Since 1789, U.S. Marshals have provided service and support to crucial areas of federal law enforcement, according to the U.S. Marshals website. U.S. Marshals are versatile: They provide security and protection to federal judicial officers, help transport dangerous prisoners, and investigate and apprehend fugitives. Becoming a U.S. Marshal is a competitive process; recruitment isn't always open. If the U.S. Marshals Service, or USMS, is recruiting, applicants must meet certain qualifications.
Basic Qualifications and Experience
U.S. Marshals must be U.S. citizens between the ages of 21 and 36. A U.S. Marshal must be of good character and reputation; past criminal behavior or a past history of untruthful or problematic behavior can prevent a person from becoming a U.S. Marshal. The USMS requires applicants to possess a bachelor's degree and to have at least three years' work experience. According to the USMS website, the service values experience in law enforcement or areas that demonstrate an applicant's ability to make quick decisions and take charge.
The job of a U.S. Marshal is physically demanding. There are strict physical fitness requirements that vary based on age and gender. Applicants must have a certain body-fat percentage and be able to complete a battery of tests, such as pushup, situp and running tests. Applicants must earn minimum scores in all fitness areas to pass the physical fitness test. A "good" score for a male applicant between 20 and 29 years old is to have between 9.5 and 14.1 percent body fat; being able to sit on the ground with his legs stretched out in front of him and reach toward his toes between 16.5 and 18.4 inches; doing 29 to 36 pushups and 42 to 46 situps in one minute; and being able to run a mile and a half in less than 11 minutes, 41 seconds.
In addition to the physical fitness requirements, U.S. Marshals must be generally healthy and free from any "disqualifying conditions." According to the USMS website, applicants must have 20/20 binocular vision and color vision and pass a hearing test at 30 decibels or better. Disqualifying conditions include hernias, heart disease and conditions that affect an applicant's flexibility or strength.
Interview and Training
Even if the applicant meets the above requirements, she must still undergo an extensive interview process. According to the USMS website, the hiring process can take up to 10 months to complete. If hired, the applicant must undergo a 17.5-week training period at the U.S. Marshals Service Training Academy located in Glynco, Georgia.
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