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Joseph Petro Books In Order

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Standing Next to History: An Agent's Life Inside the Secret Service (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon

Joseph Petro
Joseph Petro was born in the year 1944, and was a special agent in the United States Secret Service for 23 years, eleven of which were with vice presidents and presidents. Four of these eleven years, he stood by Ronald Reagan’s side.

During the early 1960s, he was Allentown High School’s quarterback for their football team. He attended Temple on a football scholarship and in 1966, was drafted by the Cleveland Browns. However, he left football so that he could enroll in the US Navy Officer Candidate School, Newport, R.I. where he would graduate with distinction.

He then entered active military duty with the Navy at Pensacola Naval Air Station, Florida. And served a tour of duty in Vietnam. He holds the Bronze Star with combat V and the Navy, Marine Corps Combat Action Ribbon.

After Joseph’s career as a United States Navy Lieutenant, during which he patrolled the canals and rivers along the Vietnamese-Cambodian border, he worked his way up through the Secret Service to be one of the key guys in charge of protecting the President.

Joseph was trained to be a Secret Service agent by Robert DeProspero, the man that lead Reagan’s detail. He was with the Secret Service from 1971 until 1993 and was a special agent and senior executive, serving in various management and operational positions. Earlier in Joseph’s career, he was assigned to intelligence, investigations, internal affairs, training, and public affairs. During his time with the Secret Service, he protected a total of four vice presidents, and took him to presidential offices all around the world.

He was also selected as the Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Treasury, where he advised and assisted department officials on financial crime enforcement policy. Additionally, Joseph worked with Congressional committees and the Justice Department, as well as other federal agencies on law enforcement issues.

From 1986 until 1989, he was named special agent in charge, Dignitary Protective Division. Then, from 1989 until 1992, he was special agent in charge, Vice Presidential Protective Division.

At the time he left the Secret Service, he was deputy special agent in charge, Washington Field Office. In this role, he ran a division with over one hundred people. This entailed a massive amount of paperwork at all times, particularly when he came back to Washington after some out-of-town assignment.

Petro never had to dodge any bullets while serving on the presidential protection detail, and he says that the Secret Service works very hard in order to prevent these things. He doesn’t want to be a hero, just to get the president in and out safely.

In the year 1993, he joined Travelers Group, Citigroup’s legacy company, as the Director of Corporate Security. He was with Citigroup, Inc. until 2013. In the year 2014, he worked as a senior vice president and a chief security officer for Time Warner Inc. until he retired in the year 2018.

Joseph is a graduate of Temple University where he received a bachelor of sciences degree in pre-law, which he got in the year 1966, and was a Fellow at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Joseph is Managing Director and Executive Vice President of Citigroup Security and Investigative Services. Also, he is the co-chairman of the United States Department of State’s Overseas Security Advisory Council. He is Vice-Chairman and member of the Board of the New York City Law Enforcement Explorers Council and a member of the Board of Directors of International Security Management Association.

He wrote about his time with the Secret Service in “Standing Next to History: An Agent’s Life Inside the Secret Service” with Jeffrey Robinson. The book was released in the year 2006.

“Standing Next to History: An Agent’s Life Inside the Secret Service” is a non-fiction book released in the year 2006. Joseph spent over twenty years as a special agent in the US Secret Service. Eleven with vice presidents and presidents, four years he stood by Ronald Reagan’s side.

After a career as a Navy Lieutenant, patrolling both the canals and the rivers along the Vietnamese-Cambodian border, he worked his way up in the Secret Service and became one of the key men in charge of protecting the President. This journey through the Secret Service provides one individual look inside of the most discreet law enforcement agency in all the world, and one uniquely intimate account of Reagan’s presidency.

Petro tells “first hand” tales about: eluding the press and sneaking President and Mrs. Reagan out of the White House, riding horses with the Reagans, rehearsing assassination attempts and working, then re-working each detail of the president’s trips around the world. He also notes that Reagan so respected that space that it reflected just how he conducted himself, and Reagan never once took off his suit jacket.

There’s diverting a 26 car presidential motorcade in downtown Tokyo negotiating the president’s protection with the KGB, protecting Vice-President Dan Quayle at Rajiv Gandhi’s funeral where he was surrounded by Yassir Arafat’s heavily armed bodyguards.

Then, taking charge of the single biggest protective effort in the Secret Service’s history: Pope John Paul II’s visit in 1987 to America. He was also one of just two witnesses at the private meeting that Mikhail Gorbachev and President Reagan had that ushered in the Cold War’s end. This is one of the most memorable moments he had during his time in the Secret Service, and finds that he is lucky just to have been there for it.

Joseph gives a fascinating and original perspective of the Secret Service, a little seen view of world leaders, and the inner workings of the White House. All of it as a man that stood right next to history. Fans of the book found this to be very interesting, with some good information, anecdotes, and tales about what goes on behind all the scenes with the people he protected. Readers like that this wasn’t filled with a bunch of scandalous information, and focuses more on details of protecting a president or vice president and what it’s like to be in the presence of some of of the most powerful men in the world as history is being made.

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