What is MSG Duty
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.