The United States Marine Corps and the Department of State have had a long and mutually beneficial relationship for nearly 65 years. The Marine Security Guard program was formally established in December 1948, and since that time, the two organizations have faced many challenges together. As a reliable line of defense and support in U.S. embassy emergencies overseas, Marine Security Guards have protected State Department facilities against anti-American riots and demonstrations, and have helped evacuate U.S. diplomats and their families during times of crisis.
Marine Security Guards stationed at an embassy entrance literally represent the face of America to members of the diplomatic community and citizens of the host country. They are a symbol of American values of integrity, courage, loyalty, and commitment. As a Marine Security Guard at a U.S. embassy or consulate, they do not just simply stand at “Post.” They stand for America.
On November 10, Marines throughout the world marked the 238th anniversary of the Corps’ existence and service to our nation. As Commandant of the Marine Corps General James F. Amos stated in this year’s birthday message, “because of you, your selfless service, and your many sacrifices, our Corps remains strong and ready to respond to any crisis. Throughout history, Marines have faced tough times, and there will be tough times ahead, but there is no challenge we cannot overcome if we remain honorable and always faithful to our nation, our Constitution, and each other.” Marine Security Guards show, every day, that they are models of the Marine Corps credo, “Semper Fidelis.” They have always remained faithful to protecting U.S. diplomacy.
On this Veterans Day we honor and express our deep appreciation to our men and women in uniform, past and present. For those in the Diplomatic Security Service -- and indeed in the entire U.S. Department of State -- it is also an opportunity to show our gratitude and respect for all Marine Security Guards.
About the Author: Fred C. Lash serves as a Public Information Specialist in the Bureau of Diplomatic Security.