’t their only function. The agency’s primary mission is to safeguard national leaders and their families, former presidents and their spouses, visiting heads of state, and government buildings and facilities. The Secret Service is also responsible for investigating financial crimes, including credit card and bank fraud, money laundering, and counterfeit currency.

President Abraham Lincoln established the Secret Service on April 14, 1865, the same day he was assassinated. Initially, the agency’s sole responsibility was to combat counterfeiting. It wasn’t until 1901, after the assassination of President William McKinley, that the Secret Service was also tasked with presidential protection. The Secret Service currently boasts a workforce of over 6,500 individuals, consisting of special agents, Uniformed Division agents, as well as technical, professional, and administrative personnel.

Belgian Malinois

The Secret Service’s operations go beyond human personnel, as they have an entire canine unit dedicated to their protective duties. This unit is made up of Belgian Malinois, a small breed originating from Holland known for their sharp senses and athleticism. The dogs work in tandem with their Uniformed Division handlers and stay with them round the clock, even after they retire. The agents assigned to the Presidential Protection Division (PPD) have the distinct responsibility of safeguarding the President and their family, making it a highly specialized and exclusive unit within the Secret Service.

All agents are rigorously trained to be at the top of their game, receiving 11 weeks of training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in law, firearms, defensive tactics, and report writing. Once they arrive in Washington, DC, an additional 16 weeks of training is required, including advanced driving techniques, physical protection, and detecting counterfeit money and credit card fraud.

Unbelievable facts about the secret service

Only one member of the Secret Service has died protecting the President.

During the Truman administration, a tragic event occurred that demonstrated the bravery and sacrifice of Secret Service agents. On November 1, 1950, two Puerto Rican nationalists attempted to assassinate President Harry Truman by storming the house he was staying in while the White House underwent renovations. The attackers managed to gain entry into the building and exchanged gunfire with the Secret Service agents on duty.

Tragically, Private Leslie Coffelt, a member of the Secret Service, was shot three times by the assailants. Despite his wounds, Coffelt managed to return fire, striking one of the attackers in the head. Unfortunately, Coffelt later succumbed to his injuries and became the only member of the Secret Service to die in the line of duty while protecting the President. This event serves as a poignant reminder of the dedication and bravery exhibited by members of the Secret Service in fulfilling their duty to protect the President and ensure the safety of the nation’s leaders.

They’ve never had a traitor in the Secret Service.

The Secret Service is one of the few government agencies that has never been infiltrated by foreign spies or traitors. While the FBI, CIA, and NSA have all experienced breaches, the Secret Service has remained untouched. The agency is known for its strict background checks and rigorous training programs to ensure that only the most trustworthy individuals are admitted to its ranks. Despite the high level of scrutiny, the Secret Service has been known to take swift action against any member found to be in violation of their strict code of conduct.

Whether you’re a history fanatic or just love a good spy thriller, the world of code names is endlessly fascinating. So the next time you hear a code name on the news, take a moment to appreciate the intricate world of secret communications and the efforts taken to keep those in power safe.

There you have it. It’s now time to hear from you. Let us know if you know any more facts about the United States Secret Service.

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