Marine Corps Embassy Security Group (MCESG)
'Vigilance, Discipline, Professionalism'
MCB Quantico, Virginia

Who we are

The Marine Security Guard (MSG) Program, in its current form, has been in place since December 1948, but the Marine Corps has a long history of cooperation and distinction with the Department of State (DOS) going back to the early days of the Nation. From the raising of the United States flag at Derna, Tripoli, and the secret mission of Archibald Gillespie in California, to the 55-days at Peking, the United States Marines have served many times on special missions as couriers, guards for embassies and delegations, and to protect American officials in unsettled areas.


Marine Corps Embassy Security Group (MCESG)
27277 Browning Road
Quantico, VA 22134  

The mission of the Marine Corps Embassy Security Group is to screen, train, assign, and ensure operational readiness, administration, logistical support and discipline of Marines and to provide Marines for duty as Marine Security Guards (MSG) at designated U.S. diplomatic missions in support of the Department of State in the protection of personnel, classified material, and U.S. property.

The origins of the modern MSG Program began with the Foreign Service Act of 1946 that stated the Secretary of Navy is authorized, upon the request of the Secretary of State, to assign enlisted Marines to serve as custodians under the supervision of the senior diplomatic officer at an embassy, legation, or consulate. Using this Act, the DOS and U.S. Marine Corps entered into negotiations to establish the governing provisions for assigning MSGs overseas. These negotiations culminated in the first joint Memorandum of Agreement signed on 15 December 1948. Trained at the DOS's Foreign Service Institute, the first MSGs departed for Tangier and Bangkok on 28 January 1949. The authority granted in the Foreign Service Act of 1946 has since been replaced by Title 10, United States Code 5983, and the most recent Memorandum of Agreement was signed on 13 March 2008. The Marine Corps assumed the primary training responsibility of its MSGs during November 1954.

MCESG is a tenant organization located on Marine Corps Base, Quantico, Virginia and is responsible to the Deputy Commandant, Plans, Policies and Operations, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps. Specially screened Marines assigned to MCESG are trained at the Marine Security Guard School and processed for duty overseas under the operational control of the DOS as MSGs. These Marines currently serve at 182 embassies and consulates around the world. MCESG also coordinates the personnel assignment, provides logistics support, and ensures threat related training of the Marines is kept up-to-date for mission accomplishment and currency.

MCESG's mission is to exercise command, less operational control of the MSG's, in that it is responsible for their training, assignment, administration, logistics support, and discipline. Regional Commanders provide operational oversight through the use of semi-annual inspections and command visits. The MSGs' primary mission is to provide internal security services at designated U.S. Diplomatic and Consular facilities to prevent the compromise of classified information and equipment that is vital to national security of the United States of America. The secondary mission of the MSG is to provide protection for U.S. citizens and U.S. Government property located within designated U.S. Diplomatic and Consular premises/facilities during exigent circumstances that require immediate aid or action.

The United States Marine Corps has participated in the internal security and protection of U.S. Embassies and Consulates on a formal basis with the Department of State since 1948. In 1950, Marine Security Guards helped evacuate U.S. Citizens at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, during the Invasion of North Korea. In 1968, Marine Security Guards protected the U.S. Embassy in Vietnam during the Tet Offensive. Marine Security Guards have and continue to defend diplomacy in over 150 countries during dangerous scenarios including revolutions, attacks, and natural disasters.

Security Guards are primarily responsible for protecting mission personnel and preventing the compromise of national security information and equipment at designated diplomatic and consular facilities. Staff Noncommissioned Officers (E6 and above) serve as Detachment Commanders at two Detachments for 18 months each. Sergeants (E-5 and below) serve at three Detachments for 12 months each. They are deployed for 3 years and have the opportunity to serve at 3 of 181 locations in over 150 countries around the world. Over 50 of those locations are eligible for Hazardous Duty/Imminent Danger/Combat Tax Exclusion pay. Security Guards protect mission personnel and classified information through security inspections and access control while using advanced security equipment. But most importantly, they are trained to respond to situations like intrusions, bomb threats, demonstrations/riots, fires, or natural disasters at Embassies or consulates.

Since the terrorist attack in Benghazi in 2012, the Marine Corps Embassy Security Group created the Marine Security Guard Security Augmentation Unit (MSAU). The primary mission of MSAU is to provide random/periodic augmentation to Marine Security Guard Detachments pre-crises and during increased threat situations. Secondly, they provide security of classified materials during VIP visits overseas. MSAU is stationed in Quantico, Virginia and recommendations for MSAU duty are made by Region Commanders. If MSAU Marine Security Guards pass indoctrination, they can serve with MSAU as one of their three post assignments. Marines may serve at a number of countries during their 12-month tour with MSAU.


Officer of the Day

Post One



Personnel Office

703-784- 4801




Security Manager


Career Retention Specialist

Deployment Readiness Coordinator (DRC)


Passports - 703-432-7061

MSG School Operations

MSAU Operations


Recruiting, Advertising, & Screening Team   
Work Phone: (703) 432-2701| 2702       
DSN: 278-4861| 4085      
Duty Cell Phone: +1 571-243-2194  



MSAU's 10-year Anniversary

U.S. Marines assigned to Marine Security Guard Security Augmentation Unit celebrate their 10-year anniversary at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.,...


Unit Hike

U.S. Marines with Marine Corps Embassy Security Group and Marine Security Guard Security Augmentation Unit hike during a culminating event of a...


Squad Competition

U.S. Marine with Marine Corps Embassy Security Group maneuvers over a bar on an obstacle course during a culminating event of a Marine Corps Martial...


Marine Corps Embassy Security Group Leaders

Commanding Officer
Marine Corps Embassy Security Group

Colonel Kelly Frushour assumed command of Marine Corps Embassy Security Group in June 2022.

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Sergeant Major
Marine Corps Embassy Security Group

Sergeant Major Vincent D. Cruz is currently serving as the Command Senior Enlisted Leader for Marine Corps Embassy Security Group.

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Executive Officer
Marine Corps Embassy Security Group

Lieutenant Colonel Matt S. McNerney began serving as the Marine Corps Embassy Security Group Executive Officer in June 2021.

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Marine Corps Embassy Security Group (MCESG)