Real Talk w/CJ: Special Agent Corbin Rowe, U.S. Secret Service

Wed, Feb 8, 2016
2:00 pm
Hazel B. Kerper Courtroom

Corbin Rowe has served on sea and ski mountains while protecting U.S. Presidents and other dignitaries as a U.S. Secret Service Special Agent.

Rowe was part of the protection detail for former President George H. W. Bush for four years, spending a lot of the time on the North Atlantic Ocean as a certified rescue swimmer and tactical boat operator. As the only Special Agent in Wyoming, Rowe was enlisted to help protect Vice President Dick Cheney when he came to Jackson Hole.

But protecting U.S. dignitaries is not the only thing Rowe did during his 20-year career in the U.S. Secret Service. As a Special Agent in Salt Lake City, UT, Boise, ID, and Cheyenne, WY, Rowe also was responsible for investigating and preventing counterfeit currency and safeguarding the payment and financial system of the U.S. from financial and computer-based crimes. He now serves as a recruiter for the Houston office, as well as a firearms training specialist for agents in the office. Agents are required to qualify on their assigned weapons – including a sidearm, rifle and submachine gun – on a quarterly basis.

Rowe was exposed to a lot of dignitaries during his job as an emergency medical technician in Colorado, and at the time he was unaware that he was surrounded by Secret Service agents. During his time in medical service, Rowe developed excellent interviewing skills that helped him quickly access what was wrong with a patient. Those techniques have served him well in interviews for criminal cases.

His other unique skills also came in handy, especially during his Presidential protection detail. Whenever a U.S. President goes out on the water, a certified rescue swimmer and a tactical boat operator are required to be aboard to protect the country’s current or past chief executive officer.

“We are meticulously qualified by the Coast Guard in tactical boat operations,” said Rowe.
As the recruiter in Houston, Rowe helps to identify the next generation of agents for the job. He attends job fairs, reviews applications from, and is in charge of review panels and testing. He also oversees background checks, which include interviews with people from a candidate’s past and present, such as teachers, parents, and neighbors.

When weighing candidates, Rowe said he looks for those with a strong work ethic, broad skill sets, and a clean personal history.

“We are looking for as many life skills as you can gather,” said Rowe. “We will give you the training you need to do the job, but there is no substitute for your daily life experiences . . .We never just do the same thing every day and if everyone came in with one background, we would never be able to adapt to the myriad of things we see.”

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