What is a U.S. Marshal?

We’ve all watched some television show where a US Marshall was called upon to find and arrest criminals, yet many people are uncertain as to what a U.S. Marshal is or what they do. U.S. Marshalls are highly trained law enforcement professions who have been providing the country with their services since. 1789. They’re also the nation’s oldest and most adaptable federal law enforcement agency. They’re often referred to as the federal courts’ enforcement arm. U.S. Marshalls have very important duties and play a major role in the federal law enforcement agency.

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What is a U.S. Marshal?

U.S. Marshals are law enforcement agents who work for the United States Marshals Service. They’re typically called upon for high profile cases or cases that involve assisting local law enforcement agencies in finding and arresting criminals. They also have various other important duties.

  • Finding and arresting federal fugitives
  • Protecting officers of the court
  • Providing court security
  • Managing and selling seized assets
  • Housing and transporting federal prisoners
  • Operating the Witness Protection program

How to Become One

Becoming a U.S. Marshal involves more than just earning a criminal justice degree. The U.S. Marshals Service has very specific and strict requirements that must be met before an individual can become a U.S. Marshal.

  • Must be between 21 and 36 years of age when appointed
  • Must be U.S. citizen
  • Must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college, one year of specialized training or combination of education and experience at Gthe L-7 level
  • Must have valid driver’s license in good status
  • Must pass a criminal background check
  • Must satisfy medical requirements
  • Must successfully pass required assessments
  • Must successfully pass a structured interview
  • Must be in excellent physical shape
  • Must complete a 21 ½ week basic training program at the U.S. Marshal Academy in Glynco, GA

Although many candidates complete a criminal justice degree, the U.S. Marshals Service acknowledges degrees in emergency management, criminology or similar programs. Candidates who have not had an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.5 in major courses and 3.0 in other courses can still be accepted if they have at least one year of graduate-level education. According to FederalLawEnforcement.org, the training program at the United States Marshals Training Academy includes the following.

  • Firearms training
  • Court security
  • Legal training
  • Defense tactics
  • Surveillance
  • Driver training
  • High-threat trials
  • First aid
  • Computer training
  • Physical conditioning
  • Search and seizure
  • Officer survival

The candidates must also pass seven examinations and participate in practices exercise where they either pass or fail. Applicants must be able to successfully complete strenuous exercises and run long distances during the training.

Career & Salary Outlook

U.S. Marshals, which work in the nation’s 94 federal court districts, usually work in one of three areas: fugitive operations, judiciary security or tactical operations, all of which are in demand. The U.S. Marshal Service has a specific pay scale for their marshals, but it can vary by location. Entry-live positions start at the GL-07 level and start at $45,370, which also includes an RUS locality compensation of 14.35%.

After one year of service, the marshal is eligible to advance to the GL-0082-09 level. After the next year, they’re eligible for advancement to the GS-1811-11 and then the GS-1811-12 level after another year. Each advancement comes with a substantial pay increase. Employment as a U.S. Marshal offers not only good pay but also excellent benefits.

Individuals interested in working for law enforcement in capacities where they can really make a difference in the world often aspire to become U.S. Marshals. A career as a US Marshall is not only rewarding, challenging and lucrative but can also be one of great satisfaction and pride.