ARLINGTON, Va. (March 19, 2014) -- Kathy A. Michalko, U.S. Secret Service Washington Field Office special agent in charge, laid a wreath with Maj. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan, Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region/U.S. Army Military District of Washington commanding general, at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier during an Army Full Honors Wreath Laying Ceremony in Arlington National Cemetery.

The wreath laying was part of an ongoing engagement program between JFHQ-NCR/MDW and its interagency partners. Laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is an honor usually bestowed upon military personnel and visiting foreign dignitaries.

"The decision of the Military District of Washington to recognize the Secret Service with the honor of partaking in such a distinguished event highlights the strength and significance of the relationship between our agencies," said Michalko. "I am also proud of the work that personnel in the Washington Field Office do every day. Their collective but individual efforts to building professional relationships with our partners are a key part of the success of our mission. I am honored to represent the Secret Service at this event."

The U.S. Secret Service's mission is to safeguard the nation's financial infrastructure and payment systems to preserve the integrity of the economy, and to protect national leaders, visiting heads of state and government, designated sites and national security events.

"Every time I visit Arlington National Cemetery it is a poignant reminder of all those that made the ultimate sacrifice to secure the freedoms that I enjoy every day," said Michalko. "I felt very humbled to be able to pay tribute to all the heroes that rest here."

The U.S. Secret Service was established in 1865 and its original mission was to suppress the counterfeiting of U.S. currency. Their mission has evolved over time, to include the protection of national and visiting foreign leaders and criminal investigations. These dual missions have been mandated by Congress. The U.S. Secret Service has more than 150 offices both in the United States and abroad.

"The District of Columbia is the home of the president and the vice president, the two most significant persons that this agency is entrusted to keep safe. In addition, as our Nation's Capital, it is the location for historic events of national significance," said Michalko. "The Military District of Washington, along with our law enforcement partners, are important in our ability to provide a safe environment for our protectees, citizens, and visitors to the National Capital Region."