The following was sent to me by a career longtime employee of the Secret Service still inside the beleaguered agency. Like me, this employee shares the view that the agency is in dire straights and has been ignorant to its own demise. Many inside the agency are trying to bring about reform from the inside but face an extremely vindictive leadership and culture.
For commentary on this memo's significance, click here to see my post on the matter. Here is the newly released memo from recent appointee Director Alles of the US Secret Service:
Subject: Memo from Director SS
Subject: Command and Control
To the Men and Women of the Secret Service:
My message today introduces changes to our current operational structure, which I believe will foster leadership and engender new opportunity at all levels and across different job series of this agency. I have three objectives in mind: First, the Secret Service needs to operate as one organization and not as three separate parts (i.e., special agents, Uniformed Division officers, and APTs). Second, create opportunities for leadership that are more evenly distributed throughout the organization. Currently, APTs lead Uniformed Division officers and special agents in parts of the Secret Service. Special Agents lead Uniformed Division officers and APTs in parts of the agency. However, Uniformed Division officers (no matter their grade or position) are never in charge of offices that contain special agents. Third, when a Secret Service employee is put in charge of an office, I intend for that individual to have operational command for all personnel assigned to that office or division. (e.g., Special Operations Division).
In an effort to continue the professionalization and integration of the entire workforce, I intend to submit legislation to elevate the positions of the Chief and the Assistant Chief of the Uniformed Division to the Senior Executive Service to reflect their inclusion in our senior leadership structure. After careful review and evaluation, I also intend to allow members of the Uniformed Division to fill leadership positions which have historically only been accessible to special agents.
Specifically, in the future I intend to have Uniformed Division officials/officers compete for and serve in senior leadership positions equivalent to SAICs and DSAICs, ASAICs and ATSAICs in the Special Operations Division, Counter Surveillance Division, and at the Rowley Training Center. In addition, in the future, the agency will identify and fill similar positions in other Directorates and Divisions across the Secret Service. We will pick those who are best and fully qualified to lead us forward.
The Deputy Chiefs of the White House Branch and the Naval Observatory Branch will report to the respective Special Agents in Charge of the Presidential Protective Division and the Vice Presidential Protective Division. This is critical to ensure operational effectiveness and vest responsibility in one person at each location. This enhancement to our current reporting structure is consistent with how Uniformed Division and special agent personnel operate during protective travel operations.
Deputy Chiefs and DSAICs will work as equals. The SAIC of each Division will delegate responsibilities, creating a leadership team focused on meeting all day-to-day tactical and operational objectives. The Chief of the Uniformed Division will continue to serve at the Deputy Assistant Director level within the Office of Protective Operations. It is my expectation that this change in operational command will empower our new Chief to focus on strategic-level oversight and executive decision-making that will promote and strengthen the Uniformed Division, while providing the Deputy Chiefs more operational responsibility. The Chief, as the senior most member of the Uniformed Division, will be a critical part of any decision concerning the Uniformed Division. I expect his ideas/opinions to be highly regarded in the Secret Service.
Our new Uniformed Division Chief, Tom Sullivan, has been integrally involved in the development process, and these new enhancements have his full support. These changes will provide new career opportunities to Uniformed Division personnel, fully integrate the Uniformed Division into the leadership structure, and reduce potential complications created by parallel leadership structures.
We will become one Secret Service – united in mission and purpose. My goal is to be second to none in executing our protective and investigative operations. We will constantly strive for operational improvements and elevate those who exemplify the strength to propel us forward. These changes will empower a culture of leaders who are responsive not only to the mission but also to the men and women who fulfill that mission.
R. D. "Tex" Alles