How to become a USMS Deputy Marshal

Selection Process

The procedure to join the U.S. Marshals Service begins with a visit to Once there, you must find a job opening for Deputy U.S. Marshal. The USMS does typically only accepts applications for a short period, so it is imperative that you respond immediately when openings become available. If you find a Deputy U.S. Marshal opening, read the job description and application process completely. Then follow the link to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), where you must complete a short questionnaire. This questionnaire will merely determine if you meet the minimum qualifications to apply.

Once approved by the OPM, you will be asked to submit an application. This form must be completely and accurately filled out. Any false or misleading information may lead to a dismissal from the selection process. You must also provide supporting documentation including copies of birth certificates or naturalization papers, school transcripts, military service records, and employment documents.

If your application is approved, you will be scheduled for the Deputy U.S. Marshal Competitive Examination. This is a two part exam that is administered in 15 locations throughout the United States. This two part exam typically takes between two and three hours to complete. The first part is designated as Situational Judgment and is intended to evaluate your ability to make high quality decisions in a variety of law enforcement, homeland security and protection detail scenarios. The second part is the Writing Assessment, which used multiple choice questions to evaluate your command of grammar, spelling, punctuation, and organization.

Following successful completion of the Deputy U.S. Marshal Competitive Examination, you will be asked to come in for the Structured Interview (SI). The SI is conducted by two veteran members of the U.S. Marshals Service and is typically about two hours in length. The topics covered by the interviewers include:

  • Self-management
  • Teamwork
  • Integrity
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Problem solving
  • Oral communication

If you successfully complete the Structured Interview, you will be proffered a Tentative Letter of Employment. You will also be placed on a registry and designated as Qualified, Highly Qualified or Best Qualified.

At this point you will not be a Deputy U.S. Marshal but you will be eligible for hiring, depending upon the following procedures. You must submit to a medical and psychological evaluation along with a drug test. You must also pass the physical fitness test. Finally, you must pass the comprehensive background investigation.

If you pass all components of the selection process and are hired by a regional office, you must then attend the basic training program and graduate. The entire selection process may take from nine to 12 months; your application will be kept on file for 36 months.

Physical Requirements

The professional responsibilities of a Deputy U.S. Marshal include many strenuous physical duties. In order to ensure that all candidates can perform these arduous duties, the U.S. Marshal Service administers physical fitness tests throughout the selection and training phases. The fitness tests are composed of five components:

  1. Body Fat: Calipers are used to measure the fat at three points on the body. The measurements are then entered into a computer program to calculate the overall body fat percentage.
  2. Sit and Reach: While sitting on the floor and legs fully extended, the candidate must push a measuring device as far towards their toes as possible.
  3. Push-ups: The candidate must complete as many push-ups as possible within one minute. Proper form includes descent to within four inches of the floor.
  4. Sit-ups: This also includes a one minute period for as many reps as possible.
  5. 1.5 Mile Run: Candidates must cross 1.5 miles without slowing to a walk.

The results for each component are measured against the “Excellent” standard for the candidate’s age and gender group. Failure to reach a minimum score in any single component will dramatically diminish your chances at selection. This physical fitness test must be passed prior to entering the United States Marshals Service Basic Training Academy.

Training at the United States Marshals Service Basic Training Academy is extremely rigorous and is held in the humid, hot climate of southern Georgia. All new recruits are expected to ARRIVE in excellent condition and improve on their physical conditioning through strenuous, hours long exercises throughout basic training. Upon completion of the basic training course, recruits must complete the physical fitness test once again and pass or fail basic training.


As one of the elite law enforcement agencies in the federal government, the U.S. Marshals Service demands that its Deputy U.S. Marshals are at optimal proficiency both intellectually and physically. New recruits must attend the United States Marshals Service Basic Training Academy held at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center near Brunswick, GA. This 17 week training program will provide an introduction to a variety of skills essential to performing as a Deputy U.S. Marshal.

In addition to a rigorous physical conditioning program which will include regular and prolonged exercises, trainees will complete courses in

  • Computer operation
  • First Aid
  • Legal training
  • Courtroom evidence and procedure
  • Search and seizure
  • Prisoner search and restraint
  • Surveillance
  • High threat trials
  • Court security
  • Protective service training
  • Officer survival
  • Driver training
  • Defensive tactics
  • Firearms training
  • Building entry and search

During the course of training, there will be seven exams administered. A score of at least 70 percent on all seven exams is required to graduate the basic training course. You will also be expected to pass a final physical fitness exam with at least minimum conditioning scores in all five phases.

In addition to basic training, there are a number of specialized training modules for more advanced personnel. This includes the USMS Special Operations Group which admits only the most highly qualified and physically fit Deputy U.S. Marshals. The advanced training for the SOG members include

  • Advanced weaponry
  • Tactics
  • VIP protection
  • Court security
  • Fugitive apprehension
  • High profile prisoner transport
  • Witness security
  • Leadership skills

SOG currently has about 62 active members but has a reserve cadre that are devoted to full time training. New candidates for SOG join the training cadre which administers a 27 day training program. The 15-17 hour training days include both extreme physical testing as well as academic skills evaluation.


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