New MSG requirements raise bar

30 Jan 2014 | Cpl. Timothy Norris

Requirements to apply for Marine security guard duty were updated with the release of Marine Administrative Message 010/14, Jan. 14.

Marine security guard duty is a program that provides Marines the opportunity to serve overseas with the U.S. Department of State at U.S. embassies and consulates throughout the world. Their mission is to provide protection to personnel and prevent the compromise of national security information and equipment at designated diplomatic and consular facilities.

In addition to the original requirements, the new prerequisites for MSG include:

•All Marines must have a 1st class physical fitness test

•All Marines must be a minimum of 64 inches tall

•All Marines must have an adjudicated secret clearance prior to applying

•Staff non-commissioned officers must have a GT score of 100

•Staff non-commissioned officers youngest child must be 9 months old prior to reporting to msg school

•Staff non-commissioned officers cannot have a family member assigned to the Exceptional Family Member Program

•Staff non-commissioned officers spouses must obtain U.S. citizenship prior to applying

•All annual training must be completed prior to reporting unless waiver is granted by Headquarters Marine Corps

"The first impression of Americans many people in other countries will have is of a Marine," said Sgt. Ross Woller, the Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 122 career planner. "It’s a way of putting our best foot forward."

For lance corporals up to sergeants, a Marine security guard tour consists of three 12 month periods, each at a different embassy or consulate. Staff non-commissioned officers serve as detachment commanders for two 18 month periods at different locations.

"It gives you the opportunity to travel and see other countries and see the department of state at work," said Woller. "I saw 20 countries while I was on Marine security guard duty. My motivation was to have time to do college classes, so you can complete your education while abroad."

In addition to education and travel, Woller also added that it’s an excellent networking opportunity with other federal agencies, and opens doors for recruitment into those agencies after completing active service with the Corps.

"Every post is a good post," Woller said. "You make it what you want it to be no matter where you’re stationed. That’s Marine Corps wide. You bloom where you’re planted."