“Mission Essential” is an upcoming feature in The Citadel magazine about four graduates who have been brought together in their work with the Secret Service to ensure the protection of the nation’s highest elected leaders.
Ty Yount was a middle school student in Morganton, North Carolina, when the Gulf War played out on the evening news and inspired in him a need to serve. He was a well-rounded student—an athlete, a member of the band and an Eagle Scout. In 1993, in the days before the internet explosion, it was from a bookshelf in his guidance counselor’s office that he discovered The Citadel.
“I was like a moth to a flame,” Yount said. “I went for a weekend visit, and then, of course, I was hooked.”
Yount majored in physics and served as First Battalion commander. As a rank holder and a member of the Class of 1999, he assisted in the successful assimilation of women into the Corps.
“The Citadel is an environment that breeds driven and successful people. All colleges do, but The Citadel is different,” said Yount. “We produce a person who’s different after those four years than who they were when they came in. The Marine Corps is the same way. When you are successful in those environments, you feel confident to meet any challenge.”
After graduating, Yount got married in Summerall Chapel and embarked on an eight-year career in the U.S. Marine Corps that included deployments to Okinawa and Iraq.
The hiring process to get in the Secret Service was intense, and Yount actually had to apply twice, but he was determined, and in 2008, he began his Secret Service career in the Dallas field office. After 14 years with the agency, Yount is still in his element.
“The Secret Service is an environment rich in comradery, selflessness and fellowship that motivates you to match the performance of the person next to you. On any given assignment, you can look around and see so many remarkable people you get to work with every day,” said Yount. “I don’t want it to sound cliche, and certainly I’m biased, but I don’t think there’s another agency who matches us with regard to principles, work ethic, morals—the values that exist within the Secret Service will make you a better person.”