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Force Structure Realignments And The Marine Corps/Department of
State Security Forces
CSC 1993
SUBJECT AREA - Manpower
                     EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Title:   Force Structure Realignments and the Marine Corps/
         Department of State Security Forces
Author:  Major M. M. Oliver, United States Marine Corps
Thesis:  Due to Force structure reductions and the reduced
security threats faced by United States embassies abroad,
the Marine Corps and Department of State should establish
procedures for the deactivation of Marine Security Guard
forces.
Background:  The United States Marine Corps has assisted the
Department of State with internal security and protection of
United States embassies and consulates on a formal basis
since 1948.  The program has grown from an initial 300
Marines to its current strength of more than 1400 officers
and enlisted Marines.  Command relationships require Marine
Security Guard Battalion to work in direct support of the
Department of State.  The Department of State had sole
responsibility for the security of American embassies
abroad.  A recent study conducted by the Department of State
and Marine Security Guard Battalion concluded that 20 Marine
Security Guard detachments could be deactivated due to
manpower and fiscal constraints, and more importantly the
reduced threat to American embassies abroad.  By
deactivating Marine Security Guard forces abroad, the Marine
Corps would be able to reassign these manpower assets to the
war-fighting units of the Fleet Marine Force.
Recommendations:  The Department of State and United States
Marine Corps must create procedures for the deactivation of
needless Marine Security Guard forces.  Additionally, the
Department of State and United States Marine Corps must
conduct triennial studies to ensure Marine Security Guard
forces are assigned only where needed.
         FORCE STRUCTURE REALIGNMENT AID THE MARINE CORPS/
                 DEPARTMENT OF STATE SECURITY FORCES
Thesis:  The United States Marine Corps and Department of State
must ensure that Marine Security forces, located at diplomatic
facilities worldwide, are assigned only where needed.
  I.   Background
    A. Present force structure situation
    B. Historical overview
    C. Command relationships
    D. Memorandum of agreement
 II.   Mission
    A. Department of State
    B. Headquarters Marine Corps
    C. Battalion
    D. Company
    E. Detachment
III.   Problem
    A. Department of State security program
    B. Department of State issues
    C. United States Marine Corps issues
    D. Department of State deactivation study
    E. United States Marine Corps deactivation study
IV.    Solution
    A. Threat list
    B. Triennial United States Marine Corps/Department of State
       security force validation
    C. Deactivation procedures
                  FORCE STRUCTURE REALIGNMENTS AND
        THE MARINE CORPS/DEPARTMENT OF STATE SECURITY FORCES
                                           by Major M. M. Oliver
    The end of the cold war and break up of the Soviet empire
have offered the United States a historic opportunity to reshape
its strategy and military forces.  In response to this changing
environment, the Department of Defense has tasked the military
services to reduce their force structure while still maintaining
a readiness and capability posture to defend our national
interests worldwide.  The Marine Corps has already begun adapting
to this changed world, launching a careful and deliberate effort
to reduce and restructure its forces.
    Most Marine Corps planners suggest that the Marine Corps
personnel "end strength" will be reduced from a current level of
189,000 Marines to approximately 159,100 Marines by fiscal year
1997. (6:26)  Accomplishing this force structure without impairing
the Marine Corps war-fighting capability requires a critical
review of the mission and table of organization (T/O) of each
operating force and support establishment within the Corps.  The
Marine Corps challenge is to redefine its force structure, but
not create a dangerous "hollow force" such as resulted from
defense realignments in the pact.
    One Marine Corps supporting establishment that requires
careful examination is the Marine Security Guard Battalion.
Marine Security Guard Battalion operates in direct support of the
Department of State.  The primary mission of the Battalion is to
provide internal security for the chancery or principal
building(s) on the Diplomatic and/or Consular grounds.  The
security services' work includes preventing the compromise of
classified material and protecting United States
citizens/property within the principal building(s) of the
mission. (9:2-3)
     If this tasking is accepted as a viable Marine Corps
mission, the question arises as to what criteria should be used
in determining where a Marine Security Guard detachment is
assigned.  Although the current Department of State/Marine Corps
Memorandum of Agreement outlines prerequisites for the activation
of Marine Security Guard detachments, there are no established
procedures for the deactivation of Marine Security Guard
detachments.  The Marine Corps should be concerned with this
deficiency because of pending monetary and manpower constraints.
If Marine Security Guards were assigned only where needed, this
would enable the Marine Corps to shift more of its manpower
resources to its war-fighting units.  Since the relief and
subsequent, investigations into activities of Marine Security
Guards serving at the American embassy in Moscow in 1987, the
Department of State and the United States Marine Corps have
continued to evaluate the purpose and scope of the Marine
Security Guard program.  Never has the need for this type of self
evaluation been more timely.
     Both the Department of State and the United States Marine
Corps face the potential of severely limited resources (people
and money) during the last decade of the 20th century and beyond.
The Marine Corps remains first and foremost a war-fighting
organization.  Its primary purpose must be to prepare for and
conduct successful combat operations as directed by proper
political authority.  Thus, any support activity that detracts
from the organization's ability to perform its primary function
should be reduced in status or eliminated. (5:15)  Neither the
Department of State nor the United States Marine Corps can afford
to expend resources as they did during the last two decades.
Ensuring the future vitality of the Marine Security Guard program
requires regular evaluation by the Department of State and United
States Marine Corps of the missions and locations of Marine
Security Guard detachments.  The Department of State and the
Marine Corps must ensure that they assign Marine Security Guards
only where required.
     Reviewing how the Department of State and the United States
Marine Corps can reduce the number of Marines needed to support
the Marine Security Guard Battalion warrants a familiarity with
the Marine Security Guard program.  This can be accomplished by
reviewing the history, command relationships, and mission of
Marine Security Guard Battalion.
     The close relationship between the Department of State and
the United States Marine Corps is almost as old as the Corps
itself.  For over 200 years, Marines have served "In Every Clime
and Place" at the request of various Secretaries of State.  After
World War II the Department of State requested support from the
Department of the Navy to provide an alert, disciplined security
force to protect American embassies, consulates and legations
throughout the world.  The Department of State's request, cited
Section 562 of the 1946 Foreign Service Act, which states:
             The Secretary of the Navy is authorized,
             upon request of the Secretary of State,
             to assign enlisted men of the Navy and
             Marine Corps to serve as custodians under
             the supervision of the principal officer
             at an embassy or consulate. (2)
Following the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between
the Department of State and the Department of the Navy on
December 8, 1948, the Marine Security Guard program was formally
established in January 1949.
     The conditions and procedures under which the United States
Marine Corps will provide direct support to the Department of
State for its overseas security program is called the Memorandum
of Agreement. (4:18)  Since the implementation of the first
Memorandum of Agreement in 1948, there have been seven major
revisions to this document.  Each revision created a system of
checks and balances outlining a set of standing operating
procedures which directed the Marine Corps and Department of
State to carry out their assigned security missions.  The
vitality of the Marine Security Guard program is embedded within
the Memorandum of Agreement.  Changes to the mission of Marine
Security Guard detachments and modifications to operating
procedures or command relationships begin with a rewrite to a
specific section of the Memorandum of Agreement.
     Command relationships between the Department of State and
United States Marine Corps, regarding the Marine Security Guard
Battalion are complex and sometimes confusing.  The Secretary of
State is responsible for:
             -Establishing and operation of embassy and protection
              functions
             -Development and implementation of communications,
              computer, and information security
             -Emergency evacuation plans
             -Establishment and operation of local guard services
             -Supervision of the United States Marine Corps
              Security Guard program (15:5-6)
     The Commandant of the Marine Corps will provide direct
support to the Department of State by assigning Marine Security
Guard detachments to United States diplomatic and consular
facilities abroad.  The Marine Corps will select and train
Marines assigned to the program and also will advise the
Department of State on issues concerning the proper utilization,
morale, welfare, safety, conduct and appropriate living
conditions of Marine Security Guards. (7:3)  This will ensure that
policies concerning these issues are consistent with those of the
Department of Defense and Department of State.
       The Chief of Mission (Ambassador) at any United States
post overseas is the personal representative of the President of
the United States.  Embassy security is the Chief of Mission's
direct responsibility. The Chief of Mission will ensure the
proper utilization, welfare and living conditions of the Marine
Security Guard detachment assigned to the embassy.  The Chief of
Mission has ultimate operational control of all Marine Security
Guards assigned to his/her embassy. (10:15)
     The Regional Security Officer is the principal professional
security advisor to the Chief of Mission.  This officer
determines Marine Security Guard requirements and advises the
senior Marine of the local Marine Security Guard detachment.  The
Regional Security Officer is the immediate operational supervisor
of the Marine Security Guard detachment and will ensure that the
Marines are assigned duties within the parameters set forth by
the Department of State and United States Marine Corps.
     The Commanding Officer, Marine Security Guard Battalion is
responsible for the training, assignment, administration,
logistics (support of Marine Crops unique items), and discipline
of Marines assigned to the battalion.  The Commanding Officer
works directly with the Department of State and Headquarters
Marine Corps officials in establishing policies that effect the
coordination necessary to administer the Marine Security Guard
program.  When required, the Commanding Officer confers with
Department of State and Headquarters Marine Corps officials to
resolve Marine Security Guard issues.  The Commanding Officer
also meets with Chiefs of Mission and Regional Security Officers
to discuss pertinent issues during command visits to Marine
Security Guard detachments.
     Commanding Officers of Marine Security Guard companies
exercise command, less operational control, of Marines assigned
to the Marine Security Guard detachments in their respective
companies. (13:3)  Along with the normal duties associated with
command, Commanding Officers of Marine Security Guard companies
have two unique tasks.  The first is to ensure that each Marine
Security Guard detachment under his/her command is performing to
the standards and regulations of the United States Marine Corps
and Department of State.  The second is to report to the
Commanding Officer, Marine Security Guard Battalion on situations
where support (for Marine Security Guard detachments) is not
forthcoming, either from the Marine Corps or Department of State,
or where Marines are not utilized appropriately.  This process
will be followed only after the Company Commander has consulted
with the Regional Security Officer and the Chief of Mission for
reconciliation at their level.  Command visits and inspection
trips are the primary means by which Company Commanders
accomplish their tasks.  Each Marine Security Guard detachment is
visited by the Company Commander or his/her staff four times per
year.  These visits are used to conduct two formal inspections
and two command visits.  It is during these visits that Company
Commanders or their staff meet with embassy officials to discuss
requirements, use, and performance of Marines in support of the
embassy's security program.  Embassy officials and Company
Commanders will also review the nature of the security threat at
embassies and arrive at appropriate manning levels.  If Company
Commanders and embassy officials cannot agree on how best to
resolve Marine Security Guard issues, they are forwarded to the
Department of State and Marine Security Guard Battalion for
resolution.
     Marine Security Guard detachments are the frontline units of
the Marine Security Guard Battalion.  Each Marine Security Guard
detachment will have a minimum T/O of a Detachment Commander
(Staff Non Commissioned Officer) and five Marine Security Guard
watch-standers.  The size and organization of each detachment is
determined by a joint Diplomatic Security and Marine Corps review
of the specific duties expected to be performed.  Determinations
also include the size of the embassy; the political, military and
threat conditions in the country; and the embassy's ability to
support and utilize the detachment.  Marine Security Guards that
form these detachments perform the general daily tasks required
to prevent the compromise of classified material and protect
United States citizens within the Foreign Service Missions.
However, their primary mission is preventing the compromise of
classified material; Marines no longer "man the walls."  Today,
Marine Security Guards accomplish their mission by performing
five basic security functions:
             -Exercise access control and provide stationary
              guard coverage of the chancery or principal
              building(s)
             -Conduct inspections within the building(s) for
              which Marines are responsible to ensure the proper
              safe guarding of classified material and equipment
              -Perform interior escort of non-cleared laborers and
              other service personnel to access areas
             -Conduct visual inspections of controlled access
              areas to detect possible physical or technical
              penetrations
             -Provide temporary emergency controlled access
              areas, and area contiguous to, during renovations
              or repairs (8:9-11)
     With this description of how the Marine Security Guard
Battalion functions, I will take a closer look at the challenge
of assigning Marine Security Guards only where needed.  It must
be emphasized that Marine Security Guards form only a portion of
the mission's security program.  The host-nation retains
responsibility for the protection of American diplomatic
facilities within the country using its police force or in some
instances paramilitary forces.  These forces conduct security
outside of the mission while Marine Security Guards conduct
security inside the mission.  The Regional Security Officer hires
local contract guards to bridge the protection provided by the
host nation and the internal security services performed by
Marine Security Guards.  Physical security upgrades and
technological advances in security equipment (used to assist with
access control) also contribute to an effective security program.
Marines are not the sole means of protection for diplomatic
facilities abroad.  In essence, only 139 of 250 Foreign Service
posts have a Marine Security Guard detachment assigned to
them. (14:2)  Considering the evolved role of the Marine Security
Guard program, and the end of the Cold War which has created new
security challenges, embassies or consulates assigned a Marine
Security Guard detachment in the 1950's may not require a Marine
Security Guard detachment in 1993.  Deactivating unnecessary
Marine Security Guard detachments will contribute to the
Department of State and Marine Corps efforts to reapportion their
two most critical resources, money and manpower. (11:3)
     The Department of State is pro-active in reducing United
States presence overseas.  Marine Security Guards are listed as a
member of the administrative and technical staff of the embassy
or as a consular employee if assigned to a consular post.  Marine
Security Guards have full immunity from the criminal jurisdiction
of the receiving state.  They cannot be prosecuted in criminal
proceedings and may not be arrested or detained. (3:27)  Thus,
Marine Security Guards claim a diplomatic status consistent with
international law.  If the Department of State and United States
Marine Corps eliminate unneeded Marine Security Guard
detachments, United States official presence overseas would be
reduced, fewer Marines would need to be housed and logistical
support could also be reduced.
     A reduction in Marine Security Guard detachments would also
allow the Marine Corps to realign manpower assets.  This manpower
realignment would enable more Marine Security Guards to be
reassigned to the Fleet Marine Force, thus enhancing the Marine
Corps war-fighting capability.  Manpower alone is not the only
benefit the Fleet Marine Force will recoup.  The Marines
available for reassignment to the Fleet Marine Force would be
highly skilled small-unit leaders in the Staff Non-Commissioned
Officer/Non-Commissioned Officer grades.  The reassignment of
these Marines could result in a significant boost to the number
of proven leaders within the Marine Corps war-fighting units.
     Two recent independent studies were conducted by the
Department of State and the Marine Security Guard Battalion. Both
concluded that there is an excessive amount of Marine Corps money
and manpower used to support the Marine Security Guard
program. (12)  Both studies used the Department of Defense's
initial-threat list in determining their conclusions.  Their
studies concluded that 20 Marine Security Guard detachments could
be deactivated without adversely affecting the security posture
of the selected embassies or consulates.  Technological advances
in security equipment, changes to the operating procedures at
these posts, and physical security upgrades combined to negate
the need for the Marine Security Guard detachments.  From a
fiscal standpoint there were no substantial, unfunded
requirements to fulfill prior to effecting the deactivation.
Marines from these deactivated units would be available for
immediate reassignment to the Fleet Marine Force.  The question
is, what means do we have to achieve these deactivations?  A plan
could be developed readily enough.
     The Department of State publishes a quarterly threat list
which evaluates the security threat at each embassy throughout
the world.  Four categories of threat are reviewed within the
quarterly threat list and are assigned to a level of low, medium,
high and critical.  Information compiled from each Security
Officer and the various United States intelligence agencies
determines the specific threat for each embassy.  Combatting the
threat envisioned by the quarterly checklist should become the
focus of effort for a joint Department of State/United States
Marine Corps evaluation of needs for Marine Security Guard
detachments.
     The Marine Security Guard Company Commander and the Regional
Security Officer from each embassy should evaluate the
requirements for Marine Security Guards based on the quarterly
checklist.  These reviews should be completed during the Company
Commander's quarterly inspection/visit of the Marine Security
Guard detachment.  Results of these reviews would then be sent to
the Department of State and Marine Security Guard Battalion for
review.  During this review process, the Department of State and
Marine Security Guard Battalion could solicit recommendations and
opinions from various United States intelligence agencies on the
feasibility of the Security Officer and Company Commander's
recommendations.  If a concurrence is given by the intelligence
agencies, and if the Department of State and Marine Security
Guard Battalion are in agreement, deactivation procedures could
be initiated.  The planning of required actions necessary to
effect the deactivation process and the redistribution of Marine
Corps personnel, equipment and property is identified at
Figure 1 on page 14.
     The deactivation procedures outlined above could be
incorporated into the Memorandum of Agreement and a review
process conducted on a triennial basis.  Details on how to
deactivate Marine Security Guard detachments and the timetable to
effect these changes remain undetermined.  They both must allow
for flexibility.  However, this does not negate the need to
institute such procedures.  It must be remembered that the
Department of State is the ultimate authority on when to
deactivate Marine Security Guard detachments. (10:15)
     Marine Corps leaders must heed the warnings sounded by a
former Secretary of Defense:  "Today, defense is the minority
partner in the federal budget; less than one in every five
federal dollars and still headed down.  In fiscal year 1993 we
are spending less on defense than on interest payments on the
federal debt." (1.viii)  Before the Marine Crops further
downgrades its war-fighting capabilities, it must ensure that the
T/O's of supporting activities are tailored to meet essential
missions.  A failure to assign Marine Security Guards only where
needed will result in fewer combat forces prepared to meet
upcoming contingencies.  Neither the Marine Corps nor the
Department of State can allow that to happen.  The problem
remains that a formal mechanism is not in place to deactivate
needless Marine Security Guard detachments, and Marine Corps
personnel are not being used in the best interest of the country.
If the mechanisms discussed in this paper are adopted, needless
Marine Security Guard detachments would be deactivated and more
Marines would be reassigned to the war-fighting units of the
Fleet Marine Force.
D = Deactivation Date                  Event
D-39                          MSG Bn S-4 cancels all pending
                              backorders
D-37                          MSG Bn S-1 forwards message to post
                              for reassignment of Marines to the 
                              Fleet Marine Force
D-36                          Detachment Commander provides embassy
                              General Supply Officer with a 
                              listing of all Marine Corps property
                              that will be shipped back to MSG Bn
D-32                          MSG Bn S-4 cancels all detachment's
                              periodic subscriptions
D-30                          MSG Bn S-1 forwards message to 
                              Headquarters Marine Corps requesting
                              deletion of Plain Language Address
D-14                          Detachment Commander ships
                              "detachment owned property" to 
                              Marine detachments that still exist
                              and need the property
D-10                          MSG Bn S-1 forwards message to 
                              COMNAVTELCOM Washington, D.C
                              requesting Address Indicator Group
                              modification and message to
                              Headquarters Marine Corps
                              requesting deletion of ALMARS and
                              associated Marine Corps publications
D-7                           Detachment Commander sends new
                              mission-essential equipment to
                              MSG Bn S-4
D-Day                         Marine Security Guards less 
                              Detachment Commander are transferred  
                              to Fleet Marine Force
D+3                           Detachment Commander ships mission-
                              essential equipment to MSG Bn S-4
D+5                           Detachment Commander departs
                              for new assignment
Figure 1.  Letter of Instruction on Deactivating Marine Security
Guard Detachments.
                         Bibliography
1.   Annual Report to the President and Congress.  Message
         From the Secretary of Defense.  January 1993,
         p. viii.
2.   Dupree, Willard, Undersecretary of Department of State
         for Manpower, Washington, D.C. Letter to the
         Commandant of the Marine Corps about assignment of
         Naval personnel to the Department of State,
         February 13, 1987.
3.   MSG Bn Policy Paper Number 27, Subj: MSG Immunities,
         January 8,1991.  (Correspondence Files, MSG Bn,
         Quantico, Virginia).
4.   MSG Bn Policy Paper Number 18, Subj: History of the
         Memorandum of Agreement, December 21, 1992.
         (Correspondence Files, MSG Bn, Quantico, Virginia).
5.   Shelton, Capt. David L.  "Thoughts on the MSG Program."
         Marine Corps Gazette, (15 June 1987), 15.
6.   "The New Smaller Marine Corps To Be Rebuilt From The
         Ground Up," Union Tribune, May 3, 1992, Section A.,
         p. 26.
7.   U. S. Department of State. Department of State and
         United States Marine Corps Memorandum of Agreement,
         November 25, 1991, p. 3.
8.   U.S. Department of State. Department of State and
         United States Marine Corps Memorandum of Agreement,
         November 25, 1991, pp. 9-11.
9.   U. S. Department of State. Department of State and
         United States Marine Corps Memorandum of Agreement,
         November 25, 1991, pp. 2-3.
10.  U.S. Department of State. Department of State and
         United States Marine Corps Memorandum of Agreement,
         November 25, 1991, p. 15.
11.  U.S. Department of State. Study. Marine Security Guard
         Deactivations.  June 22, 1991, p. 3.
12.  U.S. Department of State. Study. Marine Security
         Guard Deactivations. June 22, 1991.
     U.S. Marine Corps. Study. Marine Security Guard
         Battalion Detachment Review. July 31, 1991.
13.  U.S. Marine Corps. Marine Security Guard Battalion.
         Standing Operating Procedures for Operations,
         BnO P3501.1E. Quantico, Virginia, 1992, p. 3.
14.  U.S. Marine Corps. Headquarters, United States Marine
         Corps Position Paper, Marine Security Guard
         Detachment Deactivations, (POS-20),
         October 22, 1991, p. 2.
15.  U.S. Marine Corps. Origins of the Marine Security
         Guard Battalion. Reference Section, History and
         Museums Division, Headquarters, United States
         Marine Corps, October, 1986, pp. 5-6.



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