USD Magazine, Winter 2004

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When we are home in Washington, D. C., a typical week includes visits to the White House, the Pentagon, testifying on "The Hill" and, every now and then, a jaunt to Camp David.

Have Gun,Will Travel Jennifer Babic '97 is an agent with the Diplomatic Security Service (DS) ofthe US. Department ofState. A history and French major at USD, Babic began as an investigative assistant in the DS's Los Angeles office in 1997. After completing intensive training in firearms, hand-to-hand combat, foreign relations and anti-terrorism, she became a fitLL-fledged Special Agent. Her career has included stints with security detail.sfor visiting world Leaders such as Ehud Barak, Benjamin Netanyahu, RaufDenktash, Shimon Peres, and Nelson Mandela. Here she discusses her current assignment as a security envoy for Secretary ofState Colin PoweLL. H ave you ever followed in the footsteps of someone great? I have. I've also walked in front of him. I've followed him in a big, black Suburban. Still other times I've driven him around in an armored limousine. Thar's my job as one of 50 Special Agents of the Diplomatic Security Service (DS) assigned to protect Secretary of State Colin L. Powell. I've served on Secretary Powell's protective detail for the past rwo and half years. Before chat, I was stationed in Boston, in our field office, where I investigated passport fraud. Occasionally, I got to travel with then Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and I fell in love with doing protection and all the travel. When my tour in Boston was up, I applied ro join Secretary Powell's detail. Though Powell is not the avid traveler that Albright was, I have still been on more than 30 trips ro 23 countries with him. When we are home in Washingron, D.C., a typical week includes

Not everything we do is glamorous and fun , though . The job requires working more than 12 hours a day when we travel. And not everyone gets ro be in the motorcade.

Just as essential to Powell's safety are the agents who do residence watch, at home and abroad. They watch his house or suite, or sic in the command pose for eight to 12 hours at a time. And then there is always che effort to avoid strange diseases and food poisoning when you're overseas. Sometimes I chink it would be really great co actually participate in some of che hisroric meetings to which I have escorted the secre– tary, instead of just being security at the door. Bue then the meeting ends and I walk the secretary to his limo, make sure no one attacks him, hop into the back of our Suburban with my sub-machine gun and race off, my head out the window, with lights and sirens blaring. No roller coaster can compete with chat rush. Unforcunacely, all good things come to an end. Next summer, I'm being transferred to the U.S. embassy in Paris for a rwo-year assignment. I will be an Assistant Regional Security Officer, which entails managing the local guard force, the Marines and the surveillance detection team, and assisting on visits to France by the secretary, the president and mem– bers of Congress. I'll also be responsible for the security of all Americans in country. Much different from my current job, but I am really looking forward co ic. My tour on Secretary Powell's detail has been the most incredible time of my life. I have been to amazing places and seen and done some incredible things. Being Powell's bodyguard has been an incredible

visits ro the White House, the Pentagon, testifying on "The Hill" and, every now and then, a jaunt to Camp David. One time, I got to chopper back to D .C. in the president's helicopter. le was night and I was struck speechless as we came up over the tree line along che Poromac River and I saw all of D.C. lie up. We landed right at the base of che Washington Monument. There were fire trucks, an ambulance and the motorcade waiting for us with their lights ablaze, and Powell hopped into his armored limo and was whisked away. Ir was like something out of a movie. My favorite aspect of the job is overseas travel. Before I joined DS, I had only been co Canada and Mexico. Hardly adventurous. With Powell, I have scaled the Great Wall of China, climbed the pyramids of Egypt, and seen the jungles of Borneo, rwice. Of course, we don't always go to such glamorous places. I've also been co several very hoc African countries, as well as Pakistan, Colombia and Syria. Noc exactly choice vaca– tion spots, but exciting nonetheless. I actually prefer going co these places just because nobody else does.

honor. His accomplish– ments are legendary, and he is seen by most as a liv- ing icon. And he is one of the nicest human beings I have ever met. Ir's been quite a growth experience, coo. Being responsible for the safety of che Secretary of Scace in a country where you don't speak the language is quite a task. It's a big weight on your shoulders, but when che visit goes well, it makes you feel like you could walk on air.



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